U.K. green-computing task force recommends centralizing data

A newly formed United Kingdom task force will work to reduce the energy-sucking impacts of computing equipment, which some say pumps as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere there as the airline industry. The public-private partnership, called “Green Shift,” will study how to make PCs and their related equipment more efficient. The group’s first endeavor is to reduce the load on home computers by making applications such as office programs, email, and internet browsing available through a network of remote data centers accessed via broadband. This, they say, would allow manufacturers to build stripped-down PCs that use 75 percent fewer resources during production and take 98 percent less energy to operate. “Cyber-warming is a massive issue,” says Minister of Local Government Phil Woolas. “The new task force is the first of its kind in the world and is a sign of how serious the U.K. is about tackling this issue.” The data-center scheme will be piloted in 2008, with a debut planned for 2009.