Downloading software: being green or just more convenient?

By andy

How do you obtain legal software? Do you go out to a local computer store and buy off the shelf, order it from an online retailer, direct from the vendor, or do you download it?

According to a recent study (for Microsoft, no less) downloaded software is eight times more carbon efficient than its boxed equivalent.

Some interesting UK-based statistics suggest that if the 16 million units of software sold last year had been downloaded instead, there’d be enough electricity saved to power 12,000 households for a year. Imagine what the stats in the US would be.

Quite apart from any environmental savings, downloading software leads to instant gratification, and we don’t even have to go out to the store or get up to answer the door when the delivery guy calls!

Have credit card, will download — that’s my motto.

Sadly, major software titles tend not to be available as downloads, even though updates are usually available via the Internet, despite the fact that it could save companies a lot of money, as well as getting more contact details at the time of purchase.

DownloadBuyer.com is one site hoping to provide a central repository of legally downloadable software, though there are plenty of other sites offering similar services.

Would you download software packages if they were available, or do you like having the box and DVD as backup?

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