Microsoft claims that Windows 7 packaging "has a 37 percent weight reduction, and the econometrics score has improved by 50 percent over its predecessor." Instead of forcing customers to read instructions on how to open the box, Windows 7 packaging will open just like a DVD case.
"We've reduced the number of elements in the package down to three: the plastic case, the paper sleeve, and a simple Getting Started Guide," Microsoft wrote in a blog post. "The plastic case opens easily like a standard DVD case, and it will have a single easy-to-remove seal at the top--and that's it!"
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, packaging accounts for a third of consumer garbage. And as CNET pointed out on the Green Tech blog, "plastics comprise 12 percent of U.S. waste each year, but are rarely recycled, while some scientists fear that irresponsible dumping is making a plastic soup of the world's oceans."
Although software arguably should not require any packaging, instead relying purely on Internet downloads, and plastic packaging could (and should) probably be avoided altogether, Microsoft's reduction of packaging materials corresponds with a trend that I think is better for all of us.… Read more