Microsoft Implements Carbon Awareness Feature for Windows Update

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Several companies have made movements towards greener solutions, whether having an environmental initiative or creating sustainable products. But what about solutions that can build or improve existing products? Our gadgets rely on energy which produces carbon emissions due to the reliance on fossil fuels.

With the heavy reliance on technology today, Microsoft understands how important it is to reduce carbon emissions by powering the devices we use daily. Recently, the company has made efforts towards this, especially with the latest version of Windows Update now carbon aware.

Save energy, lessen carbon emissions

In a nutshell, carbon awareness means a conscious effort to choose energy that reduces carbon emissions. There are multiple sources of electricity today due to the availability of clean energies such as solar and wind-generated energies. For a system to be carbon aware, it chooses to pick out lower-carbon sources to lessen carbon emissions.

Windows Update
Image: Microsoft

For Microsoft’s Windows Update, as long as the device is plugged in and connected to the internet while there are regional carbon intensity data available in the area, the software will “schedule installations at specific times”. These “specific times” pertain to when cleaner energy is available; the software will run updates when there’s greater use of clean energies generated from solar, wind, or similar sources. This way, it also means lesser carbon emissions while updates are being made.

However, there’s a caveat to this. The carbon awareness of Windows Update can only work if the device is plugged in and if the regional carbon intensity data comes from Electricity Maps or WattTime. With these limitations in place, the rollout of this feature across the globe might be slower. This might be felt especially for those in regions that Electricity Maps or WattTime can’t reach. However, it seems this can be a good initiative for Microsoft to reduce carbon emissions while using cleaner energy.

Photo credit: The feature image is symbolic and has been done by Daniel Chetroni. The screenshot in the body of the article was provided by Microsoft for press usage.

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Danielle Ordonez
Danielle Ordonez
Writer/editor who loves coffee and her cat. Takes a lot of time before finishing a game. Japanophile. Slightly scared of crowds.
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