Feeds

Microsoft tests show no Win 7 battery flaw

Replace battery warnings correct, says Redmond

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Microsoft says that extensive testing and conversations with OEMs indicate that Windows 7 is handling notebook batteries exactly as intended - despite user claims that upgrades to the new OS have caused significant degradation to battery life.

As we reported in late January, various laptop owners - including a string of posters to Microsoft's TechNet forum - have said that after upgrading their laptops to Windows 7, they've seen a decrease in battery life. The claims involve a new Windows 7 tool designed to inform the reader when tlheir battery needs replacing.

According to some users, Windows 7 is displaying the message "Consider replacing your battery" even though their batteries are brand new, and some say that this message pops up in tandem with sudden battery life reductions. But in a Monday post to the Engineering Windows 7 blog, Windows and Windows Live president Steven Sinofsky says the notification tool is operating as designed.

"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," the post reads. "In every case, we have been able to identify the battery being reported on was in fact in need of recommended replacement."

Windows 7 taps into circuitry and firmware in today's laptop batteries that reports power capacity in Watt-hours. The OS then calculates how much this figure has decreased from the capacity provided by the battery's original design specs. If the capacity reading drops below 40 per cent of the original design capacity, Windows 7 notifies the user.

This tool was not available with Windows XP or Vista, and Microsoft says that according to its testing, Windows 7 is simply providing information that previous OSes did not. "It should stand to reason that some customers would be surprised to see this warning after upgrading a PC that was previously operating fine. Essentially the battery was degrading but it was not evident to the customer until Windows 7 made this information available.

"We recognize that this has the appearance of Windows 7 'causing' the change in performance, but in reality all Windows 7 did was report what was already the case."

Some posters said they were seeing significant battery degradation on new batteries, but Microsoft says it has not found any reports where the hardware was in fact new. "We have seen no reproducible reports of this notification on new hardware or newly purchased PCs. While we’ve seen the reports of new PCs receiving this notification, in all cases we have established that the battery was in a degraded state."

That said, Microsoft adds that if you receive Windows 7's battery replacement notification and you believe it's in error, you should contact your PC maker. You can also seek help in the forums at TechNet or Microsoft Answers or by sending the Engineering Windows 7 team an email through the blog's contact form. ®

Update: This story has been corrected to show that Windows 7 notifies the user if it calculates that a battery's capacity reading drops below 40 per cent of the design capacity - not 60 per cent.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Raspberry Pi B+: PHWOAR, get a load of those pins
More USB ports than your laptop? You'd better believe it...
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?