Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/07/software_download_carbon_emissions/

Download your software and save the planet

Says software download firm

By Drew Cullen

Posted in Software, 7th June 2010 15:31 GMT

You'd think Deutsche Telekom had better things to do than take on CNET for the software downloads market: big volumes, low margins and lots of bad people trying to smuggle malware onto your site.

But no, it has its very own software download business, called Softwareload - the UK branch is here. And it has commissioned research that purports to show that junking hard copy software packages in favour of direct downloads could reduce the carbon footprint of the world's software industry by 80 per cent.

Some methodology for you:

The ‘physical copy’ figure was attained by environment consultancy First Climate and was calculated accounting for transport and production factors throughout the supply chain typical when producing standard sized CD-ROMs (including manuals). The download figure was achieved using metrics such as server and computer power consumption. When comparing the two, CO2 emissions for downloads were proven to be 80 per cent lower."

OK - but considering that a fifth of Brits are already downloading software (according to a YouGov survey conducted for Softwareload) off the Internet, and that huge volumes of software, good stuff and craplets, are supplied installed with PCs, and that big companies don't have thousands of disks for their thousands of PCs, how much of this 80 per cent per capita saving has been banked already?

More importantly, what about when software goes off? Nothing beats re-installing from a disk or, come to that, reading a proper paper manual. Even if it means penguins must die.

Bootnote

One last thing - we have a downloads site too, don't you know - mostly PC software, because that's what consumer download sites are mostly about. It's powered by our lovely partner, Betanews.com.