How to save energy worth $5bn/year worldwide

by Shijaz Abdulla on 16.07.2007 at 15:07

The most recent iteration of Microsoft’ flagship desktop operating system, Windows Vista, has certain enhancements that let you save $50 to $70 per year on energy costs to power a single computer.

It is believed that Windows is the operating system of choice on 100 million desks worldwide. Computers are not always in use all the time that they are powered on. Typically office PCs are kept on all the time – after office hours and over weekends. Estimates suggest that the world spends $5 to $7 billion a year powering ‘inactive’ computers! From an environmental perspective, this also means 45 million tons of CO2 emitted per year. Interesting to note: your choice of operating system affects your contribution to global warming!!

With the enhanced power management features of Windows Vista, these cost savings on energy can be realized. So I guess Vista’s ‘greener’ than Windows XP.

Critics say that if Microsoft had found out how to minimize these costs on the Windows XP operating system when it was released five years ago, the world would have saved $25 billion worth of energy. Re-thinking it liberally, new technology is supposed to do that: make things better and make lives easier.

A few decades ago, we may not have had car engines that are as fuel efficient as they are today. So do we blame the Hudson Motor Car company or Mercedes-Benz for not having developed energy-efficient engine models back then?

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