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To Lease, or Not To Lease.....

By mpd881 ·
I work in a relatively small department and we have 19 computers. We are currently on a 4-5 computers per year purchasing schedule due to limited IT budget. This has worked fine except that we now have a mess in that I think we have every Windows OS ever made (well, except 3.1). With 98 getting so old (didn't i hear that it wouldn't be supported for much longer...) I am getting worried about lack of support, but have too many 95/98/ME (ugh) machines to replace in one year.

Someone mentioned to me the possibility of leasing, and I was just wondering if anyone has experience with this, for the good or bad. Besides not having them at the end to sell, I can't really see any major problems with leasing. One positive I like is stretching the IT budget over 3 years (I'd be able to get 12-13 computers this year).

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

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First of all your fears

by Oz_Media In reply to To Lease, or Not To Lease ...

Many people have started getting scared about Win98 no longer being supported, Win2K is next.

Let me ask you, when was the last time you sent a request to Microsoft for Win95/98 support? Does it matter if Microsoft no longer brings out new Win98 patches?

I think Win98 is at the point that you don't need manufacturer support as everynoe else has already answered the major questions and end user suport is found everywhere, like here on TR.

As fro new peripherals not having drivers, that's a different issue but pretty much everything is OK on Win98 and you say your budget is limited so I can't see you upgrding peripherals too much.

If you upgrade what are your choices? WinXP Pro AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGH!! Although MUCH better than XP Home, it is still a new and buggy OS. With Win2K support slated for expiry, they keep changing that date, you will inevitably be in the same situation next year or the year after.

Leasing, the company that benefits from leasing is the leasing company not the lessor, I know leasing quite well.

In the long run, even if you get an EXCELLENT lease contract you will end up paying 5% more after all is said and done and as you said, NEVER own your equipment, unless you pay a hefty and unreasonable buyout, just like a car (everyone gets sucked into that one).

Why not weigh the costs of upgrading cetain machines this year, and a few more next year as they are phased out. Even a enw MOBO and processor swap with a licenced OS upgrade will be cheaper and if it lasts another year before needing replacement, great that's another year for a few hundred bucks.

If you are THAT interested in upgrading as needed, leasing will cost you a fortune as you constantly replace out of date machine with new ones and renog your lease.

There is a reason leasing is a good business to be in, mainly because people don't REALLY understand lease obligations and long term costs and simply BELIEVE it's better. I operate a leasing company along with a partner that handles equipment leasing for touring bands, takl about a cash crop. We have THE lowest industry rates, NO buyout at all and still make a heap of dough.

Save your money, upgrade yourself. You don't really need to REAPLACE each machine as many can be upgraded.

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Actually while 95-98 are no longer supported

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to First of all your fears

IE is and that is where most of you're problems will come from so if you aren't using IE then don't worry and if you are then upgrade to IE6 as there are still patches coming out for that.

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Here is something interesting

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Actually while 95-98 are ...

In a news article that I recieved yesterday they are now claiming that Win 98 has some problems.

I thought you might like to review the story so try here http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,4149,1410097,00.asp?kc=EWNWS121103DTX1K0000599

Of course be careful to remove any spaces that get inserted when this is uploaded.

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What do you know, huh?

by Oz_Media In reply to Here is something interes ...

Who'd have thunk it?

I've been using Win98 for years and always thought that I had done something wrong if I was having problems. I'd never considered that such a large decveloper would have a BUG in the software or that someone could exploit it!

It makes one wonder if Windows is stable at all!!

Like I said, "who'd have thunk it!?"

OM ????!!

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Here is another news item

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Actually while 95-98 are ...

That might put you're mind to rest about using Win 9X. It seems that a lot of companies still are and I know that until recently I was asked to install Win 98 on new computers that where going into an office enviroment. I could actually still buy Win 98 as an OEM product and it only cost $10.00 AU more than XP Home.

