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Ask Max: Is upgrading my Mac OS something I should really do?

Asked on 12/19/2008:

You've been very helpful in the past, and here I am again.

I'm on a PowerPC G5 running 10.4.11. Most of the time, I'm inside MS Office. I'm just about to upgrade to Office 08.

Is upgrading the OS something I should really do, or is it a "nice to have" (if somewhat pricey)? And if I want to upgrade my desktop and my laptop do I need the bigger, and more expensive package?


I like Leopard for many geeky reasons. It makes it easier to manage my teenagers computer through Parental Controls. The Leopard Time Machine backup is great data insurance, which gives me peace of mind. The ease of screen sharing makes having a house of Mac computers work cooperatively.

That being said, it is not essential to your overall productivity. It will not change your speed or quality of work, nor will it revolutionize your computer experience. If you want to upgrade, I would recommend doing all your systems together. If you are updating many computers, the Family pack is the best way to go. Apple has its users on the honor system, so you can install the same copy of the single user OS on every Mac you own. However, the OS X Leopard Family Pack is not much more money than the single user version, so it is easy to "do the right thing" when it comes to software licensing.

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