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What a Vista Upgrade Will Really Cost You 482

Posted by kdawson
from the big-bucks dept.
narramissic writes, "James Gaskin wrote an interesting article this week about what he recons it will really cost organizations to upgrade to Vista. Gaskin estimates that each Vista user will 'cost your company between $3,250 and $5,000. That's each and every Vista user. Money will go to Microsoft for Vista and Office 2007, to hardware vendors for new PCs and components, and possibly a few bucks to Apple for those users jumping to a Mac.'" Any sense of how realistic those figures are?
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What a Vista Upgrade Will Really Cost You

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  • FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by networkBoy (774728) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:34AM (#16321073) Homepage Journal
    Most of the hardware costs would be there anyway as part of a normal IT refresh cycle. So I call BS.
    -nB
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888)
      The hardware itself will be about 1/2 the cost when you factor in both Vista and Office. Not to mention that many typical desktop users are still fine with machines purchased 3-4 (or more) years ago.
      • Re:FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AviLazar (741826) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @11:18AM (#16321855) Journal
        How will the hardware cost be 1/2 the cost when you factor in vista/office. At 3-5k...50% of that is 1.5-2.5k. Vista/office for business is not going to cost that much.
        While many desktop users "are still fine with machines purchased 3-4 (or more) years ago" that does not make it a good thing to do. I know desktop users who are fine with win95/98....do you recommend they stay on those platforms? I sure don't. While users who are using winXP are going to be fine for the next few years, they will eventually need to upgrade. Nobody is saying run to the store the moment vista hits the shelves (well except MS and people who will reap some benefits from those sales) - most people will say wait until SP-1 (/. people will say wait until SP-3552352).

        The cost to upgrade will be there, but for organizations who have been using XP for a number of years, they have gotten their use out of it. They can stay on XP, but it will not cost 1.5 to 2.5k to upgrade.
    • Re:FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TrippTDF (513419) <hiland@gIIImail.com minus threevowels> on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:37AM (#16321133)
      yeah, but do you NEED to do this refresh is the question. Everything I've seen of Vista looks like XP without the usability/stability (I know, still beta). These cotsts would be part of a cycle, but why do the cycle inthe first place?
      • by Otter (3800)
        That's his point -- the "upgrade" would be done as new computers need to be brought in. The article assumes that when Microsoft releases a new OS, you instantly throw all your computers out the window and buy new everything.
        • by pete6677 (681676)
          Based on what I've been hearing about Vista, when I get my next computer I'm going to remove it and install XP. I haven't seen one even slightly good reason why I should use Vista. And I bet that new computer will be lightning fast on XP since it will have been designed for bloated Vista. I think this is the route most corporations will take, and the only "sales" of Vista will be with new machines. This revenue would have otherwise been generated by XP, making Vista a huge loss for Microsoft.
      • Re:FUD (Score:5, Informative)

        by networkBoy (774728) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:50AM (#16321381) Homepage Journal
        Of my company (~80K employees) about 2/3 have IBM/Lenovo notebooks. The other 1/3 are dell notebooks or desktops. A rolling three year window is used to determine upgrades, and yes it's required. When the dot bomb happened and we pushed to a 4 year cycle support costs in that last year were dramatically higher than the other years. The knee in the curve appeared to happen at 3 years 3 months (quaterly mapping).

        If your department/company is on desktops then the upgrade costs for a rollout will be minimal anyway as a vista PC will likely only be a couple hundred more than a bottom end XP box from dell, and I'm sure the entire optiplex line will be Vista compatible.
        -nB
        • by peragrin (659227)
          Of course if you can properly lock down your software, the hardware should last a lot longer than 3 years. Mac users get an average of 5 years out of a machine, and the windows machines I am using right now were bought in 1997.

          he reality is the latest and greatest is rarely all it's cracked up to be.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by networkBoy (774728)
            "Of course if you can properly lock down your software"

            I guess you missed the part about the volume of PCs that are notebooks?
            Physical abuse takes it's toll far more than software issues. All one needs do is refresh with the latest and greatest image for that notebook build and you've fixed any software issues. The hardware takes a pounding, that pounding increases the rate of parts wear out on the notebooks, that's life.

            Really, not to flame, but I don't get your point.
            -nB
        • "a vista PC will likely only be a couple hundred more than a bottom end XP box from dell" You sound pretty knowledgeable, but I'd like to see numbers on this. IIRC, 512MB PCs (minimum for Vista) aren't generally available for less than $900 or so, while the cheaper XP generics can still be had around $450. And isn't "a couple hundred" a kinda big deal when it nearly doubles the purchase price?
        • by teeker (623861) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @12:05PM (#16322711)
          If your department/company is on desktops then the upgrade costs for a rollout will be minimal anyway as a vista PC will likely only be a couple hundred more than a bottom end XP box from dell, and I'm sure the entire optiplex line will be Vista compatible.

