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“Is Windows 7 really worth the investment? There are credible tools that can help you assess and quantify the costs and benefits of moving to Windows 7. One that I've found to be quite extensive and useful comes from Hall Consulting & Research.”
J. Peter Bruzzese, InfoWorld

Windows 7 ROI Tool

This innovative, comprehensive tool enables companies to quickly and credibly assess the costs and benefits of upgrading to Microsoft’s Windows 7, based on extensive research.

The Windows 7 ROI Tool provides a robust framework for evaluating the business value (ROI) of Window 7, to arm companies with the information needed to develop solid business cases for Windows 7 deployments.  The system also includes:  Windows 7 feature assessment, TCO analysis, the additional business value of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), and analysis of PC management best practices and maturity levels.

The tool can also be used by service providers consultants to articulate the business value of their Windows 7 solutions. It can be customized, for example, to illustrate the service provider’s implementation methodologies.

This tool was developed by Hall Consulting & Research LLC ( and was not sponsored/funded by Microsoft.

View Windows 7 Business Value Assessment Details of 4 Common Business Scenarios





Basic Edition (Excel 2007 / 201 (Excel 2007 - 2013) (Right-Click | Save Target As...)

Free, no registration>

 “Scenario/profile” inputs are editable. All other content is visible and functional, but cannot be modified by the user.  A wide variety of common scenarios can be assessed.

Full Edition (Excel 2007-2010)<(Excel 2007-2013)

$375.00  ase.aspx">Buy Now

Enterprise-wide license.  May not be distributed outside the organization.  Contact HCR for alternative licensing arrangements (e.g. for service providers / consultants) and for customizations and support services.

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Windows 7 ROI Tool Sample Results Report
Sample Results Report

Tool Features:

  • Comprehensive assessment of Windows 7 costs and benefits
    • Costs:  hardware; software; IT labor, training, and services; and user labor and training
    • Benefits:  IT labor TCO savings, power savings, avoidance of third-party-software/infrastructure, user productivity benefits, and potential impact on non-financial KPIs (key performance indicators).  The model creates dynamic lists of key Windows7/Vista features (based on the feature assessment) that enable each benefit.
  • Supports rapid (30 minute) or detailed (5+ day) assessments - This model was designed to provide either a rapid assessment (simply by selecting a scenario and entering basic organizational profile data) or a very comprehensive (5+ day) assessment by modifying hundreds of detailed inputs.
  • Comprehensive financial analysis - Calculates project cash flow, cost-benefit analysis, ROI, NPV, IRR, and payback period
  • Pre-populated with default costs and benefits - Sample input data is pre-populated throughout the model based on profile data and the Windows 7 feature assessment and is re-calculated as inputs are modified. Data/estimate sources are listed.  The user can (and should) overwrite any of the pre-populated defaults.  Default values are based on detailed customer studies performed by HCR, analysis of features, subject matter experts, and a variety of other research sources.
  • Supports most corporate client OS deployment scenarios - Including hardware refreshes, forklift upgrades, Lite/Zero Touch Installations, Software Assurance, etc.
  • Licensing analysis – The tool assesses the costs of common licensing options:  Select Agreement (with and without Software Assurance [SA]) and Enterprise Agreement (EA).  The tool also estimates added costs and benefits of MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack); which is included with SA/EA.
  • Windows 7 feature assessment – Enables the user to rate the likely usefulness/adoption of 180+ Windows7/Vista features.  This assessment impacts the benefit calculations and the list of enabling features for each of the hundreds of benefits.  The tool displays the benefit value of each feature.
  • Maturity assessment – Leverages Microsoft’s Infrastructure Optimization (Core IO) maturity model.  Enables the user to assess the likely impact of Windows 7 on maturity levels (adoption of best practices).
  • Protected, yet customizable - Essentially all values can be modified.  Formulas and other areas of the model that should not be modified are protected (locked) to maintain integrity.
  • Version check - When opened, the tool checks to see if a newer version is available for download.
  • Based on industry-standard calculations, industry-leading methodologies, and extensive research - It is as transparent as possible so the user is able to understand how the costs and benefits are calculated.  The calculation engine is based on or aligned with research/statistics from a variety of sources, including Gartner, IDC, Forrester, Help Desk Institute, SEC, Bureau of Labor Statistics, World Bank, salary surveys, Information Week, detailed Windows 7 TCO studies, over 80 published Windows 7 case studies, and many others.
  • Extensive use of graphs/charts to enhance understanding of results (for example, dynamic feature-benefit maps).
  • User-friendly - The workbook contains instructions, descriptions, and references.  Results are updated real-time and are displayed graphically throughout the model.  Includes macros to restore defaults and mark user-modified cells.  Although the model is user-friendly, we recommend users have at least a moderately-advanced understanding of business value concepts and operating systems to develop a credible business case.
  • See Terms of Use

