How often should I update Windows XP?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader "Jeff" write s:

" Dear Dennis,

I read your eZine with great interest. One thing I would like to see addressed is how does the average person without a great deal of technical knowledge, handle Windows updates. Six weeks ago, for example, I purchased a new PC with Windows XP. Every day I am told that there are updates waiting!

My conundrum is that the PC works fairly well at this time. Should I update and risk having something go wrong? Should I just update blindly downloading and installing everything? I have tried to read the technical notes for each suggested install, but they all seem to lose me somewhere. How does the average user address this problem? "

My response:

It's not surprising that there are many fixes for Windows XP since it is a fairly new operating system. Personally, I am waiting for a Service Pack to be released which will contain all the "little fixes" that you're currently being told to download on a regular basis. A service pack generally contains many of the essential "bug fixes" that help to keep the system reasonably stable. Currently, I do not feel that Windows XP is stable enough to run on my own system.

It is important to download the updates, even if it is on a daily basis. As with all versions of the Windows operating system, Microsoft has a long history of releasing below-par software that is plagued with bugs, backdoors, and major security issues. They've done it in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.

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