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Microsoft One Step From World's Greenest Company

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the environmental-update dept.


An anonymous reader writes "According to this article, Microsoft is only a few lines of code away from becoming the greenest company on Earth." From the article: "Redmond should issue a software upgrade to every computer running Microsoft Windows worldwide to adjust each machine's energy-saving settings for maximum efficiency." The author figures that the upgrade would affect 100 million computers and that the power cost savings could hit $7 billion per year. CO2 emissions would be cut by 45 million tons. But what about the impact on computing?

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Lame (-1, Offtopic)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867754)


Good lord! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16867776)

Install Linux! Pollute the Earth!!!!!1111

Hey MODs Back off... (1, Offtopic)

dwayner79 (880742) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867932)

The parent is on topic. I actually chuckled a bit.

Re:Good lord! (3, Informative)

h2g2bob (948006) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868008)

That's not really trolling - Linux doesn't seem set up to save power. While there are packages like hibernate [] , it's not well advertised, and didn't get installed by default for me.

Unsolicited Advice (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16867778)

Let me get this straight. Some random guy says things like "But correcting for critical systems should be very simple for a company that churns out millions of lines of code every year." and we take him seriously? Of course, it's simple. Just a few lines of code.

Anti-Microsoft FUD. Typical Slashdot. Why don't you go sip your lattes and pretend like you actually have a life, hipster morons.

Re:Unsolicited Advice (2, Insightful)

heroofhyr (777687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867902)

I don't grasp how this is "anti-Microsoft." That's a wee bit hyperdefensive to accuse the OP of. All the blog says is that if more people put their computer in standby or sleep mode at the end of the workday, the world would save a lot of money and electricity. That's not anti- anything except senseless waste. It's true however you want to defend it. I've never worked in a corporation that shut the computers off at the end of the day, despite the fact that it'd probably save them tens of thousands on electricity and having to buy new hardware periodically. As for how complex it is, considering there's already an option in every Windows system to put the computer in Standby after X Minutes, I doubt it would be very hard to change the setting in the Registry or wherever it's stored (I don't do Windows programming, but I use it enough to know the dialog box for Sleep Mode is there). That seems impractical and risky to me. It'd be better for MS just to start some sort of "corporate conservation" campaign telling them to shut the workstations down in the evening and flashing a bunch of slick graphs with captions like "Profit Losses Due to Idle Computers" on them till the executives' eyes glaze over and they submit.

Re:Unsolicited Advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16868068)

It's a pre-emptive strike. 0&cid=16867804 [] 0&cid=16867896 [] 0&cid=16867940 [] 0&cid=16867940 []

If you think people won't twist "Microsoft could help the environment" to "Microsoft should already be doing it", you haven't been here long enough.

Re:Unsolicited Advice (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868266)

What about the profit lost due to the company not being able to mass push updates at night without going to every computer?

Not to mention the companies that let people login remotely to their work PCs, or that have networked shares.

Stupid blog entry (-1, Offtopic)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867782)

So a blogger made a claim about Microsoft and now it's on the front page. One might suspect a deliberate troll.

Re:Stupid blog entry (5, Funny)

Trailwalker (648636) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867944)

This blogger should lead by example and turn his machine off.


Even better idea (2, Insightful)

PFritz21 (766949) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868114)

Powering down unused PC's would be an even better idea. My desktop at work is only on for the 9 hours I'm in the office, and my home machine is only on for the 6 hours in the evening after work and before I go to bed.

Of course! (1)

Sukael (867041) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867802)

1. Piss off every performance-oriented computer user on Earth 2. ??? 3. Profit!

Re:Of course! (1)

bblboy54 (926265) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867830)

Piss off every performance-oriented computer user on Earth

Who uses Windows for performance?

Re:Of course! (1)

ynnaD (700908) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867874)

Who uses Windows for performance?

The same people that play the latest and greatest games?

Re:Of course! (2, Funny)

bblboy54 (926265) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868046)

The same people that play the latest and greatest games?

Sorry, I'm not a gamer. I've been holding out for Duke Nukem Forever.