*NOTE:  Pre-populated (default) cost and benefit data should not be used for making investment decisions.  This tool cannot accurately/credibly estimate costs/benefits without significant user review, validation, and adjustment of many data inputs (the detailed inputs should be customized for each particular organization).  Pre-populated data is based on research, but may not represent average/typical project results and may not be based on statistically significant research.  Pre-populated data should only be used as a starting place for assessing the business value of your particular organization and initiative.    

Sample Results
Sample Results

Model Components / Flowchart

The flowchart below graphically presents the components of the model and how to navigate the model.

Win 7 ROI Tool Model Components / Flowchart
Model Components / Flowchart

Costs (the investment)

All one-time and on-going costs required to implement/deploy, adopt, maintain, and support Windows 7

Design, Engineering, & Management

Hardware and Software Costs

Application Compatibility Testing & Remediation

  • Envisioning – situation/needs assessment
  • Planning – determine strategy, methods, and configurations
  • Developing – image engineering, infrastructure remediation
  • Stabilizing - lab tests and pilot deployments
  • Deploying – zero or lite touch installations (ZTI/LTI)
  • Vista License
  • Software assurance
  • Hardware replacement and upgrades
  • Application compatibility/regression testing
  • Application upgrade & replacement costs
  • Application modifications
  • Re-scripting / repackaging

End-User Costs

IT Training & Help Desk Costs

Installation/Deployment Labor Costs

  • Downtime during the upgrade
  • Personalization
  • Resolution of issues
  • Training (formal classroom and self-study)
  • Training (formal classroom and self-study)
  • Temporary increase in help desk calls
  • In-house vs. outsourced
  • Zero Touch, Lite Touch and manual installations
  • Logistics, image and application installation, user state migration, resolution of issues, etc.

Costs:  hardware; software; IT labor, training, and services; and user labor and training
Sample Results

IT Labor TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)

Annual on-going/recurring labor and services required to support and maintain the “as-is” (current or status quo) and “to-be” (after Windows 7 is deployed) environment

PC Management Services

Help Desk (Tech Support)

Network Mgmt Services

Application Development & Support

  • PC HW / SW Evaluation
  • PC Image Management
  • User Admin & Provisioning
  • Application Management
  • Software Deployment
  • Security Assessment & Planning
  • Security Patch Management
  • Security Incident Remediation
  • Data Mgmt, Backup & Restore
  • Tools/GPO Management
  • 3rd Level Support
  • Proprietary Applications
  • Standard Desktop Software
  • Operating Systems
  • Hardware (except printers)
  • Data Communications/ Network
  • Password Resets
  • Databases
  • Service Requests
  • Voice Communications
  • Printers
  • Others
  • Network management
  • Hardware management
  • Operating system support
  • Server application mgmt
  • Security
  • Storage management
  • Database Mgmt & Admin
  • Other
  • Application Development
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Support
  • Administration & Other
  • Planning
  • Purchasing
  • Finance
  • Training
  • Senior management

IT Labor TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)
Sample Results

Quantified Benefits

Direct and Indirect benefits enabled by the initiative – the “return” part of ROI

IT Labor/Services TCO Savings

Other Direct Cost Savings

User Productivity Benefits 

  • PC Management Services
  • Help Desk (Tech Support)
  • Server & Network Mgmt Services
  • Application Development & Support
  • Administration & Other
  • Reduce/avoid current/planned software due to Windows 7 features
  • Reduce Power/Electricity Usage
  • Remaining Current - Reduce costs of upgrading to Windows 7
  • Reduce/Avoid Travel & Commuting Expenses
  • Reduce Other business/IT expenses
  • Data & Information Access/Analysis
  • Support, Self-Help, & Learning
  • Performance
  • Mobility & Remote Connectivity
  • Security & Privacy
  • System UI Navigation
  • Availability & Reliability

