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Keeping Windows XP is Costing You Money

Keeping Windows XP is Costing You Money

It’s no secret to businesses using Microsoft’s venerable Windows XP that Microsoft will be terminating extended support for the operating system on April 8, 2014. Termination of extended support means that there will be no monthly patches for security problems, bugs, etc. In short, as of April 8, 2014, the Windows XP you’re running will be the Windows XP you’re running forever – unchanging and no longer protected.

An IDC study (commissioned by Microsoft) suggests that organizations can save money by moving from Windows XP to Windows 7. The study, “Mitigating Risk: Why Sticking with Windows XP is a Bad Idea,” is available for download on Microsoft’s website. The study discusses the benefits associated with a move from Windows XP to Windows 7 and presents a case for the many reasons why remaining with Windows XP is no longer a good business decision. The study takes into consideration both IT operational costs and selected end-user operational costs, such as time lost to malware, time taken to reimage/repair a PC, reboot waits, downtime, and time waiting for help desk support. The paper then aggregates the costs associated (ongoing support and maintenance, IT staff or professional services costs, etc.) and calculates the return-on-investment (ROI) associated with the deployment of Windows 7 to replace aging Windows XP PCs.

IDC estimates that the annual cost per PC per year for Windows XP is $870, while a comparable Windows 7 PC costs only $168 per PC per year. That is a potential savings of $701 per PC per year for IT and end-user labor costs. Most importantly, the study estimates that over a three-year period, organizations that move from Windows XP to Windows 7 will have a 137 percent ROI. It’s true that there will be capital expenditures (capex) and operational expenditures (opex) during the upgrade process, which IDC acknowledges as “Challenge: It takes money to save money” in the report (p. 11). However, IDC also acknowledges “Opportunity: Cost savings are forever” as well (p.11). The report optimistically states that “once an upgrade is completed, and the operational costs are lowered, those lower operational cost benefits continue to accrue into the future with no further direct capex investment.”

Windows XP is already two generations behind Microsoft’s current workstation operating system technology. With the release of Windows 8 later this year, Windows XP will be a decade old and three generations behind current technology. Many businesses are running the aging operating system on aging (or already well-aged) hardware that performs substantially below the level of current hardware or is prone to failure. It’s time to improve your business’ technology and user productivity through an investment in more modern technology. IDC sums up the report nicely by stating “Organizations that continue to retain a Windows XP environment not only are leaving themselves exposed to security risks and support challenges but also are wasting budget dollars that would be better used in modernizing their IT investments.”

Don’t waste another dime; upgrade your aging hardware to more-capable systems and your aging operating system to Windows 7 and protect your business. For assistance with this or any other IT-related problem, please contact us at (888) 600-4560, email us at or see us on Facebook or Twitter.



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