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Get Thin To Go Green, Researchers Advise British Business

British business could save £78m in electricity bills and slash CO2 emissions by 485,000 tonnes a year switching from PCs to thin clients, it was announced today. Researchers from the world-famous Fraunhofer Institute in Germany used IGEL Technology thin clients to investigate the power and CO2 emissions of thin clients against traditional business PCs and discovered significant power, ecological and financial savings.

"Energy consumption when in operation was up to 50 percent lower than for conventional PCs," concluded Dr Hartmut Pflaum, the Fraunhofer researcher. "While PCs consume about 85 watts on average, thin clients including their server get by with 40 to 50 watts. In view of climate change and the need to reduce CO2 emissions, this is an important factor."

Using a conservative estimate of 10m business desktop PCs in operation around the UK, businesses could be saving a total of £78m a year and cutting CO2 emission by 485,000 tonnes.

"The financial savings are significant but the impact on cutting CO2 emissions is impressive," said Stephen Yeo, Strategic Director of Worldwide Marketing for IGEL Technology. "Saving 485,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions would remove the equivalent impact of 85,000 average UK households each year."

"Add to this the typical 25% TCO savings of buying and running a thin client compared to a PC and there can be no doubt that server-based computing is the economic and eco-friendly way forward."

Thin clients are designed as a "super slimmed down" alternative to the PC. Accessing information stored on the server, the thin clients have no moving parts and little memory whilst maintaining all the functionality of a PC. Due to this superior design, thin clients use less power, are more reliable and simpler to centrally manage.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.