Green Microsoft Project

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For several years now I have wandered the halls of my office, shutting off people's monitors and, whenever possible, convincing them to change their power settings so that Windows shuts of their monitors after a period of inactivity. This led me to the question -- why isn't monitor power shutoff automatically built into Windows? With a simple change of one or two configuration keys, Microsoft could single-handedly reduce the power consumption of home and office computers by a significant margin. (This was more true several years ago when CRTs were more prevalent than LCDs, which use less power).

See my posts on this topic here and here.

I believe that a concerted effort across the eco-blogosphere can bring Microsoft around to this position. A successful campaign would also have to account for the many interests at stake, not least of which are the systems administrators who probably are the biggest barriers to making this change because they are the ones dealing with users' complaints that "My computer shut off!" A 30-second PSA video about how much power a monitor sucks up (65 watts for a CRT) and what we can do to save energy might also be part of this campaign, and probably incredibly easy to make. (Not so easy to make it fun or funny, tho).

A quick "Google search" turns up some interesting stuff, including this "contrarian article" that argues against turning off computers because it somehow makes them more susceptible to viruses, though the logic deployed in the article is rather flawed.