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Microsoft: Code Green

microsoft_vista_energy.jpgMicrosoft plans to work more closely with independent software developers to help the company build applications that don’t draw CPU cycles unnecessarily, InformationWeek reports.

The Windows Vista operating system includes energy management features that are superior to those found in the older Windows XP, said Rob Bernard, Microsoft’s chief environmental strategist, speaking at the Interop tech conference in Las Vegas. Among them is a feature that puts Vista to sleep instead of activating an energy-consuming screen saver.

Bernard also said Microsoft is working on cutting its carbon footprint by developing applications that don’t draw CPU cycles unnecessarily.

Last year, the company said it expected Windows Server 2008 systems to use about 20 percent less power than existing Windows Server systems

Other initiatives the company has taken to help reduce its own energy footprint include building a data center at a location in Quincy, Wash., because it was three power poles away from a hydroelectric dam, operating a bus service for its Seattle-based employees, and measuring the ecological impact of conferences it holds in cities such as Seattle, Orlando, and Las Vegas.

Microsoft is also providing President Bill Clinton’s Clinton Foundation with online software and tools that will enable cities around the world to consistently monitor and measure their carbon emissions.

Vista has had its critics, environmental organizations have said Vista could lead to a mass upgrade of PCs that would result in old machines being dumped in landfills.

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