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Microsoft: Windows 7 Isn't Killing Batteries

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 66 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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  • 29 Hide
    ashrafpasha , February 9, 2010 1:09 PM
    I am with microsoft on that. I have seen that in XP Vista etc.. Battery shows 100% and drops to 10% and then shuts down sometimes. This is battery issue not OS.
  • 21 Hide
    ravewulf , February 9, 2010 1:23 PM
    Quote:
    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.


    This seems to be the key point
  • 16 Hide
    Pyroflea , February 9, 2010 1:27 PM
    thackstonnsI call Shinanagins on this one. Here is the thing I had a sony Viao running xp and replaced the battery about a month before I installed the rc of windows 7. On the rc everything was fine. Got good battery life the whole time. Wipe install windows 7 home premium, reboot, computer tells me the battery needs replaced. I put the old dead battery in, it lasts about 40 minutes, but no warning saying I need to replace that one. (which is way less than 60% battery life). I bet every battery they tested needs replaced. Cause widows 7 destroys them. Tried the new battery in another Viao. It wont last 15minutes now. I chalked it up to a bad battery until I read that its happening to a lot of users besides just me.


    Want to explain to me how this software is destroying a power supply?
Other Comments
  • 29 Hide
    ashrafpasha , February 9, 2010 1:09 PM
    I am with microsoft on that. I have seen that in XP Vista etc.. Battery shows 100% and drops to 10% and then shuts down sometimes. This is battery issue not OS.
  • 10 Hide
    brett1042002 , February 9, 2010 1:18 PM
    Sounds like another pebcak error.
  • 21 Hide
    ravewulf , February 9, 2010 1:23 PM
    Quote:
    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.


    This seems to be the key point
  • 7 Hide
    intelliclint , February 9, 2010 1:24 PM
    Nice feature. I would say that users complaining about Windows 7 battery life after upgrading have a battery that is likely over a year old. It is not unusual for a battery to start showing signs of degradation after that time period. Their may be other factors as well though as some manufactures include their own power schemes that are no longer present after the upgrade.
  • 16 Hide
    Pyroflea , February 9, 2010 1:27 PM
    thackstonnsI call Shinanagins on this one. Here is the thing I had a sony Viao running xp and replaced the battery about a month before I installed the rc of windows 7. On the rc everything was fine. Got good battery life the whole time. Wipe install windows 7 home premium, reboot, computer tells me the battery needs replaced. I put the old dead battery in, it lasts about 40 minutes, but no warning saying I need to replace that one. (which is way less than 60% battery life). I bet every battery they tested needs replaced. Cause widows 7 destroys them. Tried the new battery in another Viao. It wont last 15minutes now. I chalked it up to a bad battery until I read that its happening to a lot of users besides just me.


    Want to explain to me how this software is destroying a power supply?
  • 2 Hide
    Miharu , February 9, 2010 1:31 PM
    Sound like if you buy a new computer, the battery could be under 40% because the battery sleep in the box for 1 year. Win7 do right but he should perhaps give the option "ignore battery degradation" (perhaps not the manufacturer will just check this setting by default).

    Bad settings in the battery or damn old NEW battery, laptop manufactures have one more setting to check before sell you a NEW LAPTOP with a crappy a OLD NEW battery...
  • 10 Hide
    Dawgsoverrebs , February 9, 2010 1:32 PM
    (I call Shinanagins on this one. Here is the thing I had a sony Viao running xp and replaced the battery about a month before I installed the rc of windows 7. On the rc everything was fine. Got good battery life the whole time. Wipe install windows 7 home premium, reboot, computer tells me the battery needs replaced. I put the old dead battery in, it lasts about 40 minutes, but no warning saying I need to replace that one. (which is way less than 60% battery life). I bet every battery they tested needs replaced. Cause widows 7 destroys them. Tried the new battery in another Viao. It wont last 15minutes now.
    I chalked it up to a bad battery until I read that its happening to a lot of users besides just me.)