Re:Of course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16868104)

I never knew nethack was available for windows.

Did no one realise this one? (5, Funny)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868090)

1. Invest in energy companies.
2. Change software to burn more energy.
3. Profit!

Greenest? (0, Flamebait)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867804)

this atones not for monopolism

Re:Greenest? (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867842)

Without a doubt Microsoft has had a jaded past.

Yet Gates was once a man who did not believe in charity, and now he is Time's Man of the Year for his charity. Warren Buffet gave most of his wealth up to the Gates foundation.

Microsoft is embracing open-source, working on filters to save in OpenDocumentFormat, etc.

Microsoft was without a doubt, evil. I believe that Microsoft is becoming considerably less evil, perhaps in an attempt to copy-cat Google's success.

Re:Greenest? (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868026)

Valid point. I have witnessed malicious people imitating good when advantageous....

Re:Greenest? (1, Interesting)

cyberlotnet (182742) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868034)

Prior to the anti trust cases gates/microsoft gave next to nothing to charity, He goes from dirt rich doing nothing usefull with his wealth to Time's Man of the Year.

I would love to think its all from his heart, but I think its tainted money, backdoor bribes to make people happy. There actions are to save there own ass, they are not embracing open-source they are giving in to pressure in hopes it will prevent "Antitrust suit 2"

Why Good or Evil? (1)

Jawood (1024129) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868342)

Microsoft was without a doubt, evil.

Why do they have to fall into the catagory of "Good" or "Evil"? Can't there be a shade of gray?

I know of a few folks who were able to retire early because of their investments in MS stock back in the late 80's and early 90's. As far as they're concerned, MS is in the "Good" catagory.

And if they can use their market power to make PCs use less energy, I am for them - as long as they inform their users that they're doing it.

Just a thought - and I have had only one cup of coffee - so bare that in mind. ;-)

Re:Greenest? (1)

hclyff (925743) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867952)

Greenest... from all those greenback maybe.

Re:Greenest? (4, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868032)

While dropping the monopoly word in here is a sure fire way to get modded up, it just amazes me that a community of people who run two, three, or more different OS's, on different hardware platforms cry monopoly at every chance with Microsoft but do not when they are complaining about being stuck with a 3mbit cable modem, or unable to get bare copper lines for DSL back in the day, or even able to get FIOS TV because their town granted a monopoly to the local cable company.

There are REAL monopolies impacting people in the US vastly more than the anti-Microsoft brigade seems to understand.

Its a very myopic view of things.

Re:Greenest? (1)

IDontAgreeWithYou (829067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868110)

I'd say you must be new here, but that's obviously not true (2822). People bitch all the time on here about their choices of broadband connection. I've mentioned before that in my particular area, there are two cable companies and a couple of DSL providers, and supposedly fiber is coming in the (relatively) near future. So, personally I don't have this problem, but I guess I might move someday.

Re:Greenest? (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868344)

I, for one example, do complain about the granted monopolies in the Twin Cities area. For a while Comcast would only sell a bundled service (which they basically still have) of phone, cable, and internet for $120 ($144 after taxes etc)/month. Or you could get slower internet only for $60/month. I distinctly remember my brother yelling from across the room at the rep, "Well tell them they can take their monopoly and shove it up thier ASS!" I also remember the rep screaming, "I HEARD THAT!" But I did just that. I don't watch TV and I have a cell.

wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16867816)

Yes because this won't piss of loads of people worldwide at alll....sigh

Hmm (1)

ynnaD (700908) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867820)

So, reading the article it seems that this patch is merely turning the power savings mode on by default. How many people will just turn it back off straight away?

There is no word on whether this is going to be marked as a critical update, or whether machines that are not running WGA will be able to update.

Re:Hmm (1)

DMorritt (923396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867858)

what about those not running "legit" versions of windows? surely the stats show that they are windows users and can join in and save power, however if they cant get the update ...

Re:Hmm (2, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868108)

Not to mention, a significant number (I'd say the majority) of the world's computers are, to a greater or lesser extent, running on managed networks where such things as power-saving settings are set by policy.

