Microsoft: Windows 7 isn't trashing your battery

Microsoft: Windows 7 isn't trashing your battery

Summary: Last week I posted on how there's was a growing believe that a flaw in Windows 7 was causing Windows 7 to permanently trash notebook batteries. Today, Microsoft's president of Windows and Windows Live division Steven Sinofsky responds.


Last week I posted on how there's was a growing believe that a flaw in Windows 7 was causing Windows 7 to permanently trash notebook batteries. Today, Microsoft's president of Windows and Windows Live division Steven Sinofsky responds.

Sinofsky has posted an extensive response to the issue on the Engineering Windows 7 blog, but I'll extract the highlights for you here:

  • We have seen no reproducible reports of this notification on new hardware or newly purchased PCs. While we’ve seen the reports of new PCs receiving this notification, in all cases we have established that the battery was in a degraded state.
  • Our OEM partners have utilized their telemetry (call center, support forums, etc.) and have let us know that they are seeing no activity beyond what they expect. It is worth noting that PC manufacturers work through battery issues with customers and have a clear view of what is to be expected both in general and with respect to specific models, timelines, and batteries.
  • In our telemetry from RTM code customers, only a very small percentage of users are receiving the “Consider replacing your battery” notification, and as expected, we are seeing systems older than ~1.5 years.  We’re seeing relatively fewer notifications compared to pre-release software as the average age of the system decreases.
  • Microsoft has received 12 customer service incidents in addition to pulling 8 additional incidents from various forums. To date (for a total of 20 incidents), none of these have shown anything other than degraded batteries. 

My ZDNet colleague Mary-Jo Foley has coverage of the issue here.

Over the past few days I've been getting feedback from some users convinced that their battery took a hit after installing Windows 7. That said, follow-up questions seem to highlight several factor that might contribute to the problem:

  • Old batteries (+2 years old)
  • Third-party batteries
  • Third party chargers

At the moment, I feel that the problem here has more to do with people being told that there's an issue. Once people get a little information (especially bad news), they begin to obsess over it (whether that be SMART info relating to hard drives, CPU or GPU temperatures, or battery state), so I'm tempted to say that this is what's we're seeing here.

Still, I'm interested in hearing from folks who still think that this is an issue. Get in touch with me via TalkBack section, via email, or via Twitter (@the_pc_doc).

Topics: Windows, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

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  • Uh. I am sorry. MJ beat you by a couple of secs on this topic.

    MJ beat you to it.
    • I still get silver, tho ...

      ... right? :)
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
  • cum hoc ergo propter hoc

    MS is very often the victim of weak correlation automatically implying causation.
    • Yup...

      trust is on thin ice with MS. Gee, I wonder why?
      • Unspecific accusations.

        Playing to fear, instigating uncertainty and
        creating doubts.

        The cornerstone of FUD.

        Parent post here demonstrate how to do it.
        • Parent post referring to mine?

          If so, I wasn't spreading FUD, I was attempting to dispel it with reference to a common logic fallacy, namely that correlation doesn't imply causation.

          I drank a bottle of water and my wife went into labor, but we all know drinking water doesn't cause labor in spouses.

          That kinda thing. ;-)
    • ABMers need better FUD

      This battery thing is lame. Try again.
  • RE: Microsoft: Windows 7 isn't trashing your battery

    Oh how I love being right. I said it was people with obscure hardware and had nothing to do with Microsoft. I said it was mob mentality where one person has the issue and everyone else thinks they do. Now I get to say it.


    Thank goodness we can put all this behind us now and people can stop tarnishing Microsoft's good image. I knew from the start that it wasn't Microsoft Windows causing this.
    Loverock Davidson
  • Why take a chance?!?

    I won't take a chance. My laptop runs Ubuntu!
    • RE: Why take a chance?!?

      And what if Ubuntu implemented the same type of
      code to check the condition of the battery and
      display an error message? Would you automatically
      believe it or would you first think the new Ubuntu
      version was causing problems on your hardware?
    • ubuntu no protection from faulty hardware

      running ubuntu is no protection from faulty hardware.
      why do you think it does ?
  • RE: Microsoft: Windows 7 isn't trashing your battery

    I have run Windows 7 Beta and Windows 7 Production and have not experienced any issue with the batteries on various vendor devices - Motion, Fujitsu, Dell, HP and Panasonic.

    We have done a lot of testing on our devices and put them through the paces.

    I do not believe one system is better than the other, but do not believe this is a Microsoft issue.
  • RE: Microsoft: Windows 7 isn't trashing your battery

    I don't see how windows 7 can do that. Batteries are hardware and windows 7 is software. I think the failures are probably heat related, by not having adequate ventilation of the motherboard, which would stress the charging circuit and in turn cook the battery internals.
  • Battery Trashed by Windows 7

    Granted, I do fit in the catagory that my battery happens to be two years old and while I loaded Windows 7, the battery just happened to lose it's lifespan by about 1/2. I can not say for certain that the two are related. I just feel that the coincidence happens to be awfully closely tied together.

    I first noticed this just as I loaded Windows 7. Before, I didn't have a problem. I think the coincidental timing for a lot of people would cause them to wonder what is going on.