          Not to pick on you in particular, but there is a pretty big misconception out there that Vista requires everybody to upgrade hardware. I was at a TechNet event (mandatory for work) last week regarding Vista deployment and the MS rep stood in front of 1000+ people and told us that officially, Vista absolutely WILL run on *any* box that comes with a Microsoft "Designed for XP" sticker on it, which most people are already using in a corporate environment (and if you're not, then you're clearly not the early-adopter type anyhow). Part of the install checks your hardware capabilities and turns off eye-candy and such to (hopefully) make a reasonable-performing system.

          There is reason to be skeptical that it will perform just as good as XP, on exactly the same hardware, but he said that this was one of Microsoft's priorities.

          Anyhow, my point is that most people won't *need* to upgrade just to run Vista. XP Ready == Vista Ready (although not necessarily "Vista Optimal").
        • When the dot bomb happened and we pushed to a 4 year cycle support costs in that last year were dramatically higher than the other years. The knee in the curve appeared to happen at 3 years 3 months (quaterly mapping).

          Doesn't anyone know the WHOLE reason why the TCO of computer infrastructure rises after three years? Don't ANY accountants read /.?

          The TCO of computer hardware includes "depreciation expense". The government allows a certain percentage of your fixed assets to be written off for tax purposes.
    • Re:FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

      by goldspider (445116) <ardrake79@@@gmail...com> on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:40AM (#16321185) Homepage
      I think an interesting analysis would be a comparison between the cost of upgrading to Vista and switching the entire office to Linux.

      What would be the cost of:

      - replacing/training desktop support?
      - training the rest of the workforce?
      - lost productivity due to the above?
      • Re:FUD (Score:4, Funny)

        by jZnat (793348) * on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:49AM (#16321367) Homepage Journal
        Now that's Microsoft-funded FUD, so I'd rather not see that report.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
        I'm sure some people somewhere will be running pilots with both Vista and some Linux distro. I hope they'll post their findings; they will be interesting at least.
    • by blueZ3 (744446)
      It depends on how "usable" Vista is with the typical bottom-of-the-line PC hardware. If even the non-Aero versions require a significantly beefier box, that's going to make a difference in how much new hardware costs. Is a Vista roll out going to mean that the receptionist needs something more than that $300 box she has now? Will the guy in the shipping department need 2GB of RAM to run his spreadsheets in Vista Office?

      I don't have those answers (I'm one of those "switchers-to-Mac") as I haven't seen Vista.
    • I didn't need to upgrade my monitor with XP or 2000. If fact no hardware changes were really required at all with the exception being additional RAM. VISTA actually requires you to upgrade several hardware components to the point that you would have to just buy a whole new computer.
      • Umm thats only if you want to play HD DRMd movies that you will need a new monitor. Vista doesn't REQUIRE a new monitor otherwise. Most corporate computers will not need this. THOUGH systems bought from DELL or otherwise might not be able to be sold as VISTA ready without it..
        • by Foofoobar (318279)
          The monitor DRM also will not play 'PLAYS FOR SURE' files and WMV files without said monitor. This is from statements released by Microsoft on several occasions. Also, they have stated that alot of software will have issues and have encouraged software development companies to release new versions for VISTA. So not only will you need more RAM, a better video card and new monitor, you will also require all new software. The average user will be forced to buy a new computer, companies can opt out but in the
    • Most of the hardware costs would be there anyway as part of a normal IT refresh cycle.

      I somehow doubt they'd upgrade Jenny in HR to a Vista ready machine when she can do her job with a 512MB Celeron, do you?
      • Sure they will.
        When something in her machine blows up the IT department will grab a machine from spares, throw the latest image on it and give it to Jenny in HR. At that point she will be running on Vista.
        IT depatments (at least the one here) don't spend money for the hell of it, but they are not going to try and save $500 in hardware costs only to increase support costs by several times that. The fewer builds you have the better, that's the way you deal with 100K unit PC deployments. Sure you have a ton
    • Yup.® FUD (Score:5, Informative)

      by pointbeing (701902) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:54AM (#16321459)
      Aero is not required on corporate PCs so scratch the video upgrade. We deployed Windows XP with the dummied-down Windows 2000 interface and expect to do the same with Vista. We do allow users to change to the Fisher-Price UI if they like, though.

