Say "no" to O/S "edition" upgrades

BY J. CARLTON COLLINS, CPA

Q: Should we upgrade our Windows 7 and Vista computers to Windows 8?

A: I don’t recommend updating older computers to newer operating systems because, in my opinion, you are better off buying a new computer. My reasoning is that the Windows operating systems installed on your older computers were most likely tweaked and tested by the manufacturers to make them run more reliably with each computer’s motherboard, RAM, video card, and other components. If you upgrade the computer using a newer, off-the-shelf edition of Windows, it won’t be customized for your computer’s hardware configuration. This issue, coupled with the lower costs of new computers, supports my belief that you are better off buying new computers preloaded with new operating systems specifically tweaked for those computers.

Side note: While I buy myself a new desktop computer about every other year, I don’t buy new monitors that frequently; instead I use them until they expire. The same goes for my 12-year-old HP LaserJet 4300dtn printer, which has produced more than 1.8 million pages and is still going strong.

J. Carlton Collins ( carlton@asaresearch.com ) is a technology consultant, CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2013, 2010, and 2007 versions, unless otherwise specified.

Submit a question
Do you have technology questions for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to jofatech@aicpa.org. We regret being unable to individually answer all submitted questions.

SPONSORED REPORT

Tax reform complicates year-end tax planning

Get your clients ready for tax season with these year-end tax planning strategies, which address how to make the most of recent tax law changes, such as the new deduction for qualified business income and the cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes.

VIDEO

What RPA is and how it works

Robotic process automation is like an Excel macro that can work on multiple applications, says Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA. RPA can complete routine, repetitive tasks such as data entry, freeing up employee time from lower-level chores.