Is Your PC Too Old?
HP announces efforts to combat what it sees as a problemolder, less secure PCs.A whole lot of corporate PCs are getting dangerously old, according to John Thompson, a vice president and general manager in Hewlett-Packards Personal Systems Group. Speaking to the press at a San Francisco event on Wednesday, Thompson said that many companies "are putting themselves at risk by running older, less secure PCs in their IT environments." To combat the problem, the company introduced a number of new services and some new hardware platforms been designed to appeal to IT managers. IT managers have been notoriously stingy with money during the economic downturn anddespite major PC vendors hopes for faster replacement cyclestheres no clear sign that circumstances will change immediately. Market researchers at Gartner are supporting HPs position, though. "An institution can stretch the replacement cycle only so far before it starts to cost itself money, both in terms of hard dollars and opportunity costs," says a report from Gartner.
Thompson said that everything from security risks and rising support costs for older PCs to hidden productivity costs and poor returns on IT investments are cropping up because of aging corporate PCs. He also said that many older PCs are loaded with operating systems, such as Windows 95 and Windows 98, that are facing support termination from Microsoft. And, he asserts that preparation for the over-hyped Y2K bugwhich many predicted would wreak havoc on systemscaused many companies to install brand new hardware around the turn of the millennium. "We estimate that there are 164 million PCs that are at least three years old worldwide and about 30 million in the United States," Thompson said.