Spare us the uninformed babble, please (4, Insightful)

Zigg (64962) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867824)

What a phenomenally stupid idea. I have personally used a half-dozen machines where enabling "power-saving" is a recipe for operational disaster. Machines that power off completely. Machines that lock up. Machines that do something and never come back.

I think the lack of foresight on TFA's part with this inane suggestion reflects pretty accurately on how seriously we should take the article as a whole.

Re:Spare us the uninformed babble, please (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867890)

Yeah, hmm... $7 billion per year in power savings. Is that counting the $10 billion in additional customer support costs, lost productivity, aggravation and egg on Microsoft's face?

Bullshit (-1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867892)

Spare us from rants about your own incompetence.

Every computer build and sold the last years HAS to perfectly work with at least the S2 and S3 power-save modes. If not, its a defective product.

Not to mention that every AMD computer (thats a lot) can perfectly save at least 25% by enabling Q&C, which ZERO user impact.

Re:Spare us the uninformed babble, please (3, Insightful)

MarkH (8415) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867986)

While the idea needs some more work if it saves this volume of energy it is worth serious investigation. I am afraid the only 'phenomenally stupid idea' is having 100 million appliances which need to be working at full pelt for no other reasons than the way the software on them is designed.

Imagine the laughs if a new car was brought out which required the engine to be on all the time - because if you turned it off you cannot unlock the doors.

Re:Spare us the uninformed babble, please (4, Insightful)

Mayhem178 (920970) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868092)

Imagine the laughs if a new car was brought out which required the engine to be on all the time - because if you turned it off you cannot unlock the doors.

You just described every server on the market.

I know that I would not want Microsoft fumbling around with the power saving settings on my Windows 2000/2003 Server (if I had one) computer just because they think they know what's best for consumers. I mean, we've already seen this mentality from them on numerous occasions, and how many times has it resulted in something useful? WGA protecting the consumer? Bull. How about how any Microsoft product update automatically resets the application in question to be the default application of that type (e.g. anything in Microsoft Office)?

Now they want to muck with power savings settings through an update. Sorry, I'm gonna pass on that one.

It Wouldn't Affect Computing At All (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16867852)

People who need better performance would change the settings. The vast majority of people don't need better performance. The vast majority would be okay (performance-wise) running a slightly souped-up C128 with GEOS and the Wave.

Re:It Wouldn't Affect Computing At All (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16868024)

The vast majority of consumers don't leave their computers on overnight - it's mainly businesses. Businesses generally would be doing something with their computing power overnight, and wouldn't welcome it.

Already? (2, Informative)

n3tcat (664243) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867854)

What about all the companies that enforce power management settings across their network that remove standby mode etc? And that's just one large example of all of the little situations which would partially negate this ignorantly large savings estimation.

Not saying it wouldn't help, but you don't force something like this down on a 5 year old OS. Now if they included some sort of detection system in Vista that adjusted accordingly, then that would be helpful for the next gen.

green power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16867856)

Somehow I think U.S. Sustainable Energy Corp ( [] ) would be the worlds greenest company if what they state they can do is true.

Re:green power (1)

fearx (19408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867948)

thats []

Actually (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867864)

I've set our network up to do rather a lot overnight; the "healing process" as I like to call it. Each workstation is completely backed up to a storage server, SourceSafe to the tap-drive(40Gb database), SQL Servers run the maintenance plans (backups to tape, index consolidations, etc), automatic updates are installed and applied (if there are any), and each machine runs a full virus scan. It takes most of the night, and is quite essential for smooth running.

Basically, by the time people arrive in the morning; everyone's data is safe, machines secure, and operation virus-free.

In other words, there's no way I'd recommend shutting the network down overnight.

Re:Actually (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867972)

Um, isn't that what Wake-On-LAN is for?

Re:Actually (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868132)

Don't know if it's still the case, but historically Wake-on-LAN has been fantastically unreliable.

