Windows 7 Key Fob
by Harry / June 23, 2009
From MNML a Windows 7 packaging alternative; what if Win7 was a USB key containing all the OS variations and a serial number?


From MNML: "With most computers being connected and software transitioning to a downloadable or cloud-based distribution model it is the duty of large software companies who are essentially selling 1 and 0's and a serial number to be more ecologically responsible. This responsibility rests both in the hands of the corporate marketing managers and the design agencies they employ to champion a shift in approach to packaging and begin exercising restraint. With over 200 million units shipped, not downloaded, Microsoft Windows Vista is a great example of the old marketing and packaging mentality. Essentially nothing but a mass of superfluous air and plastic, the shear carbon footprint of this package has an enormous impact. But Microsoft has a great influencer opportunity with Windows 7, as do other large software companies, to create a new paradigm in software packaging and distribution with less environmental impact. Our visualization is of one approach that would dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of software packaging. We have used Windows 7 as an example since it has the largest volume and biggest potential impact. The concept: A simple USB key that contains all the variations of Windows 7 and a serial number. Upgrades can be unlocked online making access to more convenient and further sales more likely. The fob has a hole so it can be key-ringed with all your Microsoft, Adobe and other staple software. Consumers can also use this as convenient storage when the software is obsolete introducing the sustainable concept of reuse. With the dropping cost of memory and estimated customer volume it is further feasible to realize this concept by directing the cost of the massive amount of plastic of the existing Vista packaging towards the USB key. The USB key can be packaged in a 100% post-consumer recycled booklet that highlights all the new and innovative features of the software telling an even better story at retail then the current back panel solution of Vista. Carbon footprint-wise, this booklet is essentially 10% the volume of the current Vista and other software packages. This means significantly less shipping containers, less fuel for container ships to transport from manufacturing and less trips for planes and trucks that distribute the software. The thought of being able to influence the way a company like Microsoft delivers one of its most anticipated releases intrigued us and inspired us to visualize what the future of software distribution could be. And even though this future will most likely involve download or cloud-based distribution exclusively, it would be a prudent step to move to a solution like this in the transition."

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