The True Cost of Microcomputers

by Glenn S. Orenstein, (M.ASCE), Manager of Microcomputers; Stone & Webster Engrg. Corp., Boston, MA 92210,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1986, Vol. 56, Issue 11, Pg. 57-59

Document Type: Feature article


The purchase price of a microcomputer represents a small fraction of the total operating cost of that micro. An analysis of other cost components reveals an ongoing annual cost from two to six times the original purchase price of the basic microcomputer. The components of cost that are frequently overlooked include additional hardware, major software packages, maintenance, supplies, support labor, training, and software development. For a heavily used microcomputer, the annual cost of supplies, alone, can equal the purchase price of the hardware. The other components of cost can be equally as expensive.

Subject Headings: Pricing | Computers | Computer software | Computer analysis | Maintenance | Labor | Training

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