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Interesting Win7 ROI tool

Earlier this week, Nick Eaton posted an interesting blurb to the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Entitled “Windows 7 ROI tool estimates cost savings,” it pointed me to a free Microsoft-sponsored financial tool at, a well-known builder of (SaaS-based) ROI tools of all kinds. It’s called the Microsoft Windows 7 ROI Tool Lite and here’s how it works:

  • You provide a company name, a “matching industry” niche, primary geographic location to situate your company on the planet and in the business context. I indicated a publishing/media company in Texas (USA).
  • You indicate the total number of PC users, and what portion of them run desktops and laptops. I indicated 50 with 30 desktops and 20 laptops.
  • You provide the number of main sites and branch offices in your operation. I indicated one main site and two branches.
  • You describe the mix of OSes currently in use (Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000 or earlier, and other), and identify a target Windows 7 version to which you’ll move (the default is Windows 7 Professional, which is a pretty likely choice except in operations that go whole-hog for Windows 7 Enterprise). I indicated 10% Windows 7, 50% Windows Vista, and 40% XP, but many businesses will be 80-plus percent on XP, and correspondingly lower on those newer OSes.
  • You select an upgrade strategy from a short list of possible selections that include an immdiate in-place OS upgrade, immediate PC replacement, compressed PC refresh, or upgrade OS with normal PC refresh cycle. I chose the compressed PC refresh, which means that older PCs will be replaced with newer ones along with an OEM OS upgrade in the process, and newer machines get an acclerated in-place upgrade.

Here’s part of what the tool produced by way of response to this input.

The output from the tool compares benefits, costs, and TCO.

The output from the tool compares benefits, costs, and TCO. Click to view whole image

A word of warning: though the tool is interesting and the results appear compelling, it’s worth considering that Alinean created this tool at Microsoft’s behest, and that it undoubtedly fails to completely mirror real situations on the ground (it is a “Lite” tool, after all) and is probably driven by some friendly assumptions to make Win7 look as good as possible. That said, it’s still fun to play with, and provides some interesting data that may be worth pondering as you work on making a business case for upgrade and/or migration.

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