Windows 10: Microsoft's power slider prototype lets you trade performance for battery life

Microsoft is testing out a new power slider that could eventually optimize hardware to conserve battery life.


If implemented, Microsoft's power slider would let users adjust the balance between performance and battery use.

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft has unveiled a new power-slider feature for its Windows 10 Creators Update to help squeeze more life out of the battery on Windows devices.

The power slider appears in the latest Fast Ring build 15014 for the Creators Update, which is scheduled for a wider release in the spring, possibly April.

The slider offers a quicker way for Windows users to optimize their power settings for a longer battery life, and builds on earlier battery improvements in the Creators Update. The current way to manage power preferences is via the Control Panel.

The power slider appears in a flyout panel from the Taskbar and is meant to allow Windows device users to tune their hardware to conserve power when there isn't ready access to a power source, or run it at full steam when plugged in.

"A person playing a game, for example, might be willing to have a few less FPS [frames per second] when on a long flight if it gets them more battery life, whereas the same person playing the same game, when near a power supply, may want top-end CPU performance to eke out every ounce of performance they can get," Microsoft explains.

While it could be a handy feature to have, it's not clear whether the slider will reach current Windows 10 devices when the Creators Update arrives.

Microsoft suggests it will only come with new devices that ship with the Creators Update. Apparently, it is testing the feature with Insiders because Windows device makers have requested new ways for their users to manager power consumption.

"We'll be working with OEMs to determine the best settings for their customers, so that they can ship those on new Windows 10 PCs," said Microsoft.

Only some users in the Insiders program will see the power slider because Microsoft is just testing the UI and wants early feedback. Also, the slider isn't connected to power settings, so for now it actually does nothing to optimize performance for better battery life.

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