      Corporate customers don't pay between $750 and $1k for Office - our enterprise licensing for Microsoft products (which includes the OS, Office Professional and Server and Exchange CALs) runs about $200 per PC per year.
      • Re:Yup.® FUD (Score:2, Interesting)

        by tmasssey (546878)

        So you pay, at a minimum, $600 for that copy of Office. The only way that SA would cost you less is if you upgrade Office every 2 years or less. And exactly how much money would you spend to stay on *that* upgrade treadmill? Why would you even *want* to do that, even if the software were "free"?

    • by Lumpy (12016)
      REally?? so you would normally buy high end laptops with high end 3d graphics? Becausethat is what Vista calls for as "reccomended"

      last time I was in corperate IT we certianly did not buy the high end stuff for sales. marketing and management. we bought lower-middle to give performance where needed and certianly opted out of the 3d graphics capabilities.

      Have you even tried running vista? I have. and it sucks without a good 3d card. kind of like how XP sucked on the p-III hardware that was normal when
  • Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MMC Monster (602931) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:36AM (#16321101)
    Does Windows Vista no longer support Office 2000? Why not update all your networking cable to fiber, while you are at it?

    Why the heck do you need to upgrade everything at once?
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 91degrees (207121) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:39AM (#16321163) Journal
      But if you'ree using Office 2000, you don't need Vista. The OS on its own is useless for a business. In fact, so is the PC. People are spending that much just to run office.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:40AM (#16321179)
      Honestly, I do have to give Microsoft a bit of marketing credit for using years in their product names. When machines were refreshed around my office last year, a coworker of mine started hemming and hawing about how he needed an update to Office 2000, because it was 5 years old. The thing is, he has absolutely no problem using the other programs that he does that are 5 years old and 2 versions out of date. He doesn't think of it in terms of "I'm using version 5 when version 7 is out there." But he does notice that he's using Office 2000 in the year 2006...
    • If you have a large organization and you're interested in upgrading Office, it'll be cheaper to upgrade it while you upgrade the OS. There's a lot of administrative overhead to a software rollout, so by sharing the overhead with an OS rollout you're saving money.

      It's common practice to upgrade to every other major Office release. Organizations still running 2000 are considering the upgrade to the latest.
      • by thsths (31372)
        > It's common practice to upgrade to every other major Office release. Organizations still running 2000 are considering the upgrade to the latest.

        True. And you can tell clever from not so clever companies by which versions they use. 6 was ok, 95 (7.0) was a lemon, and 97 (8.0) was the best ever, in my experience. 2000 (9.0) got mixed reviews, as got any version since. I have 2003 (11.0), and it is pretty slow even on a recent machine. 2007 (12.0) actually looks pretty good again, although very different
    • by nizo (81281) *
      As long as you don't buy any new PCs with the newest Microsoft Office installed, you are fine. But as soon as the new guy starts saving all his files in the newest format (which of course will break older versions, which everyone else is using) you suddenly have a problem. Of course buying a Microsoft Office 2000 license for a brand spank-me-new computer might be kinda hard....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:38AM (#16321149)
    $2000: New Hardware
    $ 900: Vista License
    $2100: Solid Gold Mouse
  • Article Text (Score:4, Informative)

    by gravyface (592485) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:39AM (#16321153)
    Strange times indeed when the stock market analysts hope a new Microsoft operating system will counteract the declining housing market, but that's the hope of some for next fall. If your company plans to play the Vista game, start cooking your books now.

    I estimate each Vista user will cost your company between $3,250 and $5,000. That's each and every Vista user. Money will go to Microsoft for Vista and Office 2007, to hardware vendors for new PCs and components, and possibly a few bucks to Apple for those users jumping to a Mac. After all, if Apple's higher cost has been the factor keeping your company from trying a Mac, that factor just washed away.

    Why $3,250-$5,000? Here's my calculation. Feel free to tell me what your company has budgeted, and whether you believe your own numbers.

    New PCs will cost $1,500-$2,000. Darn few existing corporate PCs will have the video horsepower needed to run Aero, Vista's primary upgrade inducement. You need 256MB of video RAM to run Aero properly, no matter what Microsoft's marketing says. I don't know of any motherboard-based video chip sets that include 256MB of RAM. Upgrade? While in the PC, add memory: Vista needs a minimum of 1GB of RAM. The hardware cost of the RAM may be less than your labor costs getting that installed in every PC. If your exiting PCs can take full advantage of Vista, I'm happy for you. I don't believe you, but I hope your upgrade goes well.

