I’ve tracked the IT industry for many years and it does appear the hardware and software providers’ only goal is to get you to buy new kit.
Now while they have to make money, it does seem totally unnecessary for something as open as the PC architecture to limit upgradeability. For instance, when Intel or AMD develop a new generation of processor, you bet it won’t fit in existing processor sockets. The only way to benefit from the new procesor is to buy a brand new PC. That’s such a waste. There has been so much change in processor sockets that users are forced to upgrade. According to the PC Buyer Beware site:
The pace of change is now so rapid that it is becoming increasingly necessary to purchase a new motherboard, processor, and even RAM in order to upgrade to a faster processor.
I’ve also heard that AGP, the graphics card connector isn’t really backwards compatible. It’s a lost opportunity.
However, there’s been some progress. I recently bought a new digital camera and it connects perfectly to my PC thanks to USB 2.0. If only the industry could agree a universal standard for processor sockets and other essential PC upgrades. Maybe we could prolong the life of our hardware.