How Microsoft can save the world

This is a cross-post from the Green Computing forum that I recently convinced to create (the interest of silence freaks and eco-computing are actually closely aligned most of the time). I actually think the following is an achievable goal with a meaningful potential impact on the environment:

As Vista prepares for a delayed takeoff, I’m wondering if anyone knows whether Microsoft is going to do one small, very simple thing to reduce the power consumption associated with computing:

Eliminate the “screen saver” and blank the screen after, say, 30 minutes of inactivity.

As we change from CRTs to LCDs the impact of this change is, sadly, a lot less than it would have been 3 years ago. But there are still a lot of CRTs out there, and in any event even putting LCDs to standby saves some power.

I hate, hate, hate walking by an office at night and seeing the stupid Windows logo bouncing around, proclaiming “I’m wasting power!” In fact, if one of those crackers out there wants to do something productive with their skills, they should devote their energies to writing a virus that changes the power settings of all infected computers to turn off the monitor after 30 minutes.

Any thoughts on this? I think the major points of resistance to this will be from sysadmins who have to deal with irate, clueless users complaining about their computers “turning off.” But if there can be a simultaneous marketing/education campaign, maybe sysadmins would be willing to take a bullet for the sake of reducing power consumption…

Comment here or on the Green Computing forum.

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