    Depending on your volume purchasing agreements, new copies of Vista and Office will total between $750 and $1,000. After all, your company always buys the "professional" packages, right? And they have to be installed, right? If you're getting a much cheaper quote on both packages installed and tested, let me know.

    The real value of Vista and Office 2007 includes new collaboration services. This means new back end servers. Most estimates place the back end support cost at $2,000 per user, but I used a range of $1,000-$2,000 for my calculations. Why get Office 2007 if not new SharePoint and Exchange servers? Can you run both on one box? Didn't think so.

    Document your objections now, because next year the vice presidents will blame IT for their busted budget. But the housing market appreciates you taking up the slack. James E. Gaskin writes books (16 so far), articles and jokes about technology and real life from his home office in the Dallas area. Gaskin has been helping small and medium sized businesses use technology intelligently since 1986. Write him at mailto: james.gaskin@itworld .com.
    • by Klaidas (981300)
      I'm afraid you didn't add any "For the lazy" or "The server seems to be going down", so I don't think you will get a 5, Informative. Nice try though...
    • by sterno (16320)
      Strange times indeed. I mean wouldn't this ultimately be an expense to the bottom line of most companies? Here's the thing. Sure they go out and buy a new copy of Vista which benefits nobody other than Microsoft. Then they go out and buy new computers, which is also a cost to them. Finally they have to do training and support to make sure everybody moves to the new computers/os smoothly.

      Now, how much of a productivity boost do you think people will get from the new version of Windows. The majority of
  • New Hardware? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mackyrae (999347) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:39AM (#16321161) Homepage
    I doubt all the computers have been there as long as XP has. There's got to be quite a few that are only a year or two old. Those ones should be able to handle Vista. Ones that are even 3 years old should be okay as long as Aero/Glass is turned off. And hey, it's cheaper to just upgrade the RAM in the computers they have (which is probably the main thing that'd need to be upgraded) than to go buy a bunch of brand-spankin'-new computers.
    • New anything? From a business perspective, Vista doesn't add anything we care about. We don't use the existing collaboration features in Office. We don't use Sharepoint. Frankly, I don't actually know anyone that does. It's not worth the hassle and overhead. Really the only thing we want to upgrade is the PCs in the dev group to dual core.
    • by Ravenscall (12240)
      Here is the problem.

      I have a system less than a year old at home that kicks the crap out of my work PC and Vista STILL runs like a dog on it, I fail to see how my work PC that just barely chugs along on XP will EVER run vista, aero turned off or not.

      As far as turning off aero, have you ever dealt with a user who's "screen saver" did not look as spiffy as the next guys? On the helpdesk I work at, I estimate a full 5% of the calls are users caling in for such 'vanity' purposes. One guy gets vista, they will
  • Moo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chacham (981) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:40AM (#16321183) Homepage Journal
    Any sense of how realistic those figures are?

    Sounds to me as realistic as the numbers in this story [slashdot.org].

    OK, some details.

    New PCs will cost $1,500-$2,000.
    Um, no, they won't. A new computer *without* corporate discounts is 25%-30% of that.

    Darn few existing corporate PCs will have the video horsepower needed to run Aero
    Methinks this person knows not what he speaks of. My "corporate" computer is more powerful than my (admittedly older) gaming PC.

    Vista's primary upgrade inducement.
    Is this guy serious? The "primary" upgrade inducment is looks? I bet he doesn't have a girlfriend...

    Vista, for better or worse, has quite a bit more to offer than just "looks".

    You need 256MB of video RAM to run Aero properly, no matter what Microsoft's marketing says.
    So, i should believe this guy more than MS. Granted MS has a stake in saying it needs less, but this guy seems to have it in for MS just the same.

    I don't know of any motherboard-based video chip sets that include 256MB of RAM.
    Even if that was true, why does that affect corporate PCs, which are usually higher quality.

    Upgrade? While in the PC, add memory: Vista needs a minimum of 1GB of RAM. The hardware cost of the RAM may be less than your labor costs getting that installed in every PC.
    Actually, if we're talking corporate, upgrades are rarely done for a variety of reasons.

    If your exiting PCs can take full advantage of Vista,
    I assumed this meant "existing". Exiting is a different word, having nearly the opposite meaning.

    I'm happy for you. I don't believe you, but I hope your upgrade goes well.
    And sarcasm? *This* is an article?

