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  • Writer's pictureSteven Burstyn

What is Moore's Law and How Does it Affect My Small Business?

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

Moore's Law is said to be the rule in the computer world that technology becomes outdated and even obsolete in 18 months. This is not really what Moore's Law is. Moore's Law is the principle that computers' speed and capability can be expected to double every two years due to increases in the number of transistors a microchip can contain.

This Law was named after Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and co-founder, and Intel's Chairman Emeritus. Mr. Moore posited back in 1965 that there would be a doubling every year of the number of components per integrated circuit, and that trend would hold for at least a decade. The prediction did hold until 1975 when Mr. Moore revised his forecast from doubling every year to every two years. Forty-five years later, Moore's Law still applies. However, semiconductor advancements have slowed since 2010 and some people are now saying we have come to the end of Moore's Law.

How does Moore's Law Affect You?

As an individual computer user, Moore's Law might not affect you directly since many computers have a longer life span of two years, mostly higher-end models. For large corporations and businesses that rely heavily on technology, semiconductor advancements can lead to technology and software requirements that need to be in line with the current updates and trends. Hence, businesses that lease computers often run their leases for two years. This two-year lease cycle allows companies to keep up with the latest technology and ensure they are always up-to-date.

For many small businesses, having a two-year refresh cycle on computers might be nice, but for most people, the technology and advancements are not so drastic that new computers are needed after two years. Getting new computers every two years might even put an unnecessary financial strain on a business.

Much like a car lease where you can get a new car every two or three years, one of the benefits of a lease is to get a new machine before wear and tear leads to diminished performance and breakdowns.

Doing a cost analysis of different desktops and laptops, you can expect to buy a new desktop every five years or a new laptop every four years. While this might not seem like very long, the reality is that you can expect to see the parts of your computer start to show signs of age and begin to cause issues by the four-year mark. Even if your computer continues to perform well, by four years, you are now through two cycles of Moore's Law. Advancements to even the most basic applications like operating systems and office suites will begin to outpace the capabilities of a four-year-old computer.

People will say that they are surprised how much slower a computer seems after a couple of years. Most people will attribute it to a computer not having been maintained or cleaned properly. The truth is that even if the computer is working to its peak efficiency, the software it is running now requires more processing power, memory, and other computer resources to run efficiently.

While Moore's Law might not directly impact your business, the technology world is continuously evolving, and new companies like Microsoft release major updates at least twice a year. If you wait too long to upgrade your computers, you will notice that it is taking longer to get your work done, and you also may notice that you see more hardware issues.

If your computer is more than 4 years old, it may be time to consider an upgrade to keep up with the technology. Avoid the issues related to having a computer break down or a hard drive die. Hardware failures can lead to possible data loss, not to mention the inevitable frustration of not being able to get work done while you wait for a new computer to be delivered because of an unforeseen emergency.

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