"One of the most common buzz phrases in the computer press today
is Total Cost of Ownership, or TCO for short. The term is
relatively self-explanatory: it is a measure of how much your
computer will cost you for as long as you use it, or how much it
costs to own it. Previously this term was used in the auto industry
to reflect how much money a new car would cost you beyond the
sticker price--it encompassed maintenance and repairs, fuel
efficiency, tire and brake life, reliability, and insurance and
registration fees. Tallying up these costs and figuring in the
amount of use and stress your car endures, you can get a good idea
of what it will cost to drive it over a given period of time.
"How does this directly relate to computers? The same categories
don't apply to electronic devices of this nature, so you can't use
the same kind of formula to calculate TCO for a computer that you
would for a car. So what factors should be considered?
"The Gartner Group has a specific set of (costly) tools to
evaluate TCO in a range of large enterprise environments, but the
results don't compare to and aren't useful for a home or small
business environment. The purpose of this article is to help you
determine what the TCO and Total Benefit of Ownership (what you're
getting for what you're paying) is for desktop systems..."
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