Common sense to anyone that been working on systems for over a few years. It's not common sense to 90% of most business executives.
What amazes me are the comments surrounding Windows &VB. Those applications are just "the peak of the iceberg" . While I have seen older client/server applications in dire need of modernization (VB, PowerBuilder, Smalltalk, C++, etc) the REAL problem exists on mainframe & midrange systems where 20+ year legacy (COBOL, Adabas/Natural, RPG, PL/I, Assembler etc.) applications are still running. This is the real problem...the systems running our governments (local, state, federal) and large corporations (banking, insurance, healthcare). The Y2K problem was a nit compared to this.
To complicate matters, most organizations have no idea how these applications are architected. The the people who even have an inkling are gone...most of them retired. Who's going to maintain/modernize/replace these systems?
Conclusion, this is very a conservative estimate on the problem and therefore newsworthy.