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Vista draining laptop batteries, patience
Written by Gizmo   
Saturday, 05 May 2007 07:59

Tom Krazit

 "It's a little scary," said John Wozniak, a distinguished technologist in Hewlett-Packard's notebook engineering department, referring to the work HP needed to do on making Windows Vista more suitable for notebooks.

Read the full story at ZDNet :

Vista, while touted as having improved power management capabilities that would make it easier for users to extend battery life, isn't to some living up to that promise. The main culprit appears to be the Aero Glass interface, a spiffy new user interface that makes Vista more pleasing to the eye with transparent windows and animated transitions when moving from one application to another.

When Aero is turned off, battery life is equal to or better than Windows XP systems. But with it turned on, battery life suffers compared with Windows XP.

Microsoft made some important changes in Vista that do improve some aspects of battery life, such as smarter hibernation modes that override applications that want to keep running, and simpler options for choosing a power management setting. But laptop users who spent extra money on powerful laptops to handle the graphics requirements of Vista and the Aero interface are forced to run the aesthetic equivalent of Vista Basic, the low-cost version of Vista, if they care about battery life.

HP decided it wasn't going to use the power management settings that shipped with Vista, Wozniak said. The company came up with its own set of power management settings for Vista laptops, allowing users to select different power settings, such as "power saver" or "high performance," that strike a balance between processing power and battery life. Lenovo is likewise using its own power management technologies honed over several years, said Howard Locker, director of new technology at Lenovo.

"They've really made it complex from a power management standpoint," Wozniak said. "The potential is there to do some good things, the bad thing is that it comes with the canned settings...and we didn't like any of them."

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