Windows 7 Netbook Battery Life Shorter than XP Systems

Dennis Faas's picture

When Windows 7 first launched back in late October, Microsoft touted the system as more efficient from the ground up -- making for, it said, longer PC battery lives compared to Vista. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem Windows 7 is quite so generous to netbook batteries, particularly when compared to its own, decade-old operating system (OS), XP.

Just prior to Halloween, Microsoft had some not-so-scary news for prospective PC buyers: Windows 7 will let you get more out of your laptop battery. That wasn't surprising news, considering Vista, the company's much-maligned 2007 OS, was a veritable power hog. And, in fact those numbers boasting Win 7's power efficiency, upwards of 20 per cent, were in comparison to an operating system Microsoft hopes everyone will forget.

Windows 7 Netbook Batteries Suffer Short Lives

Well, it's less likely people will so easily turn their backs on Windows XP, the stubborn predecessor to Vista which has refused to step quietly from the spotlight. XP has long been considered more reliable, faster, and easier to use than Vista, and, as it turns out, it might just eat a whole lot less power than Windows 7, too.

According to recent tests by Laptop Magazine comparing netbooks running XP versus Windows 7, the latter systems came up big losers. Windows 7 averaged about 47 fewer minutes in battery life compared to a similar system running XP. Some models were particularly bad, including the ASUS Eee PC 1008HA, which ran for almost an hour less time than a similar system using XP. That's a reduction of 16 per cent battery life. (Source:

Also short-lived were the batteries of Toshiba's Mini NB205 and very popular HP Mini 311. The Mini NB205's overall battery life while surfing via WiFi was reduced from 9:24 running XP to just 8:51 on Windows 7. The HP Mini 311, reports say, lost an incredible full hour of its battery life after making the shift to Windows 7. (Source:

Report Ends Torrent of Sky-High Reviews

Given that netbooks represent the one niche within the PC market actually showing growth, this is very bad news for Microsoft which has, to this point, only received glowing reviews for its new OS. Granted, it's impressive that Windows 7 is more power efficient than Vista, thanks in large part to Microsoft's cooperation with chipmaker Intel in building the new operating system. However, few netbooks actually run Vista, meaning there are fewer people interested in this market that will see a positive change after investing in a Windows 7 netbook.

The bottom line? This news could prompt a real shift away from Windows 7 amongst consumers looking to buy systems in the PC market's most vibrant niche.

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