What seemed to be happening was that the business where happy with Win 98 and didn't want to change from what they knew and they certianly where not fooled into constantly upgrading every second week as new M$ product became available {Sorry but that is how it feels sometimes.}

Anyway the likn is

http://news.com.com/2100-1016-5121458.html?part=dht&tag=ntop

and as always make sure to remove any spaces that get inserted as this is uploaded.

Col

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Cost Issue

by Oldefar In reply to To Lease, or Not To Lease ...

Seems to me that the biggest concern you have is cost. A common issue for business today.

Perhaps the solution lies in a fresh look at your needs. Not the technical needs, but the business needs. Reconsider what your department does independent of the technology. Define these as requirements and prioritize them. Now consider how technology can best support these requirements. Do you need a PC for every individual, or will a thin or zero client solution work just as well? Is individual email a requirement or simply a tradition? Is Internet access supporting your business requirements? How is local printing supporting your business?

While you are exploring needs, you may want to reconsider your choice of OS and applications as well. You may find Linux and OpenOffice or StarOffice a suitable and lower cost alternative.

Consider your other technology costs as well. If the phones are a departmental managed expense, do you simply weigh it an pay it each month? Do you need a departmental fax line and fax machine, or can a service do this for you? How do you handle your phone conferences and how much are these costing? Are your cell phones, pagers, PDAs meeting your needs and have you gotten the best deals from the hundreds of plans available?

Reviewing or establishing links between business requirements and technical solutions may have a pleasant and unexpected side effect. When you can show the linkage, you may find your technology budget boosted to meet your business objectives!

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I think you've already answered you're

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to To Lease, or Not To Lease ...

Own Question. While Leasing is cheaper in the short term it always works out far more expensive in the long run and with the added draw back that you never actually own the equipment.

Now this may not be an issue for you or you're company but you also have to consider DATA security how do you plan on securing all that DATA when you send back the lease computer?

Remember there is no positive way of cleaning a HDD other than replacing it and that becomes self defeting on lease units but you at least keep the HDD with their DATA intact and ready for disposal/destruction.

But then again this may not be of any importance to you're company but it is something that you have to consider and speaking from experience you don't want the expences of Court action for leaked DATA if that was to happen it would blow you're budget out the window for years to come and you would still have no computers to work with. That of course doesn't take into account all the time that you will have to waste in presenting evidence for anything like this. I was on the stand for 1 week giving evidence and it was not a happy experience and it is something that I would not wish upon anyone.

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Can you cut other costs?

by dksmith In reply to To Lease, or Not To Lease ...

Are there any other costs you can cut in order to buy rather than lease?

Moving to Linux for some (not all) machines might free up some cash.

Have you thought about refurbished machines? Do you need the latest and greatest P4 2.8 Ghz blah blah blah? We have tiered our servers. We determined which ones carry the heaviest loads and use the best equipment for them. Same with the clients. The Admin that just does word processing, PPTs and email gets the crappy machine. It does not affect her productivity to have the P3 450Mhz with 256 MB RAM machine because of what she does, but the developer has the juiced machine.

DKS

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Leasing versus buying

by maxwell edison In reply to To Lease, or Not To Lease ...

I think that your accountant is the one who has to answer that question. If you look at just dollars, buying something is always cheaper than leasing it, but the benefits of leasing are found in the tax laws, the write-off and amortization options, and so on. Moreover, software and hardware are "accounted for" differently. So ask your accountant for an opinion in that regard.

On the issue of different operating systems, if it's a problem, don't do it. I let the operating system of choice (and I only choose one) be the driving factor in helping me determine which computers to replace. We're a Windows 2000 Professional office - on all of the machines - and when we decided to make that upgrade from Windows 95 (we skipped Windows 98, for the most part), we replaced the machines accordingly. And it wasn't really that bad. We had to replace about 30% of them, upgrade (mostly memory and hard drives) about 30% of them, and the remaining were already compatible. I suppose it helps that I never buy a computer with a preloaded operating system. (Or any other software, for that matter.) I treat hardware purchases and software purchases, including the operating system, separately.

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