Re:Actually (2, Informative)

blindcoder (606653) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868236)

Well, on my 3year old mainboard, it certainly is.
Shut Windows down using a short touch on the power button (you'll see the shutdown window), and Wake-On-LAN does exactly nothing.
Shut Windows down with Start->Shutdown (still funny today) and WOL works.
Shut Linux down with 'halt', 'init 0' or 'shutdown -h now' and WOL works.

None of this has ANYTHING to do with saving power (2, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868272)

Changing just two settings on the average office PC will cut it's useage by over 50% on a daily average, yet hardly any office ever mandates that they be enabled

- Screen saver totally disabled in favor of DPMS suspend after 10 minutes of inactivity and monitor shut off after 15 minutes

- Set hard drives to spin down after 20 minutes of inactivity.

See how easy that was? It didn't affect your backup plan or anything else. The hard drive setting ALONE can save you 15% or more, especially if your office runs lots of applications over the network.

Here's a thought ... (1, Flamebait)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867870)

If the installed base of PCs was comprised of many different OSes each of comparable market penetration, this would require almost every OS vendor to make these changes -- assuming of course they all had something akin to the Windows Power control applet in the first place. In fact, this *could* be one of those times when having a monopoly desktop OS is a *good* thing.

Here's my (better) idea. (5, Interesting)

ceeam (39911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867872)

Please disable "screen saver" feature altogether. DPMS sleep modes work much, much better for "screen saving" (and screen saver of course do not save energy at all). Flying shits and "nice" landscapes may be kinda fun for a first time but that time ended about 20 years ago. Oh, same applies to all unices and macs of course. I have colleagues who have screensavers running on there PCs/laptops for _days_ (as on weekends) and monitors never go to sleep. Sigh.

Re:Here's my (better) idea. (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868220)

On todays systems with todays power saving mointors and video cards, there is NO excuse for not having minotor power saving mode enabled at some level.

Re:Here's my (better) idea. (2, Informative)

Cragen (697038) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868296)

Your idea has a (perceived) flaw when it comes to reality. Example: All US Army PC's are now required to have screen savers that activate (w/approved password) after 10 min. of inactivity. Not necessarily a great idea, but the Army thinks it is so us folk that work for them have that capability enabled on our PC's whether we wish it or not. Heck, we can't even change the background via screen settings as that tab is disabled. Sigh... Cragen

Now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16867876)

I for one welcome our new Green M$ Overlords.

A bigger energy saver would be code/ a device (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867880)

.. that let Microsoft globally turn off those flashy LEDs and stupid crap that people use to customize their PC cases with. Clearing stores of the USB attached crap they sell at Christmas would help too - my local store is selling USB powered plastic fake-fish fish tanks, cup warmers and much more.

Even more power savings (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867882)

I've seen server rooms that run off DC and have substantial power savings.

Google suggested a new standard for ATX power supplies that is supposed to have again, substantial power savings.

There are solutions out there without a doubt. Big businesses would save money on their bills.

So why is no one interested in saving money?

Bueller? Bueller?

Re:Even more power savings (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16868096)

Because most businesses have a hard time seeing past the initial cost differential of buying a DC server vs. an AC server, nevermind the cost of making your server room DC rather than AC.

Not sure about the ATX power supply, but I have to say that most of the equipment in most server rooms (remember that Google uses biege boxes, rather than vendor specific servers) don't use a standard ATX powersupply anyway - the form factor is way different, even if the output voltages are the same. That would cost a fortune to change out for most companies too. And in this day and age of "where's the profit?" you will be very unlikely to convince anyone to spend money now to save it in a couple of years.

Energy efficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16868222)

There are solutions out there without a doubt. Big businesses would save money on their bills.

So why is no one interested in saving money?

Increasing energy efficiency in general (not just in computing) is something that we can do relatively easily and that will help substantially to combat the rise in CO2 emissions. Unfortunately one gets the feeling that a lot of people, especially on the right wing of the political spectrum, are against increasing energy efficiency simply more because the environmentalists advocate it doing it rather than because it is a bad idea.

