As you will probably and hopefully be aware,
Microsoft are now only maintaining Windows 10. All previous versions of Windows are not getting feature updates and as of 14th January 2020 Windows 7 will also not get any security updates.
Why do Microsoft keep changing things?
For a number of reasons really:
All versions of Windows have limitations on the hardware it can control. Windows 7 could only work with hard drives up to 2 terrabytes in capacity, Windows XP, could only manage 3.25GB's of RAM and Windows 98 could only control hard drives upto 32GB in capacity. So, as computers become more powerful the softwre that controls them needs to evolve to keep up.
Another reason is security. In the constant battle to keep you computer and all the information you keep on it secure Windows needs to be updated to keep up with the ever changing threats out there. Eventually the updates and patches become ineffective and a complete rewrite becomes necessary. Think of a castle under attack, eventually after too many repairs there is less castle than repaired areas left and a new castle needs to be built.
Finaly technology evolution. 25 years ago who would have thought that millions would be watching TV over the internet or playing games could be as realistic as the movies, or we would be video caling each other with the clarity of being stood face to face. So as what we want to do with our computers evolves to do our computers and the software they run.
Do I Really Need A New Computer?
Not necessarily. If your computer has a good Dual-Core processor (2GHz speed or better) then we can usually upgrade it to Windows 10. It should also have a minimum of 4GB RAM and a Solid State Drive. For more than basic (email, document writing and internet surfing) use we recommend a quad core or 'I' series processor. If your computer is only a single core machine then we would recommend a replacement or a rebuild.
Do I Have To Upgrade?
The short answer is NO! However, continuing to use an unsupported version of Windows will put you at a greater risk of being a victim of computer viruses, malware and identity theft. Most of the Windows updates are to patch holes that have been discovered within the Windows system that virus writers have been exploiting to steal from computer users. A simple analagy is to think that if you don't want the rest of the world to see what you are doing then don't do it on a computer with an unsupported version of Windows.
Alternatively if your computer is totally isolated from the rest of the world, eg. you only write and print letters, then there is no need to do anything.
What about newer versions of Windows?
All versions of Windows have a limited support life and full details can be found here. Microsoft have promised to never replace Windows 10 however, around every 6 months they release a new version of Windows 10 and each version is only supported for 18 month from it's release date. Updating is usually a mundain affair though it can take several hours to complete however occasionally Microsoft do get things wrong and these updates can cause computers to crash or stop booting so we recommend more than ever that you should have a backup of all your precious data at all times.