Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Green Party: Vista means more dead PCs

The Green Party has claimed that Microsoft's latest operating system, Vista, could lead to a mass upgrade of PCs that will result in old machines being dumped in landfill sites.

The Green Party warns that migrating to the operating system would result in many consumers and businesses having to buy new hardware, Vista requires more expensive and energy-hungry hardware, passing the cost on to consumers and the environment, this will also further exclude the poor from the latest technology, and impose burdensome costs on small and medium businesses who will be forced to enter another expensive upgrade cycle.

Some early adopters of Vista have already reported that the new operating system has forced them to upgrade their hardware. Microsoft has published the minimum specifications required to run Vista. Windows Vista-Capable PCs will be able to run at least the core experiences of Windows Vista...

Rather than opting for another proprietary OS, the Green Party argues that businesses should look into free software alternatives — such as Linux — as they don't require high-specification hardware. Free software can run on existing hardware, reduces licensing costs for small businesses and affords important freedoms to consumers.

The Green Party's warning about the environmental impact of Vista follows a similar statement from the British Computer Society (BCS) in December last year. Nigel Shadbolt, BCS president, said the release of Vista could eventually see large numbers of PCs being upgraded and many old PCs discarded. "PCs contain many toxic components, so if they end up in a landfill we are creating a real problem for the future. It can be really easy to pass on the old machine to be reused, and if it's beyond use, to recycle it,".

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