Re:Even more power savings (1)

Nicaboker (978150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868340)

It's not that people/business isn't interested in saving money its just that using these new ideas requires change. Being that it is new and requires change strikes fear into most people, especially businesses. Common logic is "if this way works, and we've been doing it for X number of years why change?"

NO! (0, Flamebait)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867896)

If Microsoft didn't exist at all, the IT industry would be far more energy efficient. Think of the stupidity of integrating the GUI into the Kernel for an OS that runs servers. Windows is bloated and it isn't getting any better. A look at the system requirements of Vista further proves just how inefficient Windows is. Think of all the CPU cycles, RAM, Disk Space, and other resources waisted on anti-malware, malware itself, license authentication, DRM decoding, and etc other bothers caused by the crap that this illegal monopoly has forced on us.

Re:NO! (1, Flamebait)

Porchroof (726270) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868066)

Boy, you've got a burr up your butt. Microsoft became a "monopoly" because it sold products that people wanted. (My guess is that you were still sucking your mommy's titty when Bill started the company.)

Re:NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16868234)

Microsoft had the most effective marketing and legal practices in the IT industry.
Still does.
Nothing to do with product quality...

Re:NO! (1)

msormune (808119) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868308)

So how come Apple commercials and product packaging are a lot better than Microsoft's but Microsoft is in a clear lead? And product quality means different thing for different people. For most people, "getting the job done" is the best feature in an OS, along with the price of the system. In which case, Windows is the winner.

I'm a tie-dye loving hippy. (0, Offtopic)

Centurix (249778) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867898)

Save the chairs!

Suuuuure (2, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867900)

Number of non-mobile computers out there that support CPU frequency and clock scaling - Very few.

AMD has only had that on the market for desktop CPUs for 3-4 years (or less), and Intel has only had it on the market for 3-4 months (since the Core 2 Duo launch for the desktop). No previous Intel desktop CPU supported any power management of significance.

This is one of those aspects of hardware that can't be changed in software. If the hardware doesn't support it (and for a few more years, most machines won't, people overestimate how often the "average Joe" replaces his hardware, same for corporate users), no software update will do a thing.

If he's talking about suspend and hibernate - That stuff is disabled by default because it rarely ever works properly. Of all the machines I own, only one (My newest machine) can wake up from hibernation with 100% reliability. If Microsoft tried to force hibernation to be enabled on all users, they would have a massive lawsuit on their hands due to all the machines that can't handle it.

In other news... (4, Funny)

lennart78 (515598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867918)

Car companies could drastically reduce emissions is they would would just limit all internal combustion engines at 3000rpm. Think of what this would do for emission levels.
Or that the engine would shut itself down if you let it run stationary for 30 seconds.

I think I just solved the entire global warming issue!
Onwards to the meaning of life!

Re:In other news... (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868062)

I read that 2 minutes was the point at which cutting an engine saves fuel.

Trying to find a link for that is a tad tricky.

Re:In other news... (1)

lennart78 (515598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868112)

No! You're doing it wrong. Don't be scientific about it, just say: An engine that's not running is not using any fuel.
Stick to these kind of logics and people will think you talk in simple truths. Next thing you'll be president of the USA.

OK, sorry, I'll take my pills now and get back to work...

Re:In other news... (1)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868182)

That's what people *say* but I'm not entirely sure. I've been doing a bit of engine-start calibration recently, and mostly it depends on the calibration. Let's say to start an engine, you get a primer pulse of 100ms, then 5 revolutions of fuel before hitting idle speed, then you're running normal (on a warm engine, so there's none of that goofy warm-up stuff).

Let's say, for instance, that running at idle you have fuel pulses of 4 ms. Let's say this is a 4 cylinder. So, the primer pulse is 400 ms of fuel (100ms x 4 injectors), then you get 5 x 4 x 4ms before running at all, which is another 80 ms, so 480 ms worth of fuel. For a single cylinder, this is 120ms; if a normal event is 4 ms, that means that's 30 events worth of fuel, or 60 revolutions. At an idle speed of 500 RPM, that's only 60/500 of a minute to use the same amount of fuel. Even if a normal pulse width is 1 ms instead of 4 at idle, that only brings it up to 240/500 of a minute to break even.

