Dell said Wednesday that it is designing its laptops and desktops to consume up to 25 percent less energy by 2010 compared to today.
Welcome to the latest in the "we're greener than you" game where green technology intersects with marketing-speak. Green IT is fashionable, but increasingly borders on marketing mumbo jumbo. The hint that we're in a green marketing war was dropped in the second paragraph of Dell's statement:
The company's laptops and desktops, already among the industry's most energy-efficient, are being designed to consume up to 25 percent less energy by 2010 relative to systems offered today. This is in contrast to Hewlett-Packard's announcement earlier this year relative to its 2005 offerings. The energy efficiency of Dell OptiPlex desktops has improved nearly 50 percent since 2005, while Latitude laptops have improved 16 percent since 2006.
Also see: GreenTech Pastures
There's a good reason for this pitch: Being green can save you dough on your energy bill. And perhaps the greenest hardware company nails more sales. The problem: These dueling green pitches get old quick. And as vendors quibble over metrics and stretched statistics it's more likely that customers will just tune these things out
. Dell said it'll hit its goal by integrating more efficient circuit designs, fans and power management features. Won't all hardware makers adopt better power management tools and more efficient components? It's a good bet that all desktop and notebooks will be 25 percent more energy-efficient by 2010.
Instead, we get all of these green technology announcements that blur together. HP also said it will cut the energy consumption in desktops and notebooks by 25 percent by 2010.
Dell hits you over the head with its green pitch:
Based on worldwide unit sales beginning in 2005 with power-management features enabled, Dell estimates that OptiPlex desktop systems alone have helped customers save more than $2.4 billion and avoid approximately 23 million tons of CO2.
Can CO2 emissions become part of your ROI case? Probably not, but power management tools may. And that's why vendors are yapping about their energy efficiency plans so much.