News.com reports that Windows Vista negatively affects notebook battery life according to tests from an anonymous hardware manufacturer. In its average power mode, the upcoming Microsoft operating system reportedly results in "noticeably lower battery life" than Windows XP. Naturally, the new GPU-accelerated Aero user interface is said to be the main culprit. No actual numbers showing differences in battery life are available, but Microsoft is reported to have acknowledged the problem. The company told CNET it is working with notebook manufacturers to "ensure that systems are better able to handle the change," and that it hopes to "close the gap" before Vista's expected release in January 2007.
Of course, Apple has already shown that good battery life is quite possible even with a fancy user interface. In Ars Technica's review of the new MacBook, the machine yielded slightly over four hours of battery life in a "medium usage" test. Since MacOS X also sports a GPU-accelerated user interface and the MacBook's specifications are quite similar to that of PC notebooks, it would be surprising if equivalent Vista-powered machines turned out to have significantly worse battery life.
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