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Microsoft talks about Windows 8 power management improvements

In a new Building Windows 8 blog entry, Microsoft goes over the power management improvements for the company’s upcoming operating system Windows 8. Microsoft shows us what they think about power management for Windows 8, and how they measure power consumption on a daily basis.

Microsoft has three goals when it comes to efficient power management in Windows 8:

  • Let the hardware shine. “We built Windows 8 such that the power efficiency of the hardware platform shines through, regardless of whether the system is a SoC-based Windows tablet or an SLI-equipped gaming PC. We designed our power management interfaces in a consistent, standardized way across all platforms. This allows our hardware partners and application developers to focus on their unique innovations and experiences instead of the differences in platform hardware and power management.”
  • Continue to deliver great battery life. Windows 7 delivered a significant reduction in power consumption and increase in energy efficiency, particularly mobile PC battery life. In Windows 8, Microsoft hopes to maintain that same level of efficiency on existing PCs even as the rest of Windows is completely re-imagined.
  • Enable the smartphone power model. “One of the coolest things about the System-on-Chip (SoC) platforms you’ve seen us talk about at CES and //BUILD/ is their capability to quickly enter very low-power idle states. We want to leverage that ultra-low idle power to bring the constant connectivity and instant-on features of the smartphone power model to capable Windows 8 PCs.”

Microsoft admits that in order to deliver consistently long battery life, we need a balance between the underlying hardware, operating system, and application software. “Power management is also in a fine balancing act with system performance and responsiveness. As an example, we can easily reduce processor performance to save power, but as we do so, we increase the time required to process a given workload. Doing a great job of balancing power and performance is a key requirement across the Windows user experience,” Microsoft states.

Just like most tech blogs that review processors and hardware platforms, Microsoft is looking at measuring power and performance. Microsoft is looking at seeing how much power is consumed just to execute an application.

Microsot states that Windows 8 will feature three key innovations to improve how software influences power consumption. First, the Metro style app model allows for applications in the background to be suspended when not in use so they do not consume resources and power. Second, Microsoft has improved how much resources and power is used