The True Cost of Windows XP Replacement

In a previous blog, Do I need to replace Windows XP we discussed how to know if this is necessary. Now, let’s discuss actual replacement costs.


Are you planning to upgrade your Windows XP Pro PCs with Windows 7 or 8?  Have you looked closely at the true cost of an upgrade in a business environment? The typical Internet price of $139.99 for a full copy of Windows 7 or 8 Professional is the easiest part of the upgrade cost to swallow.  Remember, Microsoft no longer offer “Upgrades” for an operating system so you are purchasing a new full license.   Let’s look more closely into the real world costs.

Does your PC have a modern 64-bit processor with at least two cores and sufficient memory to run Windows 7/8 efficiently?  If you have a Pentium or Celeron processor it’s time to responsibly dispose of the PC or donate it to charity.

If you have less than 2GB of RAM plan on another $50 to $100 for a memory upgrade or you will become very familiar with the perpetual spinning circle cursor that has replaced the hourglass cursor in Windows XP while you wait for every task to complete.

Assuming your Windows XP Pro PC has 100GB or more of free disk space… let’s move over to the software side of the upgrade.

Step 1 Create a list of the applications you are currently using.  Most likely you will be using Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, and a legacy application specific to your industry.  Office 2007 or better is required for compatibility, if you are still running Office 2003 or older, plan on another $200 or more for Office 2013 depending on the edition you select.

Step 2 Begin collecting all the drivers that your PC will require once you replace the operating system.  I would specifically look for Windows 7/8 drivers for Printers and other devices such as scanners, bar code readers, magnetic card readers and other industry specific peripherals.  You don’t want to take the time to do this upgrade and realize you can no longer swipe credit cards at a Point-of-Sale terminal or use your Warehouse bar code scanners after you do the upgrade.

Step 3 Backup any user specific data on the Windows XP PC.  User profiles, local data, license keys and serial numbers of locally installed applications.

Now we’re ready to move forward forward.  Boot from the Windows 7/8 CD and delete the entire XP Pro partition, reformat the drive, and install your fresh copy of Windows 7/8.  Allow 30 to 45 minutes depending on the speed of the PC.

Time for Windows Updates… settle back and run the 100+ Windows updates to secure the system, install your anti-virus solution, re-install Microsoft Office and your legacy applications, restore the user profile and local data.  Install the drivers for your printers and other peripherals and reconnect everything.  Now run Windows Updates again and return the PC to the user.

The entire process from start-to-finish will require 4 to 6 hours depending on the speed of the PC, your Internet connection for Windows Updates, and the amount of data you need to back up and restore for the individual user data.

The total cost of the upgrade is typically $140 to $250 in software and memory.  Assuming market rates for labor in your area are similar to our area, plan on $250 to $350 labor per computer for a total cost of $400 to $600 to bring an old PC up to Windows 7/8.

An alternative to upgrading, is to replace an outdated PC with a new business grade, pre-loaded Windows 7/8 desktop PC for $500 or a laptop for $600 to $700, with at least a one-year warranty.  From a time perspective, open the box, install your applications and issue to the user — one to two hours.

With these costs in mind, now you can understand why the Windows XP upgrade cycle is a windfall for service providers that focus on Windows XP to Windows 7/8 upgrades.  PC replacement is always a better long term solution from a cost and performance perspective.

Still not sure? Let Custom Systems provide a free assessment to determine your “True Cost” to replace Windows XP Pro. Call us today at 800-539-3523.
Paul R. Cook
Paul R. Cook
Vice President, Network Services Group



© Copyright 2014 Custom Systems Corporation

Do I need to replace Windows XP in my network?

I am sure by now everyone has heard that Microsoft will end all support and updates for Windows XP in just over a month.  The IT Press is full of articles of doom and gloom similar to the Y2K predictions that were made by many back in 1999.  Well I have some good news and some bad… and what YOU need to do as you make a decision for your organization.

Good News:

Windows XP will continue to work on any computer in its current state.

Bad News:

There will be no additional Security Updates and Fixes to correct new threats that are discovered.

What can you do?

First, identify how this will impact your business.

Take an inventory of Windows XP PCs and divide them into two groups. Group 1 are those PCs used daily on your network to access the Internet for web access or Internet communication.  These PCs should be immediately targeted for replacement.  Group 2 are those PCs that have some other purpose such as controllers for machinery, dedicated PCs that run equipment or processes such as CAD, estimating, or other business processes that DO NOT use the web or Internet.  My recommendation is that you can continue to use these PCs for the lifetime of the PC hardware.

The last decision to make is based upon your installed Anti-Virus security products used on Windows XP.

Ask your security vendors such as Symantec and Trend Micro, how long they will continue to issue signature updates for products installed on Windows XP.  This should be the last possible date you continue to use a Windows XP Computer that will have any access to the Internet.

Next week we will look at the true cost of Windows XP replacement… it may surprise you that a new operating system such as Windows 7 or Windows 8 is the least expensive part of an upgrade.

Paul R. Cook
Paul R. Cook
Vice President, Network Services Group

The End is Near! (for Windows XP)

How many cell phones that were available for purchase in October, 2001 are still in use today? When we see someone on a flip phone, what do we think (or even say to them)? The excitement for new smart phones is conveyed in TV commercials while the lines of people waiting to be the first to have one, is reported on the news. We love our new cell phones and hate using old ones. The technology available today compared to 12 ½ years ago is mind blowing!

But when it comes to our Windows — we love our 12.5 year old systems! Windows XP was officially released by Microsoft on October 25, 2001. While we like using XP and have a comfort level when we sit down at our computer, time marches on. On April 8, 2014 Windows XP and Office 2003 will be officially designated as “end of life.” What does this mean? Starting April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, upgrades, or other patches for the operating system or the office products. Below are the details from Microsoft’s website regarding the impact of Windows XP End of Life on your business:

What does end of support mean to customers? It means you should take action now!

After April 8, 2014, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.

Running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 in your environment after their end of support date may expose your company to potential risks, such as:

  • Security & Compliance Risks: Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information.
  • Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) & Hardware Manufacturers support: A recent industry report from Gartner Research suggests “many independent software vendors (ISVs) are unlikely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP in 2011; in 2012, it will become common.” And it may stifle access to hardware innovation: Gartner Research further notes that in 2012, most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on the majority of their new PC models.

If you still have Windows XP or Office 2003 in your business environment, you’ll need to start planning a transition to newer operating systems and office products. You’ll likely also need to consider hardware upgrades, as most modern operating systems will not run on older systems designed for Windows XP.

There are many options for upgrades these days. For the operating system upgrades you can move to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. For Office, you’ll want to upgrade to Office 365. Office 365 is a new paradigm for Microsoft: you can use the software on five different devices per user; you can use it installed on a local desktop or via a web browser; hardware requirements can be reduced with hosted Exchange and hosted SharePoint. The new office product offering is a good move and competes more directly with Google Apps. You can learn more about the new Office 365 by clicking here.

If you need assistance getting your systems upgraded or determining which version of Microsoft Windows or Office is right for you, contact us today!

For more information on Windows XP migration, take a look at our other blogs:


DaveDavid Bubb
Sales Director
Network Services Group



© Copyright 2014 Custom Systems Corporation