Software and information technology systems will be critical catalysts for green innovations, John Vassallo, microsoft vice president, EU Affairs, opined. After speaking at the European Union’s Green Week conference in Brussels, Vassallo pointed out that solutions designed to solve environmental issues had to rely on the evolution of technology. In this sense, Microsoft is committed to driving the advancement of software and IT systems, with the starting point associated with the consistent investments in research and development. Vassallo said that “several promising environmental
applications” would be financed by the Redmond company from the $9.4 billion the software giant has pledged to R&D in 2009.
“Improving and expanding environmentally-friendly IT in devices commonly used by average citizens will help us change attitudes and lifestyle. The applications could range from intelligent cars and household appliances, to smart utility grids or simple improvements to PCs. They could range in sophistication from small apps to computer-modeled, macro systems that measure the carbon footprint of entire cities or predict the water quality at European beaches,” Vassallo stated
. Eye on Earth
, an environmental information app built on top of Bing Maps, formerly Virtual Earth, is the water quality predictor for beaches in EU countries the VP was talking about. Eye on Earth, along with initiatives such as Hohm
are just the start of the green journey for Microsoft. But the Redmond company has made a consistent step forward into providing end users with the means to control their energy usage in the home, and help them cut back on carbon emissions, boost the efficiency of their homes and increase recycling via the Hohm Cloud-based application.
“Manufacturers of environmental goods and developers of applied eco-software have the potential to become some of Europe’s strongest businesses, especially if we achieve a global agreement on climate change in Copenhagen later this year that energizes the field. Yet these businesses can only keep growing if a steady stream of inventions continues to invigorate the market, and this stream will only keep flowing if inventors have the right support,” Vassallo added.