    The rest of the "article" is worse FUD than MS puts out.
  • by davidwr (791652) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:40AM (#16321191) Homepage Journal
    The cost needs to be broken down into:

    1) Hardware upgrades that would have happened anyways. Apply the "Microsoft Tax" and cost of supporting Vista -or- the manpower cost to install XP to the vista-upgrade cost, leave the rest segregated.
    2) Application Software upgradest that would have happened anyways, or that would have happened but for the fact the new software requires Vista
    3) The cost of upgrading vista, including supporting Vista, training end-users, license fees, Microsoft Tax on new computers if tax is above license fee for the version of XP you were using, and for companies NOT upgrading, the manpower involved to "downgrade" from Vista to XP.

    Yes, that's right, "upgrading" to Microsoft will cost you manpower for every new MS-license-equipped PC even if you stick with XP. Happy Happy Joy Joy.
  • by hal2814 (725639) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:40AM (#16321197)
    What organization upgrades Office and Windows at the same time? Are the older versions of Office not going to run on Vista or am I missing something? Last I was in charge of tech support, even though our University contract got us the latest software cheap (from a departmental perspective), we were always very leery about deploying one piece of new software. Deploying two new pieces of software at or near the same time sounds like you're asking for trouble. I could see that firgure being accurate in such a case because of the sheer amount of tech support you're wishing upon yourselves.
  • by ProppaT (557551) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:41AM (#16321207) Homepage
    Sign me up for that company! As resident IT guy here, I usually buy boxes for $400 and spend an extra $50-100, depending on current market value, to upgrade the RAM. Depending on the user, another $50 to give them a Geforce 6200 w/ dual monitor outputs. And these systems are nothing to sneeze at. As long as you ensure the hard drive in the computer is up to snuff and it has enough RAM, most people can't tell the difference between processors.

    Even if I wasn't a budget oriented IT guy, I sure couldn't justify spending $1500-2000 on a system. For that everyone better be getting hotrod laptops w/ 17" widescreen displays.
    • that's $450 for the box.
      then add on the time it takes you.
      Then add on the cost of retraining the staff
      then add on the cost of lost productivity due to the switch.

      Bingo $1500-2000
  • by AK76 (966804) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:41AM (#16321221)
    Why on earth would companies upgrade all of their systems to Vista if it requires them to upgrade the hardware? Vista in itself has no real advantage over XP for corporate use, so the only machines running Vista in the workplace will be the ones that came with it pre-installed.
  • Not Really.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by DelawareBoy (757170) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:42AM (#16321225)
    You don't necessarily need new Hardware, unless you want to take Full Adantage of Vista. If you don't want to use Superfetch / ReadyBoost, you don't need 2.0 USB. If you don't want Media Center capabilities, don't buy a TV Capture card. If you don't want Aero, don't buy a Video Card. Vista works in my Virtual image, and it sure as hell doesn't have a 256 Mb Video Card emulation in it.
    Come on, people. Sheesh.. If it works in my VM Ware image, it will work with old hardware..
  • If the employees are only doing basic things like writing Office Documents, then the chances are they'll have a stock Dell desktop computer. In the UK they can sell for under £400 (it might even be £300). These machines have integrated audio and video and probably use either Pentium III or Celeron processors with 512MB RAM.
    If a company wanted to upgrade all its machines to Vista they'd first need to buy computers that support the minimum requirements, unless Vista support machines with integrate
  • by EtherAlchemist (789180) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:43AM (#16321253)


    I switched to Mac in March, and after a few Windows-only tool withdrawls, I must say I am doing fine and will never switch back. I'm tired of the weak security and exploits. Using Windows started to feel like walking down a dark alley in a bad neighborhood at night. When you feel like you have to continually watch your OS to make sure it's doing the right thing, in my op it's time to get a new OS. So I did.

    That's not to say Mac is perfect and I'm sure the time will come when security will become a more focused concern for Mac users, but I have faith (oddly) that Apple will see this coming, remember what mistakes MS made (and will no doubt continue to make), and adjust accordingly.

    And if I'm wrong, there's always Linux ;)
  • by ArbitraryConstant (763964) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:44AM (#16321265) Homepage
    Remember how long it took to get rid of NT4/98? Lots of people are still using 2k, and XP has been out longer than other desktop releases. XP is going to be around for a long time.

    If the move to Vista is stretched out over a number of years, much of the cost will be absorbed by normal new hardware spending, and I don't see XP becomming rare until the next decade.
    • by Tom (822)
      Remember how long it took to get rid of NT4/98?

      Excuse me? We still have people in this very company using NT4.

