Thursday, December 6, 2007

E-waste Questionnaire: Windows to Linux

IS Switching from a Windows-operated computer to a Linux-operated one could slash computer-generated e-waste levels by 50%?

The answer is: YEs

A UK government study in late 2004 reported that there were substantial green benefits to running a Linux open source operating system (OS) on computers instead of the ubiquitous Windows OS, owned by Microsoft. The main problem with Windows users was that they had to change their computer twice as many times as Linux users, on average, thereby effectively creating twice as much computer-generated e-waste.

The report, titled, "Office of Government Commerce: Open Source Software Trials in Government - Final Report" reported the following:

"There are also potential Green Agenda benefits, through reducing the energy and resources consumed in manufacturing replacement equipment, and reducing landfill requirements and costs arising from disposal of redundant equipment.

"Industry observers quote a typical hardware refresh period for Microsoft Windows systems as 3-4 years; a major UK manufacturing organisation quotes its hardware refresh period for Linux systems as 6-8 years."

(Source: EcoGeek; California Environmental Protection Agency)