GCN Tech Blog

By GCN Staff

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Windows: Environmentally friendly?

The Environmental Protection Agency-funded Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registry will go live next Monday. This online database rates desktops, notebooks and monitors on their environmental friendliness, based on IEEE standards.

We at GCN just got a note from a representative of Hewlett-Packard bragging that 32 of the 60 products rated so far are from HP. So we went to a pre-release version of the site to get a preview.

Yes, there are a lot of HP products that earned EPEAT's "Silver" rating for environmental friendliness, which means the products met all minimum requirements and half the optional criteria (no products have received a "Gold" rating yet, which means meeting 75 percent of the optional criteria).

But we found something interesting. In the EPEAT database there's an "Exceptions" column of data. Virtually every HP desktop and notebook has an exception to its rating, namely, as the site states "Registration is valid for products configured with a Microsoft Operating System."

There's an exception listed for Dell's Precision desktops that puts this another way: "Registration is not valid for products configured with a Red Hat operating system which is not tested for ENERGY STAR compliant power management features."

It should be noted that almost every product in Monday's EPEAT database is from Dell or HP, including monitors. Can't wait until EPEAT gets its hands on a larger selection.

But will agencies "going green" have Red Hat seeing, well, red? We'll find out.

Posted by Brad Grines

Posted by Brad Grimes, Joab Jackson on Jul 21, 2006 at 9:39 AM


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