    or maybe the battery you bought was bad to begin with and u didn't notice on xp
  • 5 Hide
    zorky9 , February 9, 2010 1:35 PM
    clean installed windows 7 home premium 64 over a 32-bit vista home premium on an HP dv6700t. no problems with the battery. been using it since october. then again i've always taken good care of the battery with regular charge-drain cycles.
  • 12 Hide
    back_by_demand , February 9, 2010 1:40 PM
    Confirmation, should it be needed, would be if you decided to upgrade to 7 but were worried, you should ignore what XP or Vista say the battery life is and time it with CLOCK.

    If XP or Vista says 6 hours battery but in realtime you only get 4 hours, install 7, then it tells you 4 hours as well, then MS totally vindicated.

    If in doubt, TEST.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , February 9, 2010 1:51 PM
    Personally I don't run Windows, but I have found that leaving your battery in your laptop while using AC power with the battery at full charge will in fact shorten the life of the battery. I remove the battery when I'm plugged in for prolonged periods. Also I try to run the battery down to at least 20% before fully recharging it. Batteries are rated for x amount of cycles (Charge/discharge) each time you charge your battery counts as 1 cycle, if you charge 1% or 100%. So if you leave your battery in all the time you are in effect killing your battery prematurely.
  • 2 Hide
    drksilenc , February 9, 2010 1:53 PM
    well there always has been the issue of the laptops using more and not having an accurate battery meter. maybe this is just the iteration of that battery meter actually showing how long your 4cell li ion battery will last. when you had a full charge before in xp it may have said 6 hours but you never got 6 hours out of it at full use.
  • 3 Hide
    CrashOverride90 , February 9, 2010 2:04 PM
    I have to say I agree with Microsoft on this one. I've done numerous re-installations of windows 7 on desktop, notebooks, and netbooks. And I have yet to see my battery deteriorate due to windows 7.

    Oh and yes I have been using windows 7 since the early public beta release.
  • -5 Hide
    Scooder , February 9, 2010 2:31 PM
    I guess nobody got my sarcasm.
  • -5 Hide
    thackstonns , February 9, 2010 2:52 PM
    dawgsoverrebsor maybe the battery you bought was bad to begin with and u didn't notice on xp

    PyrofleaWant to explain to me how this software is destroying a power supply?


    As I said I thought it was just a bad battery at first. Also this has nothing to do with a powersupply so I dont even know what to say to that. I am sorry thought I cant believe that I had a perfectly good battery that would stay charged, change from RC to home premium reboot and only have 20minutes of life. I could believe it if it was just my computer, but its not its a ton of systems affected.
    Microsoft just knows that they cant fix it through a software patch, so they are just denying its a problem.
    Whats funny is if it was an apple problem your opinions would be different.
  • 1 Hide
    zoemayne , February 9, 2010 2:54 PM
    i guess theres confusion because people dont understand XP and VISTA doesnt report battery capacity performance. I know my battery was bad I had it replaced it was an HP problem I had it replaced under warranty and that battery was defective to(they didnt fix the issue) so now this battery holds 16000mWh(
  • 2 Hide
    skittle , February 9, 2010 2:54 PM
    One thing no one mentions: Linux has had this capability for a long time. You dont hear the linux crowd screaming about that killing their batteries! Just dumb users who cant fathom that their precious laptop battery thats plugged in 24/7 is dying.
  • 3 Hide
    zoemayne , February 9, 2010 2:55 PM
    i guess theres confusion because people dont understand XP and VISTA doesnt report battery capacity performance. I know my battery was bad I had it replaced it was an HP problem I had it replaced under warranty and that battery was defective to(they didnt fix the issue) so now this battery holds 16000mWh(less than 40 mins) vs. 88000mWh. Vista should of reported battery failure at 40% even Ubuntu does this. They could of at least included it in an update.
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