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Microsoft: Windows 7 Isn't Killing Batteries

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 5 comments

Microsoft has said that the battery problems currently plaguing a number of Windows 7 users are not caused by the operating system.

Last week Microsoft said the company was investigating whether or not Windows 7 caused laptop battery life to deteriorate. People who have installed Windows 7 (stretching back as far as the RC release last June) say that their computer's battery life has taken a huge hit. One user reported that before Windows 7, he used to get seven hours of battery from his brand new laptop. Once he had installed Windows 7, it dropped to four hours on a full charge and even then, it was an optimistic four hours. Others said their laptop was telling them to replace their battery altogether.

Microsoft yesterday posted to its MSDN blog network and explained that to the best of its knowledge, Windows 7 is not destroying customers' batteries.

"Several press articles this past week have drawn attention to blog and forum postings by users claiming Windows 7 is warning them to “consider replacing your battery” in systems which appeared to be operating satisfactorily before upgrading to Windows 7," Microsoft says. "These articles described posts in the support forums indicating that Windows 7 is not just warning users of failing batteries – as we designed Windows 7 to do this – but also implying Windows 7 is falsely reporting this situation or even worse, causing these batteries to fail."

The company clarifies that this is not an issue with Windows 7:

"To the very best of the collective ecosystem knowledge, Windows 7 is correctly warning batteries that are in fact failing and Windows 7 is neither incorrectly reporting on battery status nor in any way whatsoever causing batteries to reach this state. In every case we have been able to identify the battery being reported on was in fact in need of recommended replacement."

Microsoft goes on to explain how the battery replacement warning works, detailing that Windows 7 has a set threshold of 60 percent degradation (that is the battery is performing at 40 percent of its designed capacity). When your battery reaches this level of degradation, Windows 7 will suggest you replace your battery.

The company reiterates that this is a feature exclusive to Windows 7, so folks running Vista or XP could have thought their battery was fine, when in reality it was deteriorating the whole time.

Read the unabridged post here.

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  • 4 Hide
    juvealert , 9 February 2010 22:15
    no battery issues in my laptop with windows 7 64bit
  • -1 Hide
    roots , 9 February 2010 22:44
    Sounds like a load of rubbish to me. Windows 7 has more features then XP and thus higher power and processing demands. Therefore you will never get better battery performance.

    Also batteries do degrade over time, anyone who has owned a mobile phone for a decent amount of time will know this.

    If I had a laptop which I don't atm, I would install XP on it.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , 9 February 2010 23:49
    True Windows 7 has more functionality, but it also supposedly works smarter, ie: less swapping to disk, better use of power management profile etc, thus battery life isnt neccessarily reduced and could even forseeably be improved.. Whether it is or nots another matter of course. lol
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 10 February 2010 04:03
    One word Aero!

    If I turn it off I get 3.5 hrs from my 6 cell turn it on and I get 1.5-2hrs tops.

    XP would return very similar results as win 7 with Aero off on this T60 however I do have an SSD in it now since having XP on it but at the same time the laptop is a year older now which means it holds less of a charge.

    I couldn't go back to XP now too much I like about windows 7
  • 0 Hide
    craig159 , 11 February 2010 19:49
    I have had this issue several times. I get it when I have been using the Laptop on Battery only and the power level is low. When I plug it in it I am warned it needs replaced.

    While I get the warning I check with HWMonitor Pro and it reports that the wear level of my Battery is 23% so I am not sure where MS gets the 60% threshold from.

    Strangely it is usually resolved by unplugging from the mains again and then changing my Power Theme.

    Sigh... I guess MS will know best though.