Climate Savers Smart Computing Catalog Does not work

InfoWorld wrote in a blog about the problems with Climate Savers Smart Computing Catalog.  Having worked at Apple and Microsoft and advised multiple marketing teams and their efforts to create logo programs and product catalogs for Win 3.1, Win95, Win 2k, WinXP and Vista, I can tell you they never work when it is up to the supplier to fill out the catalog.  I remember on WinXP the catalog was dominated by a handful of companies like IBM and Novell who filled out every version of products in the software catalog.

When you go to the Climate Savers Smart Computing Product Catalog.  You get the following possible results from the vendors. Lenovo - 71, Dell - 24, Fujitsu - 26, Fujitsu Siemens - 21, HP - 38, Sun - 1.  And here is example of an entry.

OptiPlex 745 Energy Smart DT

Category: Desktop
Manufacturer: Dell
Website: Visit Product Site
Sales Contact Phone:
Sales Contact Email:
Description: Energy Star 4.0 qualified, EPEAT Silver qualified, Intel processors, select graphics cards, one or two HDD, other add-in modules accepted. > 80% efficient power supply.
Available In: North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Japan, Latin America

The InfoWorld blog is a good report on the current state.  But, even over time it will not get better, because the suppliers are not going to present their products in way that answers a simple question of "what device should I buy if I want to spend $1,500, and energy consumption is one of my top issues?"

Climate Savers green catalog proves unripe
Filed under: Hardware

I've had green hardware and gadgetry on the brain these past couple of weeks, no doubt thanks to the holiday season. If you're looking to stock your home or your office with some energy-efficient computing wares -- not just PCs but also mobile devices, servers, and software -- you might consider perusing the Climate Saver's Smart Computing Product Catalog.

The catalog contains 317 product listings (at least as I write this), which you can sort by product category (Desktop, Mobile, Server, and the oh-so unhelpful Other), manufacturer, and/or region -- that is, where the product is available.

While somewhat useful, the catalog could certainly use some sprucing up. For example, it doesn't have a particularly elegant UI -- the word spartan would be far more apt. Further, when you perform a search, you're presented with a long list of product names, the product type, and the manufacturer name. You don't get any more details until you click the product name. It would make more sense to add at least one descriptive sentence below each product name in the search results page. Otherwise, a user has little incentive to randomly click uninformative product names such as "Surveyor" or "Z-One Digital IBA."

Clicking on a product name takes you to a page where you'll find a product description, a link to the vendor site, and sometimes and image. Said description might be a basic list of specs -- or a wordy description of the product, clearly written by the vendor's marketing team as opposed to a neutral third party. Pricing information is notably absent.