Microsoft: Windows 7 isn't trashing your battery

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).

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