Abbreviation of Total Cost of Ownership, a very popular buzzword representing how much it actually costs to own a PC. The TCO includes:
Most estimates place the TCO at about 3 to 4 times the actual purchase cost of the PC. The TCO has become a rallying cry for companies supporting network computers. They claim that not only are network computers less expensive to purchase, but the TCO is also much less because network computers can be centrally administered and upgraded. Backers of conventional PCs, especially Microsoft and Intel, have countered with Zero Administration for Windows (ZAW), which they claim will also significantly reduce TCO.