No matter what kind of operating system that you have, soon you will have the choices to uprage you operating system or not. Windows Vista already released, if you are Windows XP user, than you may have to ask your self, will you need to upgrade you windows? Or if you are Open Suse linux user, will you need to upgrade to the latest version of Open Suse? Even if Open Suse is free?
What is the reason why user need to upgrade their operating system?
For me, there is three reason why we should upgrade our operating system.
Stability and security
All of new operating system will claim that their new operating system will have more stable and more secure than previous version. If you think that you current operatin system is buggy, than maybe you need to upgrade. But, if you current operating system is running stable enough, and you can run all your applications without a problem, I don’t see why you need to upgrade your operating system.
Ussually I have to wait at least 6 month before I decide to upgrade anything, not just operating system. I want to see what kind of bugs that other users found and what kind of fixs that the software manufacture released. I don’t want to replace my buggy software with more buggier software.
If you want to run application that can only run in the new operating system, than you have no choice to upgrade. But, maybe you have to check what are the other options. Maybe first you need to check, if there is another application that similar with the one that you need that can run in your current operating system.
You don’t have to use Internet Explorer 7 to surf the net. If you still running Windows 98, than can use Firefox instead. Or maybe you can still run the old version that run nicely with your current operating system. But, if there are no other options, than you have to upgrade.
But vice versa, I still have stocks of Windows NT 4.0 in my list of servers, they are still running old applications that not supported by new version of windows.
Like it or not, most of old operating system will not recognize new hardware.
I have a software than run on Windows 4.0, and the software requires serial dongle to run. Then a new version of that software come with a new dongle, usb dongle. There is no way to run usb dongle in Windows NT 4.0 because Windows NT 4.0 doesn’t support usb port, so we must to upgrade it to at least Windows 2000 server.
If your current operating system running stable enough and secure enough, your softwares are running just fine, and all your hardware detected without a problem, than there is no reason why you need to upgraded. Unless of course you are the geek that need more chalenges, and want to be the first to run the newest operating system. Other than that, stick with your old operating system until the time will come that you need to upgrade your operating system.