Microsoft has however been transparent from the start that the free upgrade for eligible users would be offered until July 29, 2016 — exactly one year from the initial launching date.

The same logic applies to buying servers and related network hardware – the real investment begins once that equipment arrives at your door.

Even though more than 50% of TCO comes from indirect expenditures, many organizations focus solely on curbing direct costs.

TCO calculations include a combination of direct costs (hardware, software, operations and administration) and indirect costs (end-user operations and downtime).

TCO is often overlooked, and unbudgeted, presenting an inaccurate IT spending analysis.

Tight budgets and limited expertise often keep small organizations from making effective IT decisions.

However, understanding hidden technology costs can actually help you reduce unnecessary expenditures and reallocate resources to more important business functions.

Windows 10's new features include Cortana, a digital personal assistant similar to Google Now or Apple's Siri, an all-new Internet browser and a restructured Start Menu.

Nearly two-thirds of small businesses and organizations are expected to buy new IT equipment this year, replacing one in four office computers.

Microsoft has released instructions for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to reserve an upgrade from a notification icon in their task bar.