Panabaker, Microsoft's principal program manager of strategic silicon
partnering, shows how later builds of Windows 7 were able to let the
processor enter low-power states for longer periods of time, saving
Upgrading a newer machine from Windows Vista to
Windows 7 might mean that you get to see the last few minutes of that DVD on a long flight.
At a demo on Tuesday, Microsoft showed two identical laptops playing
the same DVD, with the Windows 7-equipped notebook getting 20 percent
better battery life than one running Windows Vista. In general, users
can expect newer systems running Windows 7 to offer 10 percent to 20
percent better battery improvement when watching a DVD.
"We're achieving a very significant amount of battery savings," said Microsoft principal program manager Ruston Panabaker.
Microsoft and Intel declined to say just how much overall battery life improvement Windows 7 might offer as compared to Vista, saying there are too many factors that can influence such results.
"I don't want to state a number," Panabaker said at the event, which was organized by Intel and Microsoft.
and Intel showed these power consumption improvements results for a
system running Windows 7, left, and Vista. The left chart shows
consumption while the system was idle; at right, when playing a DVD.
The event was designed to outline the joint work that the two halves of
Wintel have been doing to make Windows 7 perform better in areas such
as virtualization, power management, and performance.
On the performance side, Microsoft and Intel showed a reference
system that can boot up in 11 seconds, although again real-world
performance is likely to vary a lot based on what's inside the PC and
how well tuned it is. For instance, the system shown Tuesday had a
solid-state drive and other high-performance componets.
The move comes as Microsoft gears up for the October 22 launch of Windows 7.
Perhaps the most encouraging thing for Microsoft is the fact
that Intel itself is willing to use Windows 7 within its own corporate
walls. The chipmaker has been an XP-only shop throughout Vista's life.
In an interview here, Intel VP Stephen Smith said that Intel had some
internal applications that weren't Vista-compatible and the benefits of
moving to Vista didn't justify the costs.
By contrast, Smith said several hundred people inside Intel are already running Windows 7 on their corporate machines.
a DVD, a Windows Vista Ultimate system, left showed an estimated
battery life of 4.14 hours, but the Windows 7 Ultimate system on the
right showed 5.5 hours.