As previously reported technology has been targeted a major contributor to global warming. Now Microsoft have said that their next operating system, Vista, will feature a one-hour sleep mode as default.
They say that the savings from allowing a PC to go to sleep when not in use could amount to between $55 and $70 per year. Scale that up to an entire office, company or country and the monetary and environmental savings become very significant.
I’m not always a great fan of default settings, but this seems like one that has little impact on the user but a great impact on energy usage. In businesses with a group policy, the setting could be enforced.
Systems administrators would still be able to run routine tasks and software updates remotely across machines by waking them as required and then letting them sleep after maintenance.
Vista is also trying to make better use of the PC’s power when it’s on and in use, including power saving features generally only found on notebook computers.
Now, smug Mac users (of course I’m not one of them) will say that automatic sleeping and waking has been available for years on the Mac. Yes, indeed it has, but there have been options on the PC also. None of the existing Windows or Mac operating systems have particularly enviro-friendly settings for desktop machines. At least these defaults will mean that if users don’t control their own PCs to save energy, their OS will do it for them.
Of course if you have to leave your PC on for extended periods of time, the setting can be overridden.