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What a Vista Upgrade Will Really Cost You

kdawson posted about 8 years ago | from the big-bucks dept.

482

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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FUD (4, Insightful)

networkBoy (774728) | about 8 years ago | (#16321073)

Most of the hardware costs would be there anyway as part of a normal IT refresh cycle. So I call BS.
-nB

Re:FUD (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 8 years ago | (#16321115)

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 (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | about 8 years ago | (#16321597)

Not really true; the hardware will come with a Vista license when you buy it.

depends on the company (1, Troll)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | about 8 years ago | (#16321125)

There is no need for something more than 1 GHz for standard office and even programming use.

Re:depends on the company (4, Funny)

TykeClone (668449) | about 8 years ago | (#16321181)

Or more than 640K of memory - that should be enough for anyone :)

heh (5, Insightful)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | about 8 years ago | (#16321269)

good point, but I'd say that current word processing, email, web browsing and spreadsheeting technologies are at a point where tossing more hardware at them makes no discernable difference after about a gig of ram and a one gigaherz processor. Number crunching, Image and movie manipulation is an other matter. Most offices don't do those things.

Re:heh (3, Interesting)

TykeClone (668449) | about 8 years ago | (#16321417)

I've got two or three applications that are the drivers for hardware upgrades. Unsurprisingly, one application is a tax package - the issue is code bloat, but I'm not sure if it's in the software or in the tax code :)

Because we need to keep a number of machines fairly current, I can spread around the older machines to places where they are useful two or three times until they are either no longer useful or have been supplanted by something better.

For the record, I've still got some PII-233 machines out and about - I don't believe in upgrading for the sake of upgrading!

Try Telling That to the Coders (4, Informative)

Alaren (682568) | about 8 years ago | (#16321435)

While I was the Desktop Support Supervisor in a development house, I spent a considerable amount of time listening to programmers with 2.8GHz machines complain that they needed dual cores. When they got dual cores, the ones with 1GB of RAM needed 2GB. Also, their wrists hurt and HR said we had to get them ergonomic keyboards. When we got them generic ergonomic keyboards, they demanded MS Naturals.

I agree that this article is a bit over the top, but you'd be amazed at what a slippery slope new hardware can become. My job was to drag my feet on purchasing while my boss tried to convince the executives that we didn't need to spend more money, but usually it was us and the CFO against the CEO, the COO and the development VPs. My boss's boss's boss, the CIO, always tried to appear neutral, so we almost never really said "no" to a hardware request.

Somewhat on topic, my blog [kennethpike.com] post from last night expresses my not-so-technical feelings on Vista. Short version: after messing with it for a couple hours, I went and downloaded Ubuntu.

heh, what were they doing (2)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | about 8 years ago | (#16321537)

Playing games?

Seriously, when I was writing simple C programs on an 8088, that was suuuuper slow and an upgrade shaved about an hour of compile time a day. For programming, I chose an extra monitor over a dual core box. Long gone are the days of starting the compile and finishing the cup of coffee before its done.

Re:heh, what were they doing (2, Interesting)

spectral (158121) | about 8 years ago | (#16321669)

Those days are long gone? I guess that explains why products such as Incredibuild aren't popular, and why visual studio needs the ultra-mega-expensive edition just to parallelize building projects in a solution between your multiple cores. Oh wait.

I work on a mid-sized C++ project where the build times are approximately 30-40 minutes. I can finish a can of dew in that time, easily. Incredibuild has drastically reduced that time to about 6 minutes.

Note: I don't work for Incredibuild, just am a customer who is sually happy/satisfied.

Re:Try Telling That to the Coders (5, Interesting)

rjstanford (69735) | about 8 years ago | (#16321617)

Of course, the average cost of a good developer, total to the company, is around $60-90 per hour. That's $500-750 per day. If having the latest hardware around makes them even slightly more productive, or gives them a reason to work an extra hour per week (not day, week), that pays for a new, kick-ass system every six months or so -- and that's assuming that you just shred the old hardware.

Re:depends on the company (4, Informative)

Ravenscall (12240) | about 8 years ago | (#16321445)

That is until you put Vista on it.

I tried RC1 over the weekend. With a 2 ghz processor and 1 gb RAM, at Idle I was pushing 70% physical RAM usage and a constant 10% load on the processor. I wrestled with Neverwinter Nights till it ran and the graphics lag was unbearable, not unplayable, but when it runs qwuite smoothly on the same system with XP or 2K3 server, there is an issue.

