I got my question closed as an opinion based: Is it really cheaper to use a Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure than to buy a hardware with the Windows OS?.

While the question is clearly not opinion-based. I provided a comparison with definite numbers and come to a conclusion that contradicts the statements in the Microsoft Documentation. All that made me confused and led to posting a question, but instead of any kind of explanation or support I got my question downvoted, closed and not answered. I hope for any healthy explanation here.

Do you consider the following statement: if we save 7000USD with one procedure, then it is cheaper compared to another procedure, which would cost us 7000USD more opinion based? Is it opinion based to think of the 7000USD as money worth saving? Do some moderators on Super User really think that 7000USD may be or may not be a reasonable saving?

  • You have to factor in the support and maintenance costs of the two approaches. It is not possible to quantify either of those, which makes it opinion based. Your question is aslo off-topic. From the azure tag "Questions about the Azure web service questions are on topic here only if the question is about the operating system or using a PC application hosted there"
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 11:57
  • Your question could have also been closed as being off topic. Questions about licensing costs are to be answered by people authorized to sell those products. While it would be nice if costs were simple enough they could be known and clear, with a complex product, pricing is usually complex, and there is a fair amount of opinion involved, oddly enough. For these reasons and others questions about licensing costs are off topic on SU. Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 17:56
  • Why was the question downvoted? Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 9:31

1 Answer 1


It is opinion based because it can only be answered by guesses and conjecture.

Cost of services verses cost of hardware is an incredibly difficult thing to quantify and while your question focuses purely on hardware it ignores all the support work behind that hardware. You are looking at "cost of hardware" rather than "cost of ownership", one is the initial outlay, while the other includes things like

  • maintenance
  • upgrades
  • training (easier if everyone has the same hardware/software)
  • hardware failures (more likely with 100 machines than 1)
  • software updates (easier to update 1 base image than 100 full machines)
  • support personnel wages

And the list goes on... it depends entirely on who is looking at it as to what that list entails and how much each stage costs. Do they buy premium hardware to offset likelihood of failures? Do you postpone updates and risk security breaches? How often do you upgrade, every year or every 5 years? What are your rollout schedules for new hardware? How do you get the hardware to people? How do you deal with downtime? How many people do you need to support 100 machines? How much are you paying those people?

A single support engineer could easily cost double your initial outlay for hardware, while that cost could be included in your "hosted" solution. Do you keep it in house or do you outsource it?

All of these things depend on you, your company, your directors, your intent. And they are all going to be opinions on the best way to deal with something at that moment, what costs each compromise takes and what benefits you might reap.

Cost of ownership isn't really a problem using computer hardware either, it is a large scale corporate problem.

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