      And you know what? They realized long ago that there is absolutely no additional value in 2k or XP over NT4 for the average office worker.
      • We still have people in this very company using NT4.

        One of my home systems runs NT4 - PII 450, 384M RAM, all SCSI. Been running 24/7 since December 1998. Not one problem - ever.

  • The reason Microsoft has such a monopoly in the OS market anyway is that they give such volume discounts to hardware manufacturers if they preinstall OS's on new hardware. So, if you're going to include new machines in with this upgrade, then vista will only add about $30 per machine. OOOOOO. Big whoop. Volume discount office is also nowhere near the retail price - but who the heck upgrades all of the software in their department at once?

    These numbers are correct, if their IT people are incompetent.
    • These numbers are correct, if their IT people are incompetent.
      I just pictured an IT person working for a fortune 500 company going to Best Buy or something and buying 100,000 copies of Vista Pro (or what ever the high end version is called)....

      Sorry this early in the morning it struke me as funny.
  • by enkafan (604078) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:46AM (#16321303)
    The main problem is that the author assumes that to upgrade to Vista means you have to use Aero. Microsoft has made it very, very clear that Vista is supposed to scale up as new hardware is released, but it will still run fine on most PC purchased recently. I'm running it fine on a PC and a laptop that are both 2+ years old here in office. Plus, if a company is going to be running 3+ year old PCs, well, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that they aren't the type of company that upgrades operating systems on their desktops all that frequently either.
  • Hooked on drugs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MECC (8478) * on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:47AM (#16321317)
    FTA:"Why get Office 2007 if not new SharePoint and Exchange servers? Can you run both on one box? Didn't think so."

    MS and the MS-kateers really pushed Sharepoint at work like it was the greatest thing since the wheel. It did nothing for me, and I really didn't see the point (a few small end-user hand-holding convieniences and the usual glazed-over security problems, but that really seemed to be the extent of it), but it was *FREE* . Just like that first hit of crack, sans the high, but complete with the addiction and heavy hidden future costs. The curious thing is the MSkateers, when asked about security, just say "Its secure", after they give you the usual nasty attitude.

    *sigh*

    I'm almost to the point of keel-hauling vendor reps on a parking lot who give you free stuff to get you hooked. Dell gave us a blade server with one blade, in the hopes of us filling the rest of the slots. We won't put anything on that box, because of Dell's disasterous server track record (100% rate of failiure of some component withing the first three months, 0% for everybody else). Its hard to tell a CFO you have to say 'no' to this new free thing that looks to have some kind of value, and then get money for important projects in the future.

  • This is FUD (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kahei (466208) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:48AM (#16321349) Homepage
    New PCs will cost $1,500-$2,000. Darn few existing corporate PCs will have the video horsepower needed to run Aero, Vista's primary upgrade inducement. You need 256MB of video RAM to run Aero properly, no matter what Microsoft's marketing says. I don't know of any motherboard-based video chip sets that include 256MB of RAM. Upgrade? While in the PC, add memory: Vista needs a minimum of 1GB of RAM. The hardware cost of the RAM may be less than your labor costs getting that installed in every PC. If your exiting PCs can take full advantage of Vista, I'm happy for you. I don't believe you, but I hope your upgrade goes well.

    Now, Vista is a trainwreck, but unless there is some gigantic inexplicable performance disaster between current versions and the released build, the above is very much in the 'obvious fabricated attention-grabbing FUD' area of truthiness. Given that Vista works fine without with 128Mb video RAM and 512Mb system RAM, the argument above boils down to 'Hi guys, I need hits on my articles so I'm going to make preposterous claims and get linked to!'

    If I were spreading Vista FUD, I'd focus on the much more difficult question of 'what will it actually do for you? Specifically, what does it do that Win2k doesn't?' Sadly, the main answer is 'Well, Microsoft will make sure that new stuff doesn't run on Win2k'.

    • Any company that spends that much on PC is just stupid. Our current kit is a ~3GZ P4 with 1GB of ram. 1.5GB. It costs about $750 per with a 19 LCD in bulk, i.e. per 1000.

      They are on a 3 year lease, we get a new kit every 3 years. Will it run Vista? The desktop guys say yes, but it is not pretty.

      But then, this is a business, it doesn't have to run pretty.

  • Most organisations are going to wait until the hardware replacement cycle dictates new PCs before putting Vista in place, at which point it will be "free" (in the sense of costs being hidden in another budget). Also, people who are going to deploy e.g. collaboration servers are going to do so anyway, regardless of Vista, so no extra costs there.