So, it really depends on how the vehicle is calibrated; how the catalytic converter behaves, what the "warm-up logic" for the vehicle is, etc.

Well duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16867936)

They have a lot of green, consequently...

GPO (4, Informative)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867938)

What they should do is allow machine power settings to be controllable from an Active Directory policy object. Network admins would then have fine control of the power usage of their desktops.

Gotta wait a little bit longer... (1)

pointbeing (701902) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868146)

What they should do is allow machine power settings to be controllable from an Active Directory policy object. Network admins would then have fine control of the power usage of their desktops.
Vista allows power management settings to be managed by policy object.

Even better (2, Insightful)

k-sound (718684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867940)

Microsoft could also use their online updating powers to make windows secure, thus reducing the power consumption caused by viruses, spyware, virus scanners etc.that use 90% the resources on the average windows box.

Re:Even better (1)

Nate B. (2907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868294)


Expending resources on useless and harmful activity certainly must account for much of the energy consumption. It would be fantastic if someone could quantify this impact, although that would be "embarrassing" for MS and thus won't be done.

Or just reduce code bloat? (1)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867946)

If the processor(s) weren't so busy running such piggy code, perhaps they could automagically throttle down without any coaxing from Redmond and without affecting those of us who need to have their systems running full-bore 24/7.

How exactly? (4, Insightful)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867950)

How would this make Microsoft the greenest company? As far as I can tell, it wouldn't. It would make the companies that use MS products greener companies. It would have nothing to do with the net energy that Microsoft uses.

Re:How exactly? (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868214)

You don't think Microsoft machines run Windows?

Well, I suppose if they've banned SourceSafe...

The Numbers are the Amazing Part (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16867960)

This article did directly address Microsoft concerning power consumption, and perhaps rightly so, I won't speculate. But the amazing thing here are, in fact, the numbers. If we actually just allowed our machines to enter sleep mode, we could have a significant environmental impact. A positive environment inpact, to be clearer. And if that isn't enough, for large businesses the cost savings should be relevent as well.

This isn't just about what Microsoft can and cannot do, this is about what we as users do. For those of us in the know, we should take this to heart and make an effort, if we aren't already, to reduce our power consumption. For everyone else, there needs to be education. Microsoft built in the feature, now we as techies need to let everyone know how to use that feature. Something like this helps everyone.

What about lock-ups, o/s crashes (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868040)

and other amazing consequences ?

FP... what a pile of crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16867992)

Just have a look at the paper's cover story and some of the essays... Who /.ed this???

Fantastic (1)

mashmorgan (615200) | more than 7 years ago | (#16867996)

Just sending a personal message to shelley about this. This does indeed solve a lot of problems I've having with my PC.. Even measure's like doing back to a native screen colour such black instead of white .. []

Green back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16868006)

The color must be color of money in this case

What about Vista? (1)

3.14159265 (644043) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868010)

Aren't they contradicting themselves by releasing the most power-hungry OS ever?

Vista (3, Informative)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868018)

Vista already seems to have a more power-saving profile by default, I was surprised when I couldn't VNC into it a few hours after leaving. Turned out (when I physically got there) it entered the suspend mode. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway, hah!), the power settings are back at Always On.

Not that easy (4, Insightful)

khendron (225184) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868050)

Can you imagine the support nightmare Microsoft would unleash upon themselves if they did what the article suggests?

Articles like this underline a huge problem in the software industry. Too many people think that software is easy, and that all any problem needs is a few software tweaks. Too many people are willing to offer up solutions without thinking the issue all the way through.

It is attitudes like this that lead to failed billion-dollar IT projects, most of what is offered on the Daily WTF [] , and VB hacks promoting themselves as software engineers.

Why would Microsoft be the greenest? (2, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868052)

Those computers are not theirs. So if I have a computer and I save energy, it is I who should step up, not the who told me to do it to save money and not the person I tell to implement it.

