Information technology professionals from across Iowa and Nebraska are meeting for a workshop on "green" technology in Omaha this week. Todd Cione, district general manager for Microsoft, says his company hopes to show environment-friendly solutions do exist that will benefit the bottom line while helping the planet.

"Businesses historically struggled with the tradeoff of the cost of implementing green technologies over the societal and ethical obligations to be an environmental steward," Cione says. "We made the commitment as a company to make our products that hit at the heart of the struggle and remove that friction from doing what’s right for business and doing what’s right for the environment. We believe they don’t have to be mutually exclusive."

He says the latest Microsoft Windows operating system, Vista, can cut energy consumption by 40-percent.

From his Kansas City office, Cione says, "The power management settings allowing for hibernation and the PC to use less energy is very simple and it’s inherent in Windows Vista." He says Dell is using Vista now on its 50-thousand PCs and expects to save two-million dollars this year.

The average home customer might see a savings of 50 to 70-dollars a year, he says. Cione says I-T professionals and consumers are finding that saving energy while using advanced technological innovations can go hand in hand.

"For consumers that are telecommuting and they used Microsoft Unified Communications technology to help them do that, we expect a ten to 30-percent reduction in travel," Cione says. "Most of our companies that use Unified Communications technology are seeing an over 500% ROI on that investment." The invitation-only sessions are scheduled for Thursday in Omaha.