Experts say that the car you currently own is far less expensive to operate than a new one. Is this also true when it comes to computers? The car adage is demonstrably true, provided maintenance has been performed on a regular basis. Be that as it may, years of squeaks, rattles, dings, dents and spills eventually make you long for something fresh. After all, there's nothing quite like that new car smell! When it comes to computers, however, retiring your old friend is arguably a better decision. Here are a few things to consider.
It's important to take into account the effect of years of updates and patches. While we're all in favor of performing the necessary updates, we can also remember a time when our computer was spritelier. Years of operating system patches seem to have a cumulative effect on performance. Let's not forget all of those malware infections you had to clean. Who knows whether you truly eradicated the unwelcome intruders. And how about the dormant nasties you don't even know about? Many of the common exploits take advantage of unpatched third-party software. Perhaps it's time for a clean slate.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
Studies from the likes of Gartner and Microsoft have revealed that the computer refresh cycle in the average business has been creeping upwards. What was once a three-year cycle has increased to more than four years. But is this necessarily a good idea? Additional research has shown that the annual support cost of a PC will rise as it ages - often by more than its replacement cost. What seems efficient and prudent often results in the opposite outcome.
To elaborate on the previous point, take into account the impact of a slowing computer on user productivity. Moore's law (named for Intel engineer Gordon E. Moore) states that semiconductor density (and thus computer performance) would double every year. While the pace may have slowed somewhat, it is still essentially true. Recent advances in CPU and storage technology have resulted in dramatic performance increases in just the last year or so. Most businesses will agree that the greatest capital expense in business is still human capital. Equipping your team with the best technology may give you the competitive edge you've been looking for.
Alas, I have saved the best for last. With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has addressed the concerns of those who were reluctant to try Windows 8. By all accounts, they have hit it out of the park with the new operating system. Windows 10 addresses several security and performance areas while delivering a rich user experience across all form-factors. While Windows 10 is available for a limited time as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8, upgrading your computer is not without hiccups. Enterprise IT departments are showing reluctance to embark on across-the-board upgrades, settling instead on a gradual approach as computer refreshes occur. As a managed IT service provider, my company is taking a go-slow approach to in-place upgrades, at least until several driver compatibility issues are hashed out in the next few months. Conversely, we are eager to deploy new Lenovo computers running Windows 10 out of the box.