If it were that easy, I am also one step away from being the greenest person: Everbody, turn off all your computers. Do not drive your car and don't use any electricity.

GSOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16868070)

And I thought he was talking about changing the "BLUE" screen of death to "GREEN" ala the X-box. That WOULD make them the greenest company. Or was he talking about all the "GREENBACKS" they have in the bank. They could make a big difference were they to provide green/clean power for Seattle and Redmond.

It's simple.... (1)

JaJ_D (652372) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868076)

a) Install pskill
b) Kill -9 -1.

Job's done!


if MS won't do it (2, Funny)

zome (546331) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868086)

someone please write a worm that sets power-setting to maximum. The world will be a better place in no time...:-)

Oh, come on... (3, Informative)

pointbeing (701902) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868088)

Apparently unlike some I actually read TFA.

I don't see where Microsoft commented one way or the other. What we have is a blogger with an idea to inflict power saving modes on people. MS is *way* smarter than that.

It's one of the down sides to free speech on the internet - even people who have dumb things to say can be instantly (and globally) published. ;-)

Home PC/Mac Power Consumption (5, Insightful)

lancejjj (924211) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868102)

I figured out that my PCs were consuming more electricity than my fridge, dish washer, and clothes washer. Combined.

I made a chart of actual electricity use of various PCs and Macs on my blog: PC and Mac power consumption [] .

In a nutshell, my annual power consumption went down by 30% (!) once I started to power down my home-built "home server PC" when not in use.

I also figured out that when buying a new PC that is going to see a lot of use, power consumption should be a factor. If you're saving $100 in purchase price, but spending $50/year for additional electricity because the cheap PC's power supply is grossly inefficient, well, have you really saved anything if you keep that machine for 3 years? The short answer. NO.

Chairs (1)

Explodicle (818405) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868120)

Wow, I've never heard of Microsoft using power responsibly before.

Not using HLT-instruction in W95+98, insane waste (1)

JesVestervang (872086) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868122)

If you look a little back in time Microsoft was responsible for an insane waste of energy by not letting Windows 95 and 98 (and others) use the HLT-instruction to make processors save power. Back when I had my P2-300 it used 40 watts when idling under Linux 2.2 and 60 watts under Windows 98 (non-scientific measurement with a simple digital multimeter). Scale that difference up to all Windows 95 and 98 in the world and Microsoft doesn't seem so environment-friendly any longer. -- Regards Jes Vestervang

Very Green (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868124)

$28.25 billion dollars of cash on the balance sheets. That's a lot of green!

It's probably true (1)

Herger (48454) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868140)

I don't believe any MS operating system has a built-in power on/off feature like Macs have that allows you to set the machine to turn on and off at specific times. At my workplace -- in fact, at every workplace and university I have ever attended -- computers were left on at full power 24/7. If MS pushed an update that set the default power settings to sleep or hibernate at 8 PM, that would probably help a lot. As far as making it Mac-like, turning back on at a given time, I suppose that would take BIOS support that most PC mainboards don't have. I don't think it would kill people to have to wait for startup in the morning, though: it would give me an opportunity to fix a pot of coffee and sort the junk mail, for example. I suppose you could combine short delays before hibernation with dedicated flash memory for saving the hibernation image for fast start/stop to make hibernation more practical for power saving, but that requires a hardware solution.

As far as being the "greenest" company -- no, this would help but IIRC lighting is a bigger consumer of energy. However, it would be much easier, cheaper and faster to change power settings than to change bulbs and install timers on lights worldwide!

don't see a problem (2, Insightful)

dlc3007 (570880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868160)

I'm sorry, but I don't see a problem here. This seems no worse than turning on the Windows firewall by default. Those of us who spend a lot of time tweeking and modifying our machines would obviously configure our systems to behave the way we want them to. People who don't care won't care anyway.

I have no issues at all with my sister's computer going into a power-safe mode by default. My grandmother's computer could certainly scale back when she's not playing solitare... could probably scale back while she's playing solitare.

Please don't get your panties in a wad just because we're talking about Microsoft here.