    The big, big cost will be user education and support - which TFA didn't mention. Even 2000 to XP confused people enough to have a significant extra support cost.

    Th
  • Totally unrealistic (Score:3, Informative)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:50AM (#16321393)
    New PCs will cost $1,500-$2,000.

    He assumes none of us have Vista ready PC-s (512 RAM or more, DirectX9 card optional).

    Even if we ignore this very important flaw, a Vista basic ready machine from dell is sub $600. Including a laptop. I bought one myself a month ago, and it has 512 RAM and is Vista ready. Very decent machine for the money.

    Add maximum $100-$150 for a DirectX9 card (Aero Glass), and you have a full blown Vista desktop for sub $750.

    Depending on your volume purchasing agreements, new copies of Vista and Office will total between $750 and $1,000.

    Existing Office versions work just fine in Vista. Many people use Office 97 in XP.

    Also "depending on your volume purchases" is quite a stretch. Notice the prices of Office and Vista (the corporate editions) and you're looking into more like sub $500 for both, if you're that keen on the new Office, that is.

    Office Pro 2007 upgrade is $320-ish. And most people don't need Pro, they need the basic Word/Excel/PowerPoint pack. Upgrade: $239.

    Vista Business upgrade is somewhere in those figures too, so sub $500 for all goodies, and sub $250 for Vista.

    The real value of Vista and Office 2007 includes new collaboration services. This means new back end servers. Most estimates place the back end support cost at $2,000 per user, but I used a range of $1,000-$2,000 for my calculations. Why get Office 2007 if not new SharePoint and Exchange servers?

    Again he presumes we need Office 2007, while his heading says "Vista" upgrade: misleading. If the back end is good for your business, good enough to outweight the cost, the cost doesn't matter.

    If it doesn't, then you don't buy it, simple as that.

    ----------
    Totals:

    Vista upgrade only - ~$250
    Vista + Office upgrade - ~$500
    Vista + Office + PC upgrade if outdated hardware (avg) - ~$750 (pessimistic: $1000)
    • by Tom (822)
      He assumes none of us have Vista ready PC-s (512 RAM or more, DirectX9 card optional).

      You confuse "Vista ready" (aka: Minimum specs) with "useable". We all know what Win95, XP, etc. are supposed to run on, and I've seen machines considerably beyond those specs that are slower than my old C64 on GEOS used to be.

      Don't forget that for corporate use, minimum specs won't cut it. There's additional software that needs to run, networks to be accessed, and besides, the minimum requirements to run Office at an accep
  • These figures are probably in the ball park. Lets not forget the down time each user will incur to learn new things and setup things they had "just right" before. I have known developers that will spend hours trying to find the right mouse acceleration setting!
    • I don't know about your company, but mine will upgrade to Vista the same way they upgraded to XP - when it comes preinstalled on the new PCs they buy. They also won't be upgrading Office, assuming 2000 will still run. There's also no need for new hardware to run Vista if you have a relatively recent machine; you don't need to run Aero, so you don't need a high-end graphics card.

      Cost to my company of upgrading will effectively be zero, as it'll come free preinstalled on PCs that we'd have been buying anyway.
  • by Klaidas (981300)
    Now we just have to wait for zealots to start posting about how bad vista is, how good linux distros are, etc...
    Now, let's go back to our prices..
    1. They don't have to upgrade ALL software AT ONCE.
    2. They don't have to buy ALL new hardware - maybe some pcs will need 512, other - 256 mbs of RAM to be added, etc, etc...
    3. Did they count how much a computer costs to buy and then raise?

    So, let's not count everything from zero and buy/build new pcs for vista from scratch - those number will NOT be that big

  • by rlp (11898) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:55AM (#16321469)
    Yeah, but look at the benefits you get - a spiffy new CPU hogging GUI and tons of great new DRM!
  • by Danathar (267989) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:55AM (#16321471) Journal
    For all that Microsoft does to make our life harder, they create more jobs for everybody supporting windows. In a strange way, windoze sucking as bad over the years has spawned whole industries that would not be around probably if we had a rock solid OS.
  • by RingDev (879105) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:57AM (#16321503) Homepage Journal
    The guy is working the numbers in ways that no competent IT Manager would ever attempt.

    Why $3,250-$5,000? Here's my calculation.

    And here is why he is wrong:

    New PCs will cost $1,500-$2,000.

    • A solid IT Manager will have a PC replacement plan. The organization will be buying new PCs anyways, this cost is not specifically for Vista
    • A New Dell workstation (high end, but not top end) with Windows XP and Office XP can be had for about $1000 at volume. Just PC with Windows XP for around $700.