Windows 7 Benefits
Sample Results

Non-Financial KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Not all benefits can credibly be translated into financial ($) benefit terms.  These are sometimes referred to as intangible benefits.  The workbook provides a structure to estimate how the initiative may impact the non-financial KPIs below:

Business Objective

KPI / Metric

Security Vulnerabilities

# of PC-related security vulnerabilities (attack surface)

Security Breaches

# of PC-related security breaches per year

Application Delivery Agility

Time (days) to package and deploy apps (request to delivery)

Security Compliance

Security baseline configuration (% of PCs in full compliance)

Best Practice Adoption

% of Microsoft Core Infrastructure Optimization best practices adopted

Service Level Agreement Performance

SLA achievement (% of desktop-related incidents resolved within SLA requirements)

User Desktop Experience Satisfaction

% of users that are highly satisfied (if surveyed)

System Response Time

Average system (local/LAN/WAN) response delay (Seconds)

Security Vulnerabilities

# of PC-related security vulnerabilities (attack surface)

Non-Financial KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
Sample Results

Key Windows 7 Features Assessed


Administration / Deployment

Mobility / Networking

Development Platform

  • IE8 Accelerators
  • IE8 Web Slices
  • IE8 SmartScreen Filter
  • IE8 Automatic Crash Recovery
  • Calculator / Paint / Sticky Notes
  • Gadgets improvements
  • Windows Live Services
  • Windows Live Essentials
  • WordPad
  • XPS Viewer
  • App Compatibility improvements
  • VHD image management and deployment
  • Boot from a VHD file
  • DISM
  • Dynamic Driver Provisioning
  • AppLocker
  • Problem Steps Recorder
  • Virtual Hard Disk support
  • PowerShell 2.0
  • Multicast Multiple Stream Transfer
  • Windows Troubleshooting Packs
  • Management of external machines
  • Group Policy improvements
  • Improved battery life
  • Mobile Link
  • Direct Access
  • VPN Reconnect
  • BrancheCache
  • DirectAccess
  • VDI Enhancements
  • HomeGroup
  • Wireless Device Network
  • Wake on Wireless LAN
  • Windows Connect Now (WCN)
  • Scenic Ribbon
  • Animation Framework
  • Touch APIs
  • Manipulation and inertia APIs
  • Handwriting and Ink
  • Gadgets Platform enhancements
  • Library APIs
  • Device Platforms
  • Windows Biometric Framework (WBF)
  • Services platform

Performance / Reliability

Navigation / Search

Security and Compliance

  • Device Stage
  • Location Aware Printing
  • Blu-Ray support
  • USB alternative support
  • Sensor and Location Platform
  • Performance imprvmts
  • Reliability Improvements
  • Startup Repair
  • Windows Recovery Environment
  • Unified Tracing
  • Remote access to reliability data
  • Action Center
  • Aero enhancements
  • Aero Peek
  • Aero Snaps
  • Aero Shake
  • Jump lists
  • Windows Touch
  • Speech Recognition improvements
  • Libraries
  • Search Federation
  • BitLocker improvements
  • BitLocker To Go
  • Credential Manager
  • UAC improvements
  • Windows Filtering Platform
  • Auditing

Key Windows 7 Features Assessed
Sample Results

Key Vista Features Assessed (for organizations upgrading from Windows XP)

Security and Compliance




  • IE7+ Security
  • Network Access Protection (NAP) Client
  • User Account Control (UAC)
  • BitLocker™ Drive Encryption
  • Windows Firewall
  • Windows Defender™
  • Windows Service Hardening
  • Windows Resource Protection
  • IE7 Protected Mode
  • Encrypted File System
  • Windows Rights Management Client
  • Biometrics
  • Cryptography Services
  • New Group Policies (e.g. Control over Power Management Settings and Device Installation)
  • Next-Generation TCP/IP Stack (e.g. IPv6)
  • Performance Monitoring and Logging
  • Event Forwarding / Event Viewer
  • Remote Assistance
  • Task Scheduler
  • Corporate Roaming
  • Folder Redirection
  • Offline Files and Folders
  • RDP over HTTP
  • Remote Desktop
  • Windows Meeting Space
  • Tablet PC
  • Application Compatibility Toolkit Version 5.0 (ACT)
  • Subsystem for UNIX-Based Applications (SUA)
  • Virtual PC Express
  • Multi-Lingual UI  (MUI)
  • Windows Imaging (WIM)



