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When Microsoft launched Windows Vista in 2006, the operating system received criticism after being released with numerous software bugs and steep hardware requirements. As a result of increased hardware demands to use the operating system, Windows Vista also became notorious for draining laptop battery power.
In an effort to avoid a repeat of the Vista debacle, Microsoft has made claims of comprehensive testing and improved energy efficiency for the latest version of the Windows 7 OS. One way Windows 7 conserves battery life is through a procedure Microsoft calls coalescing. This allows operating system to perform a number of routine tasks that require the CPU and allows a laptop to spend more time in low-power mode.
Initial testing of the Windows 7 battery life results have been good, but not great. According to testing performed by Microsoft, users should expect to see a 10 percent to 20 percent improvement in battery life when watching a DVD on Windows 7 instead of Vista. This translates to an extra 10 – 20 minutes for movies on average.
What does this mean to the average laptop owner? If you decide to make the switch to Windows 7, expect to receive a few extra minutes of run time for your laptop. For most users the improved battery efficiency alone won’t warrant a purchase. But if you’re considering the purchase of Windows 7 for any of the other updates this enhancement will be a nice bonus.
Whether Microsoft is serious about energy efficiency or if this is mostly a public-relations move has yet to be seen. But by addressing Vistas’ blunders, Microsoft has at least shown they can learn from past mistakes. Windows 7 is available in stores October, 22nd 2009.