Why update?

General software updates for operating systems like Mac OS, Windows OS and Linux OS fix problems in the code that can be exploited by bad guys. Other software needs patching too, things like your browser (Firefox,Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, Safari), Adobe Reader, Java, Silverlight, .net, virus killers, Office … if you’re running it, it probably needs updates at some point.

None of operating systems listed here are without code issues. The question is who finds it first — hackers or the company releasing the bad guy blocking patches.

Older operating systems get sidelined; if you’re lucky, they’ll have emergency updates but in most cases, the folks that make the OS just stop supporting older systems.

In general, Apple runs shot cycles: users of OS 10.5 are out of luck with updates with the release of OS 10.8. OS 10.6 will be left out as soon as the next OS comes out. (They do not tell you that on their website but look it up in their forums.)

Here are a few standard life expectancies for common operating systems.

Get in touch if you need help keeping your OS leak free and up to date.