Search & Organize


  • ShadowCopy Backup
  • System Image Backup
  • File Backup and Restore
  • Built-In Diagnostics
  • Restart Manager
  • Next-Generation TCP/IP Stack (e.g. IPv6)
  • Network Diagnostics and Troubleshooting
  • Improved Wireless Networking
  • Speech Recognition
  • Digital Media
  • Internet Explorer 7+
  • Windows Aero™
  • Sidebar and Gadgets
  • Instant Search
  • Auto Disk Defragmentation
  • Fast Sleep and Resume
  • Windows ReadyBoost™

MDOP Products Assessed

  • Application Virtualization (SoftGrid)
  • Application Inventory Service
  • Advanced Group Policy Management
  • Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset
  • System Center Desktop Error Monitoring
  • Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization

Terms of Use / End-User License Agreement (EULA)

By using the software/document, you accept these terms.  If you do not accept them, do not use the software.

  • If your organization has purchased an enterprise-wide license to use this software/document throughout your organization: You may NOT distribute this software/document to anyone except employees of the organization.
  • You may NOT sell, rent, lease, or lend this software/document or portions/derivations of it.
  • You may NOT create derivative works from or "reverse-engineer" this software/document.
  • You may only modify portions of the software/document designated as "Input" cells (light yellow cells with double-outline and blue text).
  • You may NOT attempt to modify any “Protected”/”Locked” portions of this software/document.
  • You must maintain all copyright and other notices contained in this software/document.
  • You may incorporate only static (e.g. values, graphics) portions of this software/document within other documents (e.g. a business case report) as long as the dynamic (e.g. equations, macros) functionality of the workbook is not also incorporated or duplicated.
  • If this is a free “Preview”: You may use, copy, redistribute, display, print, and reproduce this software/document.

Model Use Instructions

  1.  Read the "Terms of Use" and "Disclaimer".
  2.  Before making any changes to the workbook, save the workbook under a different name.  This will preserve the original default values and formulas so you may return to them at a later time. 
  3. Navigate the workbook using the worksheet tabs at the bottom.  Start with the "Profile" and “Features” worksheets.  These worksheets contain the most important cost and benefit drivers.  You will also see a summary view of the costs and benefits of the scenario modeled.  Enter/edit data in the "input" (light yellow) cells with blue text and double outline.  Edit (overwrite) the default values to customize results for your particular organization/initiative. User Input Cells
  4.  Review the “ROI” worksheet to pre-view the costs and benefits.
  5.  Review the detailed default metrics and calculations in the IO, cost (red tabs), benefit (green tabs), and risk (yellow) worksheets. 
  6.  The "Financial Analysis" report (or any other worksheet) can be printed or saved as PDF/XPS.  Portions of the model may be incorporated (e.g. “Paste Special As Picture”) into a more comprehensive business case-type report. 
  7.  Additional instructions are provided in the model
  8. If fee-based consultative guidance and/or customizations are desired, contact HCR.


Results should be considered estimates only.  It is intended to help guide customers in better understanding approximate costs and benefits of various scenarios.  Due to limitations of simulation tools, actual results may differ significantly.  Deployment/investment decisions should not be based on the results of this tool alone -- it is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. 

This information is provided to you as a tool “as is” with the understanding that there are no representations or warranties of any kind either express or implied.  HCR and suppliers/vendors disclaim all warranties including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.  HCR and suppliers do not warrant or make any representations regarding the use, validity, accuracy or reliability of the tool or the results of the use of the tool.  In no event shall HCR or suppliers be liable for any damages, including those arising as a result of HCR or supplier negligence, whether those damages are direct, consequential, incidental, or special, flowing from your use of or inability to use the tool, or information provided herewith, or results of the tool's use, even if HCR or suppliers has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

Model Support

HCR can provide fee-based services, including telephonic support, workbook customizations, and comprehensive consulting engagements to assist with business case development and validation.

For More Information

Hall Consulting & Research (HCR);; 412-344-5103;

Dashboard - Organizational Profile - Rapid ROI

The dashboard enables rapid entry of company/scenario information for a rapid ROI analysis