    Darn few existing corporate PCs will have the video horsepower needed to run Aero, Vista's primary upgrade inducement.

    • Actually Aero can be turned off and you can run Vista on any machine that will run XP. And 'graphical coolness' is hardly the primary reason to upgrade.


    Depending on your volume purchasing agreements, new copies of Vista and Office will total between $750 and $1,000. After all, your company always buys the "professional" packages, right? And they have to be installed, right? If you're getting a much cheaper quote on both packages installed and tested, let me know.

    • As previously stated, both come pre-installed on new purchased machines. If you want to upgrade all of your users to the latest version of office standard you are looking at about $350/license at volume.


    The real value of Vista and Office 2007 includes new collaboration services. This means new back end servers. Most estimates place the back end support cost at $2,000 per user, but I used a range of $1,000-$2,000 for my calculations. Why get Office 2007 if not new SharePoint and Exchange servers? Can you run both on one box? Didn't think so.

    • This statement completely ignores economies of scale. If you have 3 employees, sure, it might cost you $3k+/user for back end software, hardware, and support. But if you have 500 employees, it'll cost you more like $5/user.


    The items the guy completely missed is training costs, deployment costs, and business process changes. Those will wind up costing the organization just as much, if not more than the licensing costs. The cost IS higher than licensing alone, but not to the extent that this guy claims, nor for the reasons he expects.

    -Rick
  • Here's what I see happening:

    Small businesses will delay their upgrades until they absolutely have to get off XP/2000 server/2003 server. The small businesses that I've done contract work all own their machines, they don't lease. They upgrade as much as possible until it no longer makes sense. Many are still using P2's and P3's loaded with as much RAM as possible to be able to run XP smoothly. Because their current environment simply works, there's no rush to upgrade.

    Medium sized businesses may test the wate
  • by csoto (220540) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @11:05AM (#16321637)
    from 2000. Then again, it was totally worth it. We basically did the same as we did moving people to Mac OS X - hunt down groups of users and spend a lot of time migrating. But the increase in stability and capability it added really made up for a lot of this.

    Now, this isn't to say I agree with the figures. I haven't seen them, yet. With 2000->XP and OS9->OSX, there typically weren't hardware upgrades required. It was mostly technician time. But there was a cost, and it's not inconsequential.
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @12:52PM (#16323651) Homepage

    ...moving your key production applications to web-based alternatives, standardizing on FireFox and Thunderbird for web browsing and email, and getting people comfortable with OpenOffice by handing out disks for everyone in the company to take home and play with then today you could laugh at Vista upgrade costs because you could use any client OS you wanted.

    Some companies have actually been doing that and now it's paying off.

    I believe his calculations are going to prove pretty close to on target. If they're over it won't be by much. I use the following rule of thumb guide for hardware/software upgrades/refresh:

    1. If the estimate comes from MSFT, double it.
    2. If the estimate comes from one of the Big 5, raise it by 45-50%
    3. If the estimate comes from a MSFT Solution Provider, add 40%
    4. If you're doing a MSFT upgrade yourself with all internal labor, add 35%.
  • by metoc (224422) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @01:36PM (#16324433)
    Here is the reality.

    All PCs eventually get lifecycled, and all new PC's come with a copy of Windows (Vista starting next year) whether you like it or not. Worst case you have to upgrade from Home to Professional versions at purchase time. If you want to use your existing PC, then just pay the upgrade fee. Unless your hardware is old, it will probably run Vista with a minor memory upgrade. If your hardware is old, buy a new Vista ready PC.

    Vista needs more powerful hardware. So? Once upon a time a new PC had a 286 processor and less than a 1MB of memory. By christmas most PC's will be Vista ready. If you really want the full Aero experience, upgrade the video card when you buy the PC.

    Office 2007. If you already have a version of office... upgrade! Why would you buy new? If you don't have Office now, then you don't need Office 2007.

    Finally. Why do you need Vista & Office 2007? For most of us XP & Office (XP or 2003) is good enough for now. Do you need Vista & Office 2007 or want Vista & Office 2007? If you are an early adopter, then its the price you pay.

    Short of it. If you have never owned a PC, the cost of buying a Vista ready PC with Office 2007 is probably going to be steep. As you have no legacy requirements (how could you if you have never owned a PC?) then think Linux or Mac. Otherwise you are buying into the perpetual M$ upgrade program with both eyes open, so don't complain. If you do own a Windows PC with Office, then you are already in the loop, so upgrading is the cost of doing business.

Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?

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