Take it or leave it: A survey study on operating system upgrade practices

Sadegh Farhang, Jake Weidman, Mohammad Mahdi Kamani, Jens Grossklags, Peng Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Software upgrades play a pivotal role in enhancing software performance, and are a critical component of resolving software bugs and patching security issues. However, consumers' eagerness to upgrade to the newest operating system is often tempered after release. In this paper, we focus on the upgrade perceptions and practices of users utilizing Microsoft Windows, with particular consideration given to the current upgrade cycle to Windows 10, which was, for a time, offered at no monetary cost to many users. To better understand the relevant factors for upgrade decisions, we deployed a structured survey, including several open-ended questions to add additional depth. We collected data from 239 Microsoft Windows users and utilized qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze user upgrade practices. Important themes include how to best notify users of upcoming upgrade opportunities, how users perceive privacy issues associated with OS upgrade decisions, and whether security constitutes a significant decision-making factor. We also explore how end-of-life dates, indicating the end of support by the vendor, are perceived by users.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACM International Conference Proceeding Series
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781450365697
StatePublished - 3 Dec 2018
Event34th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference, ACSAC 2018 - San Juan, United States
Duration: 3 Dec 20187 Dec 2018

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference34th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference, ACSAC 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Juan


  • Interdisciplinary Research
  • Operating System Upgrades
  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Survey Study


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