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02.03.10

Vista 7: The Battery Guzzler

Posted in Finance, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 10:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Vista 7 repels more and more users as its deficiencies and drawbacks become more apparent

“IS Win 7 a battery guzzler,” was the question asked a couple of weeks ago. The reality behind Vista 7 — just like the reality behind Vista — is only getting exposed for a period of one year or more after the release and the artificial hype, which Microsoft most recently created by cheating the press with bad results [1, 2, 3] (revenue-shifting gave an illusion). The simple truth is that Vista 7 sales disappointed in the business sector, which refused to adopt this new version of Windows (there is no compelling reason to embrace it).

According to new figures, the amount of money spent on a new PC dropped by a staggering 20% or so over the past year. Chips B. Malroy quotes: “In the fourth quarter of 2009, consumers bought 90 million PCs, up 22 percent from the same quarter in 2008, a clear sign that buyers were ready for something new. Prices plummeted in 2009, with the price of the average laptop falling to $581, down a whopping 23 percent from 2008.” We discussed this in the IRC channel last night and the same point is being raised in the following new blog post:

5 factors that are set to challenge the dominance of Windows in the future.

[...]

Falling hardware prices

The more the prices of hardware falls, the lower is MS able to charge the OEMs a per unit installation license for Windows. Given the fact that hardware prices have fallen drastically in recent years and are set to do so in the foreseeable future, Ballmer may not be sleeping well at all.

Desktop Linux

No I’m not going to say the year of Linux is here and now. But whatever the case, the relatively increasing popularity of Linux among the general masses-spearheaded by Ubuntu-is set to cause some discomfiture to MS execs.

On the smartphone platform, Android is set to make life very difficult given the fact that the almighty Google itself is now directly competing with its own hardware branded phone. Tough luck MS.

Change of landscape

[...]

Microsoft is trying to maintain its high margins as applied to software on commodity hardware, but it is struggling. This also puts great pressure on OEMs

“Really MS Holding profits up is good for Linux,” said Oiaohm. “It puts more pressure on OEM’s to look for other solutions.”

“Microsoft is trying to maintain its high margins as applied to software on commodity hardware, but it is struggling.”Going back to Vista 7, here is the latest problem, which was brought up by The Register and commented on by Richard Rasker last week. A reader wrote to tell us: “Here’s a note showing that the “new” problems with Vista7′s battery management might not be so new after all.

“Sort of like the security problem recently glossed over which had been around since Sept. 2009 (you have the link there somewhere, but while trying to find it, I found one of the hundreds/thousands of similar cases).” The Internet Explorer catastrophes were caused by flaws which Microsoft knew about and has ignored for almost half a year [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]. This is normal routine for Microsoft.

Finally, here is a report from Microsoft Emil, who discusses Microsoft’s response to the “battery life failures” in Vista 7. It is nice that they too acknowledge that there is a problem and this is exactly the type of unwanted behaviour which keeps businesses off Vista 7. It’s too risky and experimental.

Microsoft says it is investigating reports of notebooks with poor battery life with Windows 7, as first reported by users on Microsoft TechNet. These users claim their batteries were working just fine under Windows XP and/or Windows Vista, and others are saying it occurs on their new Windows 7 PCs. Under Microsoft’s latest operating system though, certain machines aren’t doing so well, as Windows 7 spits out the following warning message: “Consider replacing your battery. There is a problem with your battery, so your computer might shut down suddenly.” The warning is normally issued after using the computer’s basic input output system (BIOS) to determine whether a battery needs replacement, but in this case it appears the operating system and not the battery is the problem. These customers say their PC’s battery life is noticeably lower, with some going as far as saying that it has become completely unusable after a few weeks of use. To make matters worse, others are reporting that downgrading back to an earlier version of Windows won’t fix the problem.

Microsoft cannot handle ACPI properly, despite hijacking it [1, 2].

It is worth adding that Microsoft is now using those Microsoft-sponsored people at Net Applications to sell an illusion (Vista 7 gaining decent market share). Net Applications is bunk and biased, no matter how much the Wintel press cites it.

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7 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    February 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Gravatar

    I am deeply, deeply annoyed that the current Dell Mini 10 only comes with Windows 7 Dumbass Edition, and Ubuntu isn’t an option any more (at least on the UK site). Though some variants come with XP, and Windows 7 is £20 extra ;-) I quite wanted a Mini 10 before this, but only with Linux.

  2. NotZed said,

    February 3, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Gravatar

    With so many laptops out in the world, how many laptop batteries pass the threshold of uselessness every week? You know, when their life just hits a point where you suddenly notice it doesn’t last as long as it used to. Thousands per week?

    And the type of people stupid enough to be talked into buying a load of crap they don’t need so they can cripple their old computers … would probably be too stupid to recognise hardware wear when they saw it.

    What’s the bet most of these laptops are around 12-18 months old?

    “To make matters worse, others are reporting that downgrading back to an earlier version of Windows won’t fix the problem.”

    Sure sounds like hardware to me.

    (and even if you argue v7 ’caused’ the final nail in the coffin … power use is power use. all cpu hungry tasks aim to max out it’s power use, same for video hungry tasks – you know, like running a web browser with flash in it)

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This sounds like good marketing/prelude to ARM.

    your_friend Reply:

    Moving to GNU/Linux will save your batteries. GNU/Linux does ACPI frequency stepping well. When CPU drops down to less than 1%, as it often does, Linux scales the CPU to it’s lowest frequency setting. Windows 7 and Vista, on the other hand, are so busy with anti-features that the CPU never drops. Even XP is better better, even though it uses a clumsy “degrade” power saving, because XP had fewer anti-features. It’s the software, not the hardware. My systems get great battery life and I don’t often have to buy new batteries. People replacing their batteries after a year are doing so five times as often as I do.

    Robotron 2084 Reply:

    Untrue. Linux probably won’t save your batteries. About the only way the CPU usage might drop down below 1% is by running Linux without a desktop environment.

    Even worse, you might not even be able to tell how much power is left. When the hard drive on my Acer Aspire ONE netbook died I briefly ran Ubuntu 9.10 via an external USB hard drive. When running on battery power, Linux always reported a 100% charge up until it was completely exhausted.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 5, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Gravatar

    The UK is not their strongest market for Ubuntu, I think.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Oops. That was a reply to David Gerard.

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