I've kept desktops and laptops running for about 10 years. It requires a lot of preventative maintenance and often replacing the OS with GNU/Linux, but it can be done with existing hardware. There's no technical reason hardware companies can't supply that level of durability for all computers sold.
@strypey totally agree with you. However, from "simple users" perspective, installation of an alternative OS is hard procedure, even if it is not.
Moreover, companies don't even try making installation of alternative OS easy at all, making Boot locks and things like that. That is very sad IMO
The original vendor doesn't have to support you doing it, but it should be illegal to prevent it with boot locks, vendor firmware that aren't working with open specs, etc.
Keep computing free and open.
@alexcleac right. That's why I'm saying the user ought to have a legally mandated right of replacement (with a newer device) if the vendor doesn't maintain the default OS well enough to keep the device usable.
@strypey The tech industry is built on shoddy hardware, buggy software, and user-blaming.
Perfect example: xbox 360. For years Microsoft sycophants excused their buggy software on MSFT not controlling the hardware. 2005 they released the 360 which was under their control and became the most unreliable tech ever commercially released. MSFT's corporate culture is so divorced from quality the issue wasn't resolved until a 2009 redesign.
@strypey God help us once these same incompetent programmers are having us trust our lives with their shoddy code in self-driving cars.
@SteveShelton this is exactly the issue. Computers are not just toys for the idling classes anymore, and haven't been since the 1990s. They are essential infrastructure that lives increasingly depend on. If the tech industry can't up its game through market competition (choosing to erode it instead via monopolistic tactics), then regulation is needed to make sure they do. The EU is on the right track (except with copyright enforcement where its doing another corporate oligopoly's work :/)
@strypey I had a Dell laptop where the harddrive was so hard to reach it was clearly designed to prevent the user from doing it. I found a YouTube channel of a guy with tons of repair/mod videos and he had one documenting the process on that laptop, and even he got "out of character" and started complaining about th needless complexity.