Vista Battery Life Conversation Heats Up

PowericonRob Bushway’s editorial yesterday about battery life woes for mobile users running Vista has sparked quite a bit of conversation. And as usual on the Internets, some of the talk can get a bit wacky. Apparently one meme in the thread has info reporting that the Aero interface is automatically disabled when users run under “power-saving” mode. As Rob pointed to in an update, Microsoft’s Brandon Paddock weighed in with a rebuttal to that point:

That is not correct.  Switching to “power-saving” profile will disable transparent glass only when on battery power.  That is not the same as disabling Aero by any stretch.  Even in power-saving mode while on battery, you’re still running the Aero theme, everything still looks pretty, and the DWM is still running.  The only difference is that transparent window frames are disabled, which is an option that many Aero users turn off anyway. 

Perhaps that accounts for why several Ultra-Mobile PC users are reporting that they aren’t seeing the same battery drain while running those mobile devices. CTitanic, a UMPC acolyte, hasn’t seen the drop off and is doing some research to prove that the reduction is battery life is what he calls “a myth.” Note that most UMPCs don’t run Aero Glass.


Loren Heiny is seeing similar positive results on a Samsung Q1 but not having luck with his Toshiba M400.

And in this related info from Acer, (thanks to Sumocat who posted the link in the comments to Rob’s original post), it looks like at least one manufacturer is admitting that a shift in battery technology is a ways off.

So much we don’t know. Rob’s right. The conversation needs to be jumpstarted.