In an effort to boost uptake of its latest operating system and desk top productivity suite, Microsoft released the results of a study that showed larger IT shops could get a rapid return on investment by moving from Windows and Office 9.X level products to XP.
Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer said: "With budgets tight, enterprises need to be confident of real returns before they invest in IT.
"We think companies still on the Windows 95 or Windows 98 platforms are missing out on the incredible benefits that come with the combination of Windows XP and Office XP."
Most of the savings come from reduced help desk costs and more uptime for desktop users, said Rogers Weed, vice-president of Microsoft's Windows Client Side Product Management.
"If you think about [Windows] 9X in general and how reliable it is compared with XP, there is a big chunk of savings in just not having the machine crash as often. Also, XP has better document recovery technology that allows you to save right up to the minute of a crash saving time and increasing productivity," Weed said