Intel: Just 3,000 employees run Windows 7
And you should bin 4 year old PCs
Cebit Intel's CIO showed why it might take a while for Microsoft to make much of a dent in the XP-installed base yesterday as she urged the world to scrap any kit more than four years old.
Diane Bryant came on stage at Intel's Cebit kickoff press conference in the wake of a video that described Intel as "sponsors of the future" and "forging tomorrow's normal".
Bryant then showed just how normal Intel was, by saying she faced the same pressures as any other CIO, balancing a 45 per cent growth in computer demand with flat budgets. Intel's IT spend this year would be flat, she said, and was the same level as 2005. This roughly corresponded to the worldwide picture, with spending this year stuck at around $3.4 trillion.
Storage was an increasingly large portion of its IT investment, she said, currently taking around 35 per cent.
Unsurprisingly, the firm has a pretty rapid churn of kit. Bryant said that after four years, it cost more to support a client PC than to replace it. Road warriors - sales people and the like - got a new PC every two years, she said. Engineers had to wait three years, though we presume Intel's techies are more than capable of souping up any creaking machines while waiting for an upgrade.
Bryant said that new client PCs typically had solid state storage - the firm sticks to mobiles for all its client PCs.
The "beat" was similar with servers. As well as the support cost outstripping replacement cost after four years, she said, shifting to new servers gave the chance to consolidate, with 14 ageing servers typically being replaced by one new box.
At the same time, Intel's IT department was slashing its number of data centres as part of a commitment to return $650m of "value" to the firm. So far, it had cut from 147 datacentres to 95, Bryant said, and was a third of way through the value commitment.
Intel may have a point on the cost of supporting kit that is older than four years. But it's also worth remembering how that fits in with capital depreciation schedules and its own need to keep customers churning through new kit.
Still, while Intel's numbers and upgrade cycle may seem dizzying to some IT managers, there is one issue where it is wading through syrup like everyone else.
Despite the firm's rapid turnaround of PCs and its very public partnership with Microsoft, Bryant said that so far it had shifted just 3,000 of its 80,000 plus employees onto Windows 7.
Still, Intel has been making a lot of noise about the remote upgrade abilities of its vPro chips. So, if Bryant and her successors stick to the schedule that should be sorted in another three and a half years or so. ®
Why Upgrade if you don't need to?
I have a 4 year old iMac and a 8 Year old PC, and no intention of upgrading either, I don't have to as they are both doing what they were bought for. Can't see any reason to upgrade just to put more profits into someone else's pockets.
Dump 4 yeard ol PCs?
WTF? Is this anti-greenwash or something?
How about keeping your 4 year old PC and swapping to an OS that does not crucify with it with bloat and crap?
Just a thought, but not one that will aid Intel's bottom line.
Only four years?
"Bryant said that after four years, it cost more to support a client PC than to replace it."
I.e. buy a Windows PC and it'll be obsolete in four years. That's a pretty damning indictment of Windows. I change my computer every ten years. Come to think of it my 15 year old Mac still works and doesn't need any support. My eight year old RiscPC is still my daily workhorse. I've renewed the hard drive (the old one is still OK) and one or two other bits, plus OS updates but it doesn't cost that much to support.
OK I know he said a client PC but even so...
You're not in IT are you...
It has little or nothing to do with the OS being bloated... This is an issue effecting ANY OS.
You replace old kit because:
- Application support - staying current in the business world with apps often means upgrades to hardware as well, and drops in productivity due to slower machines and less productive employees, or worse, and app upgrade requires an OS upgrade to be installed. Upgrading in place costs time, not only for the IT person, but the employee who's machine it is. In business, a typical PC based employee costs $50/hr, and the IT guy servicing it costs $100, (total business cost, which is not just labor and benefits, but equipment, space, heat, electricity, etc) then there's the load on ancillary systems and other support personnel. Also, cross supporting a current app one more than one OS increases testing cycles and complexity of the environment, as does having to maintain multiple different hardware images and drives bases of the same OS.
- Hardware maintenance - old parts mean that MTBF grows narrower. Every hour of downtime for an end user is lot time for the company in terms not only of that user, but someone on a help desk line, and someone else who facilitates the repair. Machines out of warranty not only cost time, but parts too. The frequency of failure only increases with age. 1 or 2 repairs in a year cost more than en entire new deployment.
- Employee perception. Yes, investment in hardware has a direct effect on employee morale. Using kit at work thats older than your $400 BestBuy special at home just feels wrong. Virtually ANY time, even a few seconds, spent waiting at work for an app, especially dozens if not a hundred micro-increments of time, simply drains on stamina, and it not only less productive itself, but frustrates employees and makes them actually do work slower as well.
Throwing a few hundred dollars into the budget to replace computers on a 3-4 year cycle keeps employees happier, lowers application testing costs, lowers support headaches, eliminates replacement part and upgrade costs, and eliminates LOTS and LOTS of help desk labor time (and staff). If you can eliminate just 1 help desk staffer, you could offset between 750 and 1,000 desktops with the money saved in just one year. More modern OS on more modern hardware also has backend benefits too.
A lot of insults and hyperbole in there. Can't Wintel apologists make their point without name-calling?
Too many BS points in your post to tackle all of them, but FF on OSX at home is running about a dozen tabs just fine thanks, as does Safari, Chrome and Opera. Perhaps you have a problem with your OS? But then I'm too cheap and/or stupid to buy a decent computer, so what do I know?
I like the name Kerberos - a yapping dog, wasn't it?