I have to say (0, Offtopic)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | about 8 years ago | (#16321621)

It sounds like Vista's pretty pathetic.
I have a box I got for a 10$ lunch. Its 400 MHz and is more than good enough to be a web server and simple development box (running BSD). I'm not ever going back to windows. My job uses 100% linux, my "fun" box is a mac and my server is BSD. There is no longer anything remotely compelling about windows for me.

Re:depends on the company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16321565)

Not if you are a java or .NET developer, then you need a 2GHz and 2GB RAM

good god (1)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | about 8 years ago | (#16321679)

that sounds ueber-pathetic :(
I'm sorry for you folks who have to deal with that.

Re:FUD (3, Insightful)

TrippTDF (513419) | about 8 years ago | (#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?

Re:FUD (1)

Otter (3800) | about 8 years ago | (#16321287)

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.

Re:FUD (1)

pete6677 (681676) | about 8 years ago | (#16321373)

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 (1)

tmasssey (546878) | about 8 years ago | (#16321695)

It's funny. *Most* of my clients have made *exactly* the same call regarding XP and 2000. Many of them are running purely Windows 2000--no XP at all, and they will skip XP completely, and we've managed to save them from an *entire* needless upgrade cycle.

I just wish that we could position Linux as a realistic upgrade path from 2000. But unfortunately, it looks like it'll be Vista (but not before middle/end of 2007 at the soonest).

the requirements of VISTA (1)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | about 8 years ago | (#16321395)

make it seem likely most companies would have to upgrade their hardware.

Re:FUD (5, Informative)

networkBoy (774728) | about 8 years ago | (#16321381)

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

Re:FUD (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 8 years ago | (#16321595)

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:FUD (2, Insightful)

networkBoy (774728) | about 8 years ago | (#16321789)

"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

Re:FUD (1)

tmasssey (546878) | about 8 years ago | (#16321745)

I'd believe that with notebooks. I can *easily* get 4-5 years out of a desktop, but notebooks just plain *break* after 3 years: the battery goes, the LCD inverter goes, the case starts to crack (*especially* if it's a Dell), the keyboard is funky at least, and I've probably filled the available memory slots and therefore have to throw away RAM to upgrade.

Unless you *really* need the porability frequently (therefore making a "floating" laptop a hassle), notebooks are a *very* expensive way to outfit an office. There's a reason why the 3-year onsite warranty for a Thinkpad is almost double that of a desktop...

Re:FUD (4, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | about 8 years ago | (#16321185)

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 (3, Funny)

jZnat (793348) | about 8 years ago | (#16321367)

Now that's Microsoft-funded FUD, so I'd rather not see that report.

Re:FUD (1)

goldspider (445116) | about 8 years ago | (#16321515)

So because such an analysys, no matter how objective or thorough, might tend to favor Microsoft, you'd rather not take those factors into consideration?

Maybe (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | about 8 years ago | (#16321231)

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'm not even very curious since Vista isn't going to have a big affect on my personal computing expenses (for the same reason)-- Just a thought as to why this might not be FUD.

Agree:FUD (1)

flipsoft (582240) | about 8 years ago | (#16321237)

I agree. Also what they did not account for is the price of said "expensive" hardware will drop significantly. Look at most video cards between $75-100 these days. Most have 256MB of memory and some under $75 leverage PCI-e for the extra needed.

-flipsoft

VISTA requires ALL new hardware (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | about 8 years ago | (#16321363)

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.

Re:VISTA requires ALL new hardware (1)

MindStalker (22827) | about 8 years ago | (#16321641)

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..

Re:FUD (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 8 years ago | (#16321403)

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?

Re:FUD (1)

eclectro (227083) | about 8 years ago | (#16321501)

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?

Actually, they will not only want to, but need to with all of the security aka bug fixes put into this version. Look at the feature list for yourself. [wikipedia.org]

Re:FUD (1)

networkBoy (774728) | about 8 years ago | (#16321707)

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 of machines, but there are only 5-8 types to worry about.
-nB

Yup.® FUD (5, Informative)

pointbeing (701902) | about 8 years ago | (#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 (2, Interesting)

tmasssey (546878) | about 8 years ago | (#16321803)

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"?

