Windows 10 operating systemMany users were unhappy about the way Microsoft pushed the Windows 10 upgrade. Not all Mac owners were overjoyed about moving to OSX 10 El Capitan.

Operating systems change all the time. Do we all need to move in lockstep to the latest versions?

You may have good reasons not to want to jump. There have been botched or troublesome OS upgrades in the past.

Waiting a week can be smart. Let others be the guinea pigs, then update when it’s clear the new software is safe.

Another reason to hold back is if there are doubts your applications and peripherals will still work. There were problems with software and hardware during the move from Windows 7 to 8.

Developers slow to act

Often third-party app developers don’t move as fast as the OS companies with updates. Some older programs never make the transition from one OS version to another. Others may need complex workarounds or lose functionality. Games can be especially tricky.

Another problem is some upgrades are disruptive. After some upgrades it can be hard to find commonly used features. Files and other documents move locations and automated processes stop working.

While you’ll get the hang of the new OS soon enough, it’s not something you’d want to take a chance with when you have a lot of work on.

At times computers that run fine with one generation of an OS slow to a crawl after an update.

There are plenty of reasons to wait for the air to clear before upgrading.

Despite the problems, there comes a point where not upgrading is more unwise.

New operating system, new advantages

Not only do you miss advantages an upgrade OS may bring; new features, bug fixes and so on, but you risk getting out of step with app and hardware compatibility.

Before long drivers are not updated, developers stop updating old versions of their apps. If you change nothing, things will go on working as before. How realistic is that?

And then there is security.

At some point older operating systems no longer get the latest protections. Malware is a fast moving target, you can’t afford to get too far behind. Older OSes often have vulnerabilities not found in new system software.

How you deal with upgrades is up to you. Unless you are confident, or your systems are not critical to your work, a little caution makes sense. But not so much caution you get left behind.