TCO Meaning & Definition

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a common phrase used to represent how much it actually costs to own a PC, server, or any combination of hardware system or devices.

The TCO includes the following:

  • Original cost of the computer and software
  • Hardware and software upgrades
  • Maintenance
  • Technical support
  • Training
  • Most estimates place the TCO at about 3 to 4 times the actual purchase cost. 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.

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