Report: Win7 Uses 20% Less Power; Extends Battery

Dennis Faas's picture

Unless you've been sleeping in a cave this past week, you're aware that Microsoft's Windows 7 is now available. And, of course, everyone is asking the question, "is it worth the upgrade?" For those of you who frequently rely on your laptop battery, the answer might be yes.

It's a problem PC makers have yet to completely overcome: short laptop battery lives. Even as computers get lighter, thinner, and faster, the amount of time they can survive "off the cord," so to speak, is rarely over a few hours.

Win 7 Cuts Power Usage by 20%

Giving that short life a boost in the arm is Windows 7, which Microsoft proudly boasts reduces the power usage of a laptop by as much as 20 per cent (compared to a similar system running Windows Vista with Service Pack 2).

The effort to bring down power usage and increase battery life has been a joint project between chipmaker Intel and Microsoft. Working together, the two agreed upon a design for Windows 7 whereby the operating system automatically shuts down certain devices and programs not in use. Intel chips are maintained in Deep Power Down state for as long as possible.

The result of such cooperation? Up to an additional hour of battery life for most laptops, says Microsoft relationship manager at Intel, Joakim Lialias.

Similar Timetables Behind Tag-Team Effort

This unprecedented level of cooperation between Intel and Microsoft is the result of similar timetables. Both companies had similar launch dates for their most recent products, Microsoft's operating system and Intel's new line of processors. "With Windows 7 and Intel's new Core processors rolling out at roughly the same time, the team saw the opportunity to really put rocket engines on PCs," Lialias said. (Source:

Consumers deserve at least a chunk of the credit for that additional battery life -- there's no doubt that public outrage over incompatibility issues with Windows Vista prompted the company to work closer with companies like Intel this time around.

That extra effort could pay off for Microsoft -- and for the entire PC market. According to a recent report by Deutsche Bank analysts, Windows 7 is expected to push up the sales of PCs in the next year, or longer. "We expect Windows 7 to spark a multi-year upturn in PC unit growth," said Deutsche Bank hardware analyst Chris Whitmore. (Source:

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