The operating system of the computer, whatever it is, is perhaps the most important software component that we have on the computer, so we must take care of it as much as possible. The rest of the applications and platforms that we use on a daily basis depend on this, whether we are talking about Windows, macOS or Linux.
For some time now, this is usually designed with everything related to security, very present. In fact, as the years go by, this is an increasingly important aspect. That is why operating systems in general cannot be fixed and immovable elements, but rather they need to grow and improve. This is what we need updates for.
Updates to operating systems are key elements, so normally these elements should be considered essential. Most likely, in the absence of the constant updates that reach us at this time, the PC would become vulnerable.
Why do we need to update the operating system
It is worth mentioning that there are three reasons why system updates are important, something that can be extended to any software. First of all we must take into account the new functions that are implemented. And it is that operating system developers provide new features constantly. Although sometimes they are a bit annoying, the truth is that they are basic to have modern software and the latest.
On the other hand, the security section comes into play , since it is impossible to know all the vulnerabilities that a program can include at first. Hence, the updates contain security patches that strengthen the code’s defenses. In addition, this must be renewed every so often, otherwise the danger grows.
And to finish we will talk about the support. This is what gives an operating system “life”. This is because a system that is no longer supported by its developers is considered “dead” or finished. Therefore, a computer that no longer receives updates will gradually lose access to new applications, and will be increasingly vulnerable.
Ways to receive updates
On the other hand, it is worth noting that there are two ways to distribute these updates that we are talking about. One is a model that is viewed as centralized. This is one in which a single company manages all the updates that reach the equipment, regardless of the brand or model of the equipment.
On the contrary, in a decentralized model, the updates that arrive at the operating system come from many sources. So here there is a certain degree of separation between the developers and those who package the different parts that reach the users. Saying that both approaches have their pros and cons. Take as an example that Windows or MacOS have a centralized approach. However Linux has a model that is considered decentralized.
This is how Microsoft Windows receives its updates (H3)
The most popular desktop operating system is Windows, as you may already know. Well, Microsoft distributes system updates to anyone with a Windows PC. These are published depending on the version that is run. In the past, switching to a new version of the operating system was much more cumbersome and cumbersome. But with Windows 10 the situation is different, since those of Redmond provided for free, another way to update this version, all through Windows Update.
In fact, this functionality automatically downloads updates and forces users to install them, which is not always liked by everyone. However this keeps computers up to date, we should just make sure to back up our data on a regular basis, just in case. Of course, with the passage of time Windows Update has been improving so that we can have some control over the process.
How macOS computers receive updates
Say that for its part Apple provides updates to its operating system directly to users through a dedicated software update tool. Unlike Windows, MacOS does not update automatically, but we can activate that function. Manual updates give us time to back up the data before getting the new version.
Of course, the signature of the apple does not specifically indicate how long each version of macOS will be compatible. But generally the three most recent versions receive security patches, and the new versions are usually annual. But of course, the end of support for older versions can come at any time without an official announcement. In addition, the company usually explicitly lists the devices that will support each new version. If the team is no longer in it, it will not receive any further updates.
Updating Linux distributions in the best way
We usually refer to GNU / Linux as just Linux, but in this case it is important to know the differences. For example Google’s Chrome OS is based on Linux, but the way it operates is different from other versions of Linux based on GNU software. There are many GNU-based desktops that we can download. Most give us a degree of freedom on how to approach updates. Notifications usually arrive automatically, although we must download and install the update manually.
This is something that is done through an application, or from the command line. Thus, the frequency with which we receive updates depends on the chosen Linux distribution. For example, we can use a version of Linux until the computer no longer meets the minimum system requirements. But if we use a more specific distribution, we run a greater risk of losing access to updates, since the project may cease to exist.
We must also keep in mind that GNU desktops have the longest support life, so it will continue to work as long as the hardware meets the system requirements. Since the software is not developed in a central location, new updates and patches can be available for months or years.