On top of that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16321569)

There is an article just down the page showing how much commercial OSS costs and it isn't pretty!

WOW! (1)

The_Abortionist (930834) | about 8 years ago | (#16321697)

So moving to Windows Vista would be cheaper than to a supported open source solution??? (as we saw yesterday)

Huh? (3, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 8 years ago | (#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? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16321131)

Answer: bias against Windows/MS

Re:Huh? (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | about 8 years ago | (#16321163)

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? (4, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 8 years ago | (#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...

Re:Huh? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | about 8 years ago | (#16321261)

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.

Re:Huh? (1)

thsths (31372) | about 8 years ago | (#16321499)

> 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 from any previous version.

So even versions seem to be good, and odd versions are lemons, at least on the average. Find a company that only used even versions, and they are either lucky or clever :-)

Thomas

Re:Huh? (1)

nizo (81281) | about 8 years ago | (#16321325)

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....

Downtime? (0, Flamebait)

krell (896769) | about 8 years ago | (#16321139)

Does this include several days downtime for when the Vista machines have to be shut off and the old XP machines dusted off when someone discovers an extremely serious security flaw in the new OS?

Here is the breakdown: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16321149)

$2000: New Hardware
$ 900: Vista License
$2100: Solid Gold Mouse

Re:Here is the breakdown: (2, Funny)

hypnagogue (700024) | about 8 years ago | (#16321357)

So long as I've got my solid gold mouse and my rocket car, I don't need anything else. I'm not greedy.

Re:Here is the breakdown: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16321497)

I'd much rather have a solid gold car and a rocket mouse...

Article Text (4, Informative)

gravyface (592485) | about 8 years ago | (#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.

Sensationalism at its finest (1)

gravyface (592485) | about 8 years ago | (#16321377)

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.
Just like those collaborative features in Office XP and Office 2003 that nobody used? And if nobody's using them, then why upgrade your backend servers? If your organization is so inclined to pay for support for your servers, wouldn't the (ridiculously high) "$2000 per user" already be an operational cost being incurred?

The author is fishing for click-throughs with an unqualified, speculative cost "analysis".

Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Article Text (1)

mcsestretch (926118) | about 8 years ago | (#16321457)

New PCs will cost $1,500-$2,000.
Unless your company is buying your computers from Best Buy or Circuit City in ones and twos, you're paying a LOT less for your computers. $800-$1000 is more believable here.

new copies of Vista and Office will total between $750 and $1,000
Are you high? My company is not a big one but we get volume licensing discounts. The latest Office costs us less than $100 per copy and Windows is below $75 per.
Let's be pessimistic and assume $200 total here.

The real value of Vista and Office 2007 includes new collaboration services
Yes but you don't HAVE to buy them as part of the upgrade do you? Nope. Complete BS here. Even if you do, $2000 per user? What are you doing? Buying each user their own server?

Author is clueless. Article is a waste of electrons.

Re:Article Text (1)

Cyphertube (62291) | about 8 years ago | (#16321723)

For most of our people, I think we're around $500/system, including the extra XP license.

If we were to put Vista everywhere, we'd have to upgrade about 90% of our systems. Not likely to happen. Despite being a Microsoft shop, if we upgrade before three years go by, it will be either do to developer demand (and then only their machines), or we'll be shifting our staff to a nicely manageable Linux system, like Novell Desktop.

Re:Article Text (1)

Klaidas (981300) | about 8 years ago | (#16321475)

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...

Re:Article Text (1)

sterno (16320) | about 8 years ago | (#16321725)

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 people are just doing standard office productivity work, and Windows today does that fine. Hell, Windows of 10 years ago did that kind of work just fine. I have a copy of MS Office '97 at home and it works just fine.

Sure it'll help the bottom lines of Dell, etc, but a good portion of the money they generate is actually going overseas to their parts suppliers in Taiwan, etc. I just don't see how this could possible be a stimulus to the economy. It seems to me that it'll be a slight boost for tech and a slight dip for everybody sending them checkes.

New Hardware? (3, Informative)

mackyrae (999347) | about 8 years ago | (#16321161)

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.

Re:New Hardware? (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | about 8 years ago | (#16321507)

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.

Re:New Hardware? (1)

Ravenscall (12240) | about 8 years ago | (#16321607)

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 ALL want vista, and will keep calling until they get it.

Higher Ed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16321165)

I work at a University. A rather small private one. We use Dells on the desktop and in the server room. Most of the desktops we've bought in the last year will be able to run Vista. We bought them with that in mind. That said, we get Edu pricing from Dell and from MS. The users with the newer machines will be able to run Vista. The older machines will be replaced as they go out of support. It'll cost us about $1300-$1400 a machine to replace them. I don't know how much Vista will cost us, but I doubt we'll pay "full price".

One of the few good things about working for a school. Edu Pricing. :-)

Moo (5, Insightful)

Chacham (981) | about 8 years ago | (#16321183)

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.

Re:Moo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16321385)

The truth is, Microsoft has _always_ lied about amount of ram needed since win95 at least. Their definition of minimum amount of ram needed is "it boots but can't do anything else" kinda numbers.

Which means that hardware upgrades will be needed for most users, and shoots holes in most of your counter-arguments.

This will cost the corporate user more than it will the nerd in the basement, so the numbers in the article could well be justified.

Re:Moo (1)

CRiMSON (3495) | about 8 years ago | (#16321795)

Unless you've ever actually worked in a corporate enviroment and seen how much things cost. I don't think either of you should talk shit.

App upgrade cost shouldn't be counted (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | about 8 years ago | (#16321191)

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.

Office and Windows? (2)

hal2814 (725639) | about 8 years ago | (#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.

New PC's to cost $1500-2000? (3, Insightful)

ProppaT (557551) | about 8 years ago | (#16321207)

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.

Re:New PC's to cost $1500-2000? (1)

xtracto (837672) | about 8 years ago | (#16321473)

They surely are in the UK...

You would only buy a microwave oven (excluding VAT) with your $400 over here...

Re:New PC's to cost $1500-2000? (1)

oliverthered (187439) | about 8 years ago | (#16321551)

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

Re:New PC's to cost $1500-2000? (1)

eclectro (227083) | about 8 years ago | (#16321765)

Sign me up for that company! As resident IT guy here

So I take it you work for free? Because part of the cost of upgrading is paying somebody such as yourself to upgrade the hardware and software, which is time intensive. Plus, there is bound to be glitches with all the upgrading (like faulty hardware and buggy new software). If you weren't doing that, you could be doing something else like deploying company specific applications or web programming or whatever.

So anyway you put it, hardware is not the only cost here, and saying it can be done inexpensively is overlooking the major cost which is "labor." So, while the hardware may be cheap, the labor and all the new software cost plus retraining will not be. Taken alltogether, it will not be inexpensive, as the article alludes to.

No reason to upgrade (4, Insightful)

AK76 (966804) | about 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:No reason to upgrade (1)

Klaidas (981300) | about 8 years ago | (#16321575)

Wasn't this said about Windows 95? 98? XP?..

Not Really.. (3, Informative)

DelawareBoy (757170) | about 8 years ago | (#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..

Vista's requirements (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 8 years ago | (#16321227)

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 integrated audio and video. How much does a computer cost that meets the minimum hardware requirements?

Vista will cost me nothing (3, Insightful)

EtherAlchemist (789180) | about 8 years ago | (#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 ;)

XP will stick around (4, Insightful)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | about 8 years ago | (#16321265)

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.

Re:XP will stick around (1)

Tom (822) | about 8 years ago | (#16321625)

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.

Re:XP will stick around (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 8 years ago | (#16321757)

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.

Someone forgot about bundling (1)

heatdeath (217147) | about 8 years ago | (#16321283)

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.

Re:Someone forgot about bundling (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | about 8 years ago | (#16321389)

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.

Lol (1)

majortom1981 (949402) | about 8 years ago | (#16321293)

We just upgraded all the machines in the library to p4 3ghz with 1 gig of ram and x600 video cards, why would we need to upgrade again just to install vista?

Aero in the workplace? (2, Insightful)

enkafan (604078) | about 8 years ago | (#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 (2, Insightful)

MECC (8478) | about 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Hooked on drugs (1)

rjstanford (69735) | about 8 years ago | (#16321775)

I'd be happy to take it off your hands and free up some rack space...

Money Money Money (1)

C4st13v4n14 (1001121) | about 8 years ago | (#16321321)

I have no sense of what it will really cost corporations/organisations/etc to upgrade their computers to Vista. I do know, however, that it would take between 3250$ and 5000$ for me to upgrade. Any givers? I'll even take that in Canadian dollars.

This is FUD (2, Interesting)

kahei (466208) | about 8 years ago | (#16321349)

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'.

Re:This is FUD (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 8 years ago | (#16321579)

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.

Nah. (1)

Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) | about 8 years ago | (#16321351)

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.

The author apparently "writes books and jokes about technology" so I suspect he's not being entirely serious here, but whether he was primarily trying to be funny or not, he could have done a better job of it.

Totally unrealistic (2, Informative)

suv4x4 (956391) | about 8 years ago | (#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)

Re:Totally unrealistic (1)

Tom (822) | about 8 years ago | (#16321513)

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 acceptable speed (i.e. it reading characters at the speed I can type them) are way beyond the minimum specs of "Vista ready".

Costs (1)

Daemonstar (84116) | about 8 years ago | (#16321401)

I haven't really thought about it, but it seems that the cost is about right (at least to have all the "features"). Most of the companies around here don't run the latest and greatest stuff. Most are P4 systems with some P3's still around (the company I work for still has a couple P2's around running W2k, but we are also a government agency). The newspaper my parents work for are still running Win98 on P3 systems with NT4 servers. The nearby State Hospital just recently (read, within a year or so) upgraded to XP from NT4 workstation. Our local hospital still has mostly Win98.

NOT FUD (1)

s31523 (926314) | about 8 years ago | (#16321421)

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!

Complete FUD (1)

Tim C (15259) | about 8 years ago | (#16321593)

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.

I'm a Mac guy... (0, Flamebait)

EWIPlayer (881908) | about 8 years ago | (#16321425)

... and even I know those figures are absolute crap.

It's comforting to know that the FUD isn't all coming from MS :)

Hmmm (1)

Klaidas (981300) | about 8 years ago | (#16321447)

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 in the end...

Wow! It's really worth it! (3, Funny)

rlp (11898) | about 8 years ago | (#16321469)

Yeah, but look at the benefits you get - a spiffy new CPU hogging GUI and tons of great new DRM!

Keeps IT employed - No joke (4, Insightful)

Danathar (267989) | about 8 years ago | (#16321471)

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.

Completely inaccurate (2, Interesting)

RingDev (879105) | about 8 years ago | (#16321503)

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 (2, Insightful)

logicassasin (318009) | about 8 years ago | (#16321557)

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 waters, but will ultimately delay upgrades until their leases are up on the current batch of PC's. As lease refreshes begin, Vista will roll in, creating a support headache as techs now have another platform to learn and keep track of. They'll eventually get over to Vista, but it'll take a couple of years.

Large businesses may follow the same pattern as medium sized business clients and upgrade with lease refreshes. Having two platforms to support isn't much of a problem as they can usually afford to get their techs up to speed quickly and some may even dedicate a group to Vista support.

I don't see many businesses running out to buy new machines just for Vista. In fact, I see the opposite; very few will. They'll just get Vista with new PCs during lease refresh cycles.

It was hugely expensive to move to XP... (5, Insightful)

csoto (220540) | about 8 years ago | (#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.

ma83 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16321805)

Slanted Language (0, Redundant)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | about 8 years ago | (#16321809)

Holy cow, what a load of slanted language and unsubstantiated claims.

``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.''

New PCs cost $1500 to $2000? I'm sure I've seen them for less than that. Since when do you even have to buy a new computer? Last I checked, PCs could be upgraded without replacing them. "Darn"? "No matter what Microsoft's marketing says"?

``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.''

I know plenty of people whose PCs meet the requirements he states, and more who have PCs that meet the requirements Microsoft states. I'll judge how many people can run Vista without upgrading their computers when Vista is out and people are installing it.

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

I won't comment on the figures, but Office is _not_ Vista. Even if you upgrade Office at the same time you do Vista, that's a separate upgrade. And I bet that's where most of your 750 to 1000 dollars go to.

``The real value of Vista and Office 2007 includes new collaboration services. This means new back end servers.''

Another upgrade that's separate from Vista.

And the best part:

``a few bucks to Apple for those users jumping to a Mac''

I bet you didn't know that you need to buy a Mac to run Vista.

I'm sure that upgrading to Vista won't be cheap. I'm also sure there will be plenty of things wrong with Vista. But that's no reason to be spreading FUD. That one guy does so is one thing. That it gets posted as News for Nerds is quite another. I thought everybody knew FUD by now?
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