when should you upgrade

Multi-Touch Family Size TabletTook a bit of time off from posting on the blog for the month of December – time well spent with my family and friends. Of course, it seems I never get away from technology, and technology never waits for my approval to move forward.

Take tablets as a recent entry in the market. These are coming up in many shapes and sizes. I’ve written before that our family has multiple ereaders and tablets, from the Nook 1st Edition, the Kindle (they call their 1st edition the Kindle Keyboard), the Kindle Fire, a Dell Streak, and a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Depending on the application, we love them all – and each has strengths and weaknesses.

But what if you wanted a tablet for the family? Like, to use all at the same time? Gives new meaning to ‘family night’ doesn’t it… well even that is being developed – see Lenovo to release giant 27-inch tablet PC; stands up as a regular PC, lies flat as tablet. Reading the article you will find that this is not the first attempt at filling this market space (Microsoft did this way back in 2008), but with tablets being adopted by the public and business, the chance for having an actual market space that makes money is now ripe for manufacturers.

Over the Christmas time I was able to fit in a technology upgrade for a family business that I have worked with for a number of years. It was time to do an almost wholesale upgrade of computers. They went from a couple of Windows 2000 machines to a Windows 7 and a Windows 8 set of computers. With this, they also are starting to use a tablet on job sites with a Verizon hotspot to connect it (and any other devices they add in the future) to the web.

Why do I bring this up? There comes a time we must move forward with our hardware and software. Either the software we depend on becomes obsolete (or no longer is supported) and upgrades require new specifications that our old goodies just can’t match up to, or it becomes more cost effective to replace hardware that has exceeded its life expectancy.

Software and hardware does not wait around for your approval or mine. Things move forward. Some are quickly adopted, others take years to mature and gain acceptance in the real world. Currently Windows 8 is what Microsoft sells and vendors include on all new Windows based computers. It is a change from the Windows 2000 / Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7 world that is not a bad change – it is just a change that enables them to power computers / tablets / phones with a unified look and feel. It was not totally alien to me, but things are in different places and other things are accessed a different way.

It was interesting to see the business owners take to the tablet. That is even more shocking of a change as you use gestures and different ways to navigate, install and run software and apps. Currently it is a nifty new toy to them, I can see this becoming an integral part of their work space and a valuable tool for decision making in their business.

Moral of this post? Keep an eye out for what is taking place with new devices in the world. There will come a time that you need to move forward to better enable the work / things you do via technology that is constantly moving forward. Examine your need(s) and make the switch when you see the benefit! Technology should make what we do quicker, easier, better – not hold us back from doing the things that are really important (like spending time with our families). Have a great New Year!