PC makers say Vista shouldn't hurt battery life

Windows Vista should start appearing on notebooks from major PC vendors in around six weeks, but hardware makers and analysts believe the upcoming operating system will have a negative impact on notebook battery life. As PC World reports, not only will future Vista-powered notebooks require slightly beefier—and thus more power-hungry—hardware to handle the operating system's hardware requirements, but some also say the OS will also cause machines to draw more power than Windows XP. However, Vista may not be the power guzzler some make it out to be. A Dell spokesman had this to say when probed by PC World:
"If Vista is run in full Aero mode, with none of the Vista-provided power management settings turned on, it is likely to demand more power, and have an impact on battery life," said Dell spokesman Ira Williams, in an e-mail interview. "That said, if you run Vista in battery-optimized mode (using a non-3D interface), we would not expect the battery life to be significantly different from XP in that scenario."
A Microsoft spokesperson also told the site, "Although it is true that the Windows Vista Aero theme and components can use more resources than previous versions of Windows, the relative impact to battery life is minimal." And a Gateway spokesperson added, "We've done extensive testing, and we haven't seen [shortened battery life]. While it is true that Vista has higher system requirements than XP, it also has more sophisticated mechanisms to allow for power savings."

Interestingly enough, we found almost no measurable impact on power consumption when running Vista's Aero look on various desktop graphics cards.

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