I'll choose (1)

martin (1336) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868168)

I'll choose what settings to run, esp on machines I need to backup at random times during the night.

yes it would be nice to turn the things off/standby/hibernate but it wouldn't work here..

Too easy (1)

RancidMilk (872628) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868184)

They already know about all of their windows flaws. So, they could just write their own virus to do the work for them. Either that or incorperate a "Critical Bug Fix". However, I think that they would find that they would make up for the $6 billion or so that they saved everyone in court fees to pay off everyone that was upset by this. It would never happen.

Servers (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868200)

Err, I hate to mention this, but for the poor people stuck using Windows as a server platform, wouldn't this mean their entire server room would quietly go to sleep each night, and then require someone to be in to power up every system and ensure they come back from sleep okay? Which is not what I'd call a trivial task...

Thanks...but no Thanks. (1)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868232)

I will deceide my systems power settings, the default ones out of the box are often too much more me. I am all for saving energy, but most of my systems I need completely awake and alive all of the time.

Switch 'em right off (1)

Lexor (724874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868240)

Why not just patch the machines to shut down ? This would save even more.
All of my PCs have unique power settings, due to their unique needs. If Microsoft changed these settings on me I'd just change them back.

What's the difference? (1)

harald (29216) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868270)

If I turn off my computer the electricity or energy gets diverted to the heating of my house instead.
And the heating is doing just that, heating. No computing as a bonus. I'd rather have my computer heating
my house.

Of course, wasn't it Microsoft.... (3, Interesting)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868278)

Of course wasn't it Microsoft that implemented all of the power down features because it took so long to boot Windows in the first place that people didn't want to wait so long for the computer to power on? Wasn't it also the bloated Windows code and feature creep that made it necessary for ever faster cpu, ram, video and storage requirements, which all equate to more energy consumption? Isn't also true that Microsoft Vista is going to tax these resources even more? So, isn't it a bit hypocritical to talk about how "green" Microsoft would be by forcing computers to power down?

Maybe a better solution would be an OS designed to run on lower powered devices from the start instead of trying to make the high horse powered PC of today more efficient. As an analogy, although there have been improvements with technology, an eight cylinder automobile is not going to ever be as fuel efficient as a four cylinder one. Nor will a four cylinder be as efficient, say as a fuel-cell powered one. Likewise, as long as the system requirements to just run Windows (not even applications on Windows) keeps increasing, the PC will continue to consume greater and greater amounts of power.

We all know, even if we don't want to admit it, that personal productivity for the business masses, anyway, has ceased to improved, at least significantly, from the latest releases of Windows. Why? Because of those 600 million computers quoted in the article, most are used for things like word processing, simple spreadsheets and surfing the web and to do email. Stuff that computers capable of running Windows 2000 and Office 2000 (if not earlier versions) still do quite well. Sure new versions make it easier to get pictures of our cameras and to create music, etc. But the vast majority of people aren't seriously doing that work and those that are, use specialized tools, anyway.

Now, many will argue, and I would agree, that hardware is cheap, relatively, anyway. However, the point of the article was not about cheap hardware, but about saving energy. And the point of the matter is that as long as we keep adding fluff and flash to the OS, forcing bigger and faster computers, which translates into greater power consumption, they will never be "green." Even if they do power down when not in use, they will still use far more energy than is needed to actually perform the task while they are on.

If Microsoft wants to truly be known as a "green" company, then they should design the next version of Windows so that it runs on less hardware than what is currently required, so we don't have keep to filling up the landfills with technically good computers that become obsolete, just to stay compatible every time Microsoft releases the latest version of Windows.

Stupid (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 7 years ago | (#16868334)

If you are using AMD CoolnQuiet then turning the powersaving mode to anything but the minimal power saving profile in Windows results in running at full clock and voltage all the time. With my well ventilated Athlon 63 x2 4200+ this results in a CPU temperature jump from +10 over ambient to +20 over ambient when idle. It's true that AMD's need to select minimal power saving is completely backwards and unintuitive, but it's reality for anyone running a modern Athlon.
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