NOTE: I've updated this post to include another link with tips on other Microsoft technologies that can contribute to your company's green credentials as well as the link for the Imagine Cup winners.
It being the week of Microsoft's annual big-deal partner conference and all, I thought I should spend a minute or two talking about the company's position on green technology issues.
Quite honestly, I haven't had all that much to write about so far, with the exception of some serious data center construction projects that the company has been fronting in places like Chicago and the very real power management benefits that Vista offers in spite of itself. Green technology is just not an issue that Microsoft (or really any of the other major independent software companies) has gone out of of its way to proclaim about.
That is changing with the company's relatively new corporate environmental site. One big shift in the past six months has been the focus on software as a means of controlling or affecting carbon footprints. The potential for analytics and management technology that helps businesses run scenarios to better plan around emissions, geographic concerns and data center limitations suddenly seems boundless. The other big transition that Microsoft faces, of course, is the Software as a Service (SaaS) movement, which will see its data center footprint mushroom extensively in the coming years.
So what is Microsoft doing?
For one thing, it is sponsoring a global technology competition called the Imagine Cup (the winners will be announced Tuesday July 8 in France) encouraging students to interpret this year's challenge: "Imagine a world where technology enables a sustainable environment." Here's some more background on the competition. Close to 400 students representing 124 teams from 61 countries are participating. Here's the link about the winners. There have also been some updates on Microsoft's new environmental team blog. (Something you'll probably want to bookmark if you own a lot of Microsoft technology.)
Microsoft also has started publishing a series of case studies, like this one about American Electric Power and its emissions management solution, that illustrate the real-world power of green technology.
And, of course, you can find position papers about the green-ness of its different products. Given the attention to power management in Vista, it's little surprise that it's also a big deal for Windows Server 2008. This white paper outlines all the various energy-efficiency options in the new server operating system.
ADDED: This link brings you to a Microsoft-sponsored site with more tips and resource articles about green technology and green business.