In October of 2004, a U.K. government-sponsored study concluded that substantial long-term monetary and environmental gains were accrued from using computers running the Linux operating system.

In a report titled the “Office of Government Commerce: Open Source Software Trials in Government- Final Report,” the authors stated that long-term open-source software usage allowed longer utilization of hardware resources as opposed to proprietary software (read Windows).

An excerpt from the article at SoftPedia:

“A typical hardware refresh period for Microsoft Windows is 3-4 years. A major U.K. manufacturing organization quotes its hardware refresh period for Linux systems as 6-8 years.”

Also, there are substantial green benefits to be gained. With hardware needing to be replaced less frequently, there is less e-waste and hence less energy consumed in replacing and consuming resources.

Microsoft’s Windows does not exactly enjoy a huge fan following, but if software consumes and exhorts more out of hardware, then that should force hardware makers to work harder at getting the next best technology into market.

I am not siding with the goodness of bloated software, but is it not in business interest to have a cycle that gets out hardware, then software that runs on it and loads it, which in turn results in better hardware and then more software, and so forth?

Would that imply that what is best for business may not be the best for the environment?