Security Advisor

The Cost of Keeping Windows XP

Microsoft hasn't been shy about the fact that Windows XP will be losing support (which means no more monthly fixes for the newest batch of bugs) in a little less than two years. The company has been very forward about it, even making a point to highlight the 1000-day mark until its death. I'm actually surprised that there's not a running "death" clock on its home page.

Microsoft isn't in the business of making friends. It's in the business of taking your money. So, of course there is an ulterior motive to these constant XP death reminders: It wants you to upgrade to Windows 7.

And the next phase of Microsoft's nagging attacks? Paying for an IDC study that says keeping XP is more costly than upgrading to Windows 7.

According to IDC's analysis, titled "Mitigating Risk: Why Sticking With Windows XP Is a Bad Idea," it costs $870 for a shop to keep an XP machine running in a year's span. Counter that with $168 annual maintenance fee for Windows 7, and you could see how upgrading may be in your company's best interest.

IDC (with Microsoft looking over its shoulder, just to remind you) said this huge gap between maintenance costs come from XP lacking security and the loss of productivity from users working from older machines.

It's not only users who are losing precious working time -- Windows 7 is reportedly able to reduce the amount of time IT needs to patch by 82 percent.

What do you think of IDC's totally unbiased assessment? Do you find yourself spending more time with XP issues than Windows 7 problems? Share your thoughts with me at cpaoli@1105media.com.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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