With Windows XP end of support getting closer, it seems organizations have started taking necessary steps to keep themselves safe. Replacing the old PCs with new hardware capable of running the latest Windows OS may not be the most feasible option for big organizations, but again, they do have some other alternatives as well.
A new report from Computing says London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is replacing their Windows XP PCs with Chromebooks. Yes you're reading that right, Chromebooks. While my colleague Alan Buckingham already shared his opinion some time back about why Microsoft should be terrified of Chromebooks, now here's another reason why -- cost efficiency.
London Borough has 3,500 employees with almost 3,500 desktops and 800 laptops for its work force. Replacing such a big amount can be quite costly, so the council ended up choosing Chromebooks as the most feasible option. The council says it will save over £200,000 by deploying Chromebooks, and estimates a further £200,000 savings when it comes to electricity costs as Chromebooks are more energy efficient that Windows desktops.
Rupert Hay-Campbell, ICT and information governance officer at the borough, told Computing that the council decided to go with the Samsung C303C Chromebook because of its "impressive battery life."
The council explored all the available options, which are not limited to Chromebooks, but also includes "Windows 7 desktops and laptops, repurposing its desktop clients into a virtual desktop environment (VDI) or replacing the vast majority of its desktops with Chromebooks." However, in the end, Chromebooks turned out to be the cheapest option.
"We are in a position where our Microsoft licensing relationship means we are able to use the Chromebooks with a Citrix estate, without needing a new Microsoft enterprise agreement. VDI was working out more expensive, as we would have had to buy software assurance from Microsoft in order to run a true virtual desktop," says Hay-Campbell.
This might turn out to be disappointing news for Microsoft, and a big reason to worry. Chromebooks may not be a close alternative for desktops, but feasibility is another important factor that must be taken into consideration.