Over the years I have encountered plenty of customers who don't carry a translation dictionary for the terminology used in the world of computer software, and they shouldn't have to - that's why we have documentation, training, customer care and support.
One of the most common sources for confusion is the idea of a software upgrade versus an update. The simple definition is; an update contains a set of changes that enhance and/or fix an existing program, while an upgrade is a new program altogether.
Software updates are released to add features and resolve problems in software. Consider updates to be the "patches" that keep the fabric that makes up a software program together over time. For example, you have undoubtedly noticed a little icon in the corner of your screen that lets you know that there are updates waiting for you to download and install. You are "patching" your operating system with new features and solutions to known issues when you do these updates.
It is always a good idea to make sure that you are using the latest updated version (aka the very newest release of a program). As with most software programs today, our updates have been made easy and automatic. Palo Alto Software programs include an automatic update feature that checks for and downloads updates using your Internet connection. If you turn the auto-update feature off, you can check for updates through the Tools menu in the program itself.
New versions of existing programs are created to keep up with changing goals, standards and technology. We focus our development efforts on creating new and better planning products that meet the objectives of our customers. Although our customers' core objectives do not change much from year to year (present a quality plan that wins the funding from investors and/or gets the loan, manage your existing business to track actual performance against what was forecasted, develop a strategy for bringing a service or product to market effectively, etc.) the methods for achieving those goals are certainly not static.
For example, our latest version of Business Plan Pro focuses on a secure, hosted method for sharing your plan with team members and investors online - printed plans on paper are a dying breed. We have also developed a management dashboard for comparing what is actually happening to what was planned as time passes and your plan becomes a reality.
Our goal is simple: a better planning experience for thousands of Business Plan Pro and Marketing Plan Pro users. We are here to help individuals succeed in business. Sure, operating environments change rapidly; the technology landscape is constantly evolving, and our software is always compatible with the most current technology. But after all, we are the Planning People, and focusing inward on what is cool looking and slick would be an exercise in self gratification - in the end, it's all about the plan!
- Jake Weatherly