Companies have long known the benefits of making sure their workers get a good night's sleep--and they would be wise to let their PCs do the same, Microsoft says.
With Windows Vista, Microsoft plans to put machines to sleep after an hour of inactivity. While businesses and consumers can change that setting, the software maker said that they would be smart to let their computers nod off.
Microsoft estimates that allowing a PC to go to sleep during off hours, as compared with leaving it on all the time, saves anywhere from $55 a year to $70 annually, depending on the type of monitor.
The company has done work in the upcoming Vista update to make sure that the PC can rest more easily. With Windows XP, programs could veto a user's request for the PC to go to sleep. In some cases, that meant that laptop owners thought they had put a PC to sleep, only to discover a few hours later that the machine had remained on and their notebook's battery had been drained.
But Microsoft is hoping to make an even bigger impact with desktops. Today, many businesses leave their computers on at night. Some do it to make sure that they can install security patches. By adding the new sleep option, businesses can wake machines to install security updates, while letting them remain in the power-saving mode the rest of the time.
All that snoozing time could pay off environmentally as well. Microsoft said that by putting six PCs to sleep, rather than leaving them on, businesses can save the same amount of carbon emissions that would otherwise require an acre of trees to absorb. That calculation depends on what means are used to generate the power for the PCs, with the actual energy emissions varying greatly by region.
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