With the advent of Microsoft Vista it seems to me that there are now some particularly good environmental reasons (which ought to be of critical importance given the Government’s climate change led commitments) to choose/procure Open Source alternatives such as the Ubuntu Linux Operating System. Reason’s for this include:
(1) Vista’s heavy hardware requirements, which means that more powerful machines are needed. These tend to consume more power.
(2) The manufacture of new machines needed to run Vista, which by its very nature means some environmental impact will be felt.
It could be argued that this is a pertinent example of where the environment and the goals of capitalism conflict. This is because capitalism is constantly seeking growth and thus computer hardware manufacturers will like any other business tend to seek growth, which is something shareholders (including pension funds) generally push for . Thus some form of environmental restraint is required by business as we currently know it, but the way the system is stacked this is not likely to have a good impact on such things as the pensions crisis. Of course Open Source ways of achieving things might actually be better than what capitalism can achieve, but I guess this can be discussed another time. However, (if you have the time and inclination) please feel free to browse some on my past thoughts around this on this website at:
(3) The environmental impact of disposing of machines that are unable to run Vista.
Outside of the above environmental arguments are the timeless considerations of cost. That is the savings that can be leveraged by using lower specification machines that consume less power, not having to buy new equipment, and not having to pay for the disposal of Vista redundant machines. The latter point includes the security issue of making sure that information on the hard drives of such machines is removed, which can be of very high importance given some of the sensitive information stored on public sector machines.