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I am wondering, other than personal preference which is obviously subjective, what utility does one derive from running outdated operating systems? I notice a lot of folks posting here with questions and they indicate, for example, they are running Yosemite. What are the implications of this for, say, security in general and support from Apple? What productivity, ease of use, flexibility, and/or any other benefit does one accrue for one's self by running an older OS? Thanks.

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    Please be considerate. A down vote just means someone didn’t find it useful. Nothing personal and please don’t call names. Despite the good answer, this could easily get closed as too broad with all the sub questions – bmike Jul 29 '17 at 22:08
  • Point taken on the downvotes, but, as evidenced by the solid and succinct answer, the question can't reasonably be considered too broad. It's really one question and would be nonsensical to parse this into "why run old systems for productivity?", "Why run old systems when considering security?" "What ease of use do you derive from old systems?", Etc. – A.fm. Jul 29 '17 at 22:15
  • Agreed. The point is to get good answers - not saying this is a bad question, but even poor ones can get good solid advice whether isn’t objective or subjective. See How to Ask for the difference between “let’s discuss X” vs “how can I do Y” and leading answerers to share experiences over opinions. – bmike Jul 29 '17 at 22:17
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One of the most common causes for running outdated operating systems is hardware support:

Hardware compatibility issues usually comes in two forms. Either the newer operating system in itself is not compatible with an older Mac, or alternatively connected peripheral units are not compatible with the newer operating system (i.e. lack of updated drivers).

In such cases you might want to continue running the older operating system in order for the Mac to work at all, or in order to keep using old peripheral devices.

Another common cause for running outdated operating system is software support.

Some applications are not timely offered in newer versions that support newer operating systems - or they might not be updated at all. In that case the application could be more important than the operating system for user - thus keeping the user on an outdated system.

Similarly some vendors charge fees for updates to applications that are needed in order to support newer operating systems. The user might not want or is not able to pay for those extra upgrades, and is thus forced to run an older operating system.

Other causes include:

  • The user simply liking the old software better than the new
  • The user has special training for the old software, but is not familiar with the new
  • The user not taking the effort to upgrade.
  • The user not understanding the benefits of upgrading.
  • The user is "afraid" to upgrade because he fears wrecking the system.
  • The user seldomly using the computer thus running into a problem that he needs support for before actually realizing that the computer is not updated
  • The user has a specific interest in older operating systems (i.e. "museum" type usage)

The implications for security are often that you're on an operating system that is no longer vendor patched - thus leaving you open to hackers and/or malware.

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  • @A.fm. No problem! If you feel this answers your question, please mark the question as answered. – jksoegaard Jul 29 '17 at 20:48
  • Of course. Done! – A.fm. Jul 29 '17 at 20:49

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