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Things about Windows that suck // techie - Lograh

Sunday, 24.May.2009

9:17 - Things about Windows that suck // techie

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So I'm testing Windows7 now. It's part of my job, poking at new tech, so it makes sense that I'd be sitting here in a cafe using Win7 on the laptop. Many companies seem to think that 'testing' means you just make sure it doesn't break other software. I disagree. I think to properly test a piece of software as important as an OS you need to actually sit down and spend some quality time using it in daily life.

But I digress. This was supposed to be a rant about the sucky power management Windows gets on the MacBookPro.

Now, I don't know if this is the fault of Windows for being just generally sucky (which it certainly is) or if the blame lies on Apple for supplying craptastic drivers for Windows (which they most assuredly do). Wherever the problem lies, though, the fact remains that the user experience is poor in this area. I'm speaking directly to the battery life. Vista had this problem as well on the MBP, but I thought that was perhaps just due to Vista being a resource hog and running things that didn't really have to be ran. Win7 does some of this as well, but nowhere near as bad. Battery life, however, has not improved. I can boot this in OSX and get close to 4 or more hours of battery life. The little 'battery life left' indicator will happily tell me that I can expect over three hours on a full charge (I get more than the initial estimate since I let the screen sleep a lot). Here in Win7, though, the similar indicator is forecasting only two and a half hours of life. Almost a full hour less than OSX forecasts!

Now, there are two possibilities here. One, the actual life will be the same 4-5 hours and the forecasting algorithm used by Windows is made of fail. Judging expected battery life on a laptop is a tough thing to do, so this wouldn't be terrible; at least they are under-estimating, which is worlds better than over-estimating. The other option that springs to mind is that they simply are not very good at conserving power. Perhaps OSX throttles the CPU more than Windows when on battery life. Perhaps Windows is being stupid and defaulting to a less energy conservative profile when on battery life. Whatever the reason for the difference, Win7 on the MBP is failing to impress me with its battery life so far.

Mind you, I'll still strongly recommend Win7 to anyone running Vista. It is good to see Microsoft learning from their mistake so well. There are still a few design decisions I don't like, but overall this shows vast improvement.