Of course I don't need it

I read with some interst this discussion thread Sonja started:

And I noticed more than one comment along the lines of "why do I need to upgrade to Vista?" I remember the same argument being touted when we were debating whether we would upgrade to Windows XP. In fact I remember the argument being used when we were all considering upgrading to a GUI in the first place. I remember the same argument being made about upgrading to DOS 6.2.

The argument just doesn't hold water. The question is not whether we will upgrade, but when and for what reason. Whenever we have a pending upgrade the question is not about need. Of course we don't need it. We didn't need Windows XP, we didn't need the first IBM PC, we didn't need an electronic calculator, we didn't need a mechanical adding machine, and we didn't need the pencil. The only things we need, ever, is food, water and shelter —- everything else is what we want or desire or pine for.

But all of those technological additions to our lives made a big difference in our ability to be productive —- in our capability. We wouldn't want to go back to life before any of those technical achievements. We need to move on —- technological change is just part of our computer geek, IT professional culture.

So if we are honest with ourselves, the question is why do I want Vista? For me the answer is simple: It is new, it has 3D capabilities built-in to the operating system, it has DirectX 10 and it is the operating system we will all be using 3 years from now. I might as well get a head start on learning it —- since it is part of my everyday job. Besides Crysis is going to support it out of the box.


Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.

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