Microsoft, Clinton Make Green Software, Services

    May 18, 2007

Google’s well known for its environmentally friendly leanings, and Yahoo launched a “Be a Better Planet” campaign just last week.  Now Microsoft has joined the usual suspects by launching its own endeavor; oddly enough, former president Bill Clinton was also involved.

“The Clinton Foundation and Microsoft Corp. today announced a long-term partnership to develop a suite of technology tools that will enable cities to accurately monitor, compare and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” stated an official press release.  “The technology,” it continued, “will include both software and services.”

The release doesn’t mention any dollar amounts – I suppose that sort of thing would be impolite – but it did say that the “online, Web-based software tools will be provided pro bono to cities and will be available by the end of the year.”  As far as what those tools will do, the press release was surprisingly vague; it sounds like they may help guide decisions based on the results’ environmental impact.

Another surprising turn came when neither Bill Clinton nor Bill Gates contributed any statements to commence the partnership’s beginning.  I know these are busy guys, but to have their speechwriters whip up a paragraph or two doesn’t sound hard.  Still, Microsoft’s Craig Muncie, a chief research and strategy officer, contributed his opinion.

“Technology has the power to make a positive, long-term contribution to solving the world’s environmental challenges,” he said.  “By partnering with the Clinton Foundation, we can increase environmental awareness and drive sustainable change that will help cut global carbon emissions.”

Well, there you go.  It’s fun to see Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft attempt to one-up each other, but it’s even better when their efforts go towards a good cause.