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Waiting for Windows Vista: Cardboard Edition

I didn't like it when Apple moved to plastic packaging, and I don't like it from Microsoft either. What planet are these companies living on?

With so much interest in the new features of Windows Vista, the plastic box passed me by. What plastic box? Well, exactly.

Instead of being sold in the traditional oversized cardboard box, with a thin cardboard outer singing its praises and a chunky, corrugated cardboard inner to stop the CD rattling around, Windows Vista comes in a clear, hard plastic box. It's much like the clear, hard plastic iPod packaging that Apple introduced last September.

I didn't like it when Apple moved to plastic packaging, and I don't like it from Microsoft either. What planet are these companies living on? Not the one where global warming threatens to wipe out polar bears and drown low-lying island nations, apparently. We all need to be consuming less, not more.

The Vista boxes are made of PET, so they can be recycled -- but recycling plastic often means putting it on a ship and sending it to China, with all the consequent burning of fossil fuels and polluting of the ocean that that involves -- not to mention the possibility of the whole lot ending up on a beach in Devon. At least cardboard is biodegradable.

Microsoft could show some leadership in this area, by putting Vista in a small, recycled, recyclable, biodegradable cardboard box. Never mind the relative merits of Home Premium and Ultimate -- I'm waiting for Vista Environment, the one that does a little less harm to the world we live in.