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Nowadays small businesses are keeping PCs longer than in previous years in a bid to save money. But that has a lot of negative effects, such as higher repair costs that can equal or exceed the price of new PCs, higher risks and low employee productivity. On average, small business workers lose more than one work week per year due to old PCs, according to a recent multi-country study commissioned by Intel Corp. and conducted by Techaisle.

The Intel small business PC refresh study surveyed 736 small businesses in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russia and the United States to gauge the state of their PC equipment. According to the findings, small businesses are holding onto PCs significantly beyond the recommended refresh date, with more than 36% owning PCs that are more than 4 years old. These machines require more maintenance, exerting a greater toll on employee productivity and higher equipment costs than the purchase of a new machine.

Key findings from the research:

  • Older PCs negatively impact work performance – On average, employees lose 21 more hours by using a PC that is 4 years or older due to time needed for repairs, maintenance and security issues as compared to PCs that are less than 4 years old. Repair and maintenance is 1.5 times more frequent on PCs that are 4 years or older.
  • Repair costs for older PCs either equal or exceed the purchase price of new PCs – Small businesses are spending an average of $427 to repair a PC that is 4 years or older. This is 1.3 times the repair cost of PCs that are less than 4 years old.
  • Security risks and other costs will increase in 2014 – Forty-seven% of respondents were unaware that Microsoft is ending service support for the popular Windows XP* platform, placing a higher maintenance burden directly on small businesses. Moreover, since automatic updates will no longer be provided to help protect PCs, valuable business data is more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.
  • Small businesses in the United States are using the oldest PCs – Of the countries surveyed, 8% of small businesses in the United States are running PCs that are 5 years or older, in contrast to only 5% of small businesses worldwide and 1% in India.

"Upgrading to new PCs is one of the wisest choices a small business can make. PCs are largely considered the foundation for many of these companies, and this study makes a clear cut case for refreshing them on a regular basis," said Rick Echevarria, vice president of PC client group and general manager of business client platform division at Intel.

According to Intel, new PCs offer businesses lower total cost of ownership, better battery life and faster performance for business productivity applications over 4-year-old systems. Additionally, an alternative to Intel Core vPro processors, PCs with Intel Small Business Advantage (SBA) can automate maintenance for small businesses without a dedicated IT staff.

The Intel small business PC refresh study was conducted by Techaisle on behalf of Intel in April. A total of 736 small businesses (1-99 employees) based in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russia and the United States completed a 20-minute questionnaire. Respondents consisted of IT decision makers with a sampling quota fixed by employee size categories. Results on this study prepared by TechAisle are available for download at

Tags: Intel


Comments currently: 7
Discussion started: 11/01/13 04:27:52 AM
Latest comment: 01/09/14 10:46:16 AM
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If it works, don't fix it!!!

Intel is just worried that it might make less money. Do you really think Intel is concerned about our well being? Really.

Of course there are times that this is true. But to say that a 4 year old PC will let you lose money compared to a new computer is just bull!!!.

Will you ever trust a company with business tactics like Intel? Look how they nearly killed AMD (basically did) by their mafia like strategies. May ARM or any other company destroy this awful company!
5 0 [Posted by: Johan Steyn  | Date: 11/01/13 04:27:52 AM]

Just load on Linux. No need to buy a new Wintel computer. Problem solved.
2 2 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 11/01/13 08:47:20 AM]
- collapse thread

Yeah, then we can *make sure* employees won't get any work done.
1 0 [Posted by: bluvg  | Date: 11/03/13 11:41:10 PM]

Tell this to my boss...

I try to work adobe suite CS6 with a crap system... once does not simple work with a c2d and 4gb of ddr2 ram and a crappy old hdd, with 4-5 programs open and use at the same time...

It could only cost 300 to get me something decent with 3 times more power...
but nooooooo, it works, you are slow...
I love how he expects to meet deadlines with something that make me wait half my time in the office...
2 0 [Posted by: nitro912gr  | Date: 11/01/13 09:24:02 AM]

So the solution is to do repairs in house instead of paying someone ridiculous hourly labor fees to an external company, the cost of parts is minimal.
Then upgrade from XP to W7 (or W8 if you must).
There isn't really a reason to buy a new system unless you do compute or graphic intensive work.
Most SMB's use them for emails, accounting systems and basic administration (with the usual employee internet browsing and games)
0 0 [Posted by: caring1  | Date: 11/01/13 07:29:20 PM]

study commissioned by Intel Corp. and conducted by Techaisle

'study' paid for by the intel PR/marketing arm...hilarious.jpg

I didn't realize xbits was a comedy page, thanks for my chuckle for the day
1 0 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 11/05/13 02:19:55 AM]

Why, instead of urging customers to buy new PCs, Intel doesn't make so hardware can last longer and require less maintenance? Oh ok sure...

SRSLY, if software isn't being upgraded and hardware is working, why spend on new hardware?

If a new app is being bought, then yes we need to evaluate if current hardware is able to run it. And if a hardware equipment fails we'll probably be FORCED to upgrade everything else because there's no new equipment being sold that's compatible of "old" hardware. Intel?...

Upon buying new PC, just make sure it will accomodate near future updates. Win7 isn't much heavier than WinXP considering how newer it is. If old hardware bought to run WinXP was well chosen, it should be able to run Win7 pretty well.
0 0 [Posted by: Hikari  | Date: 01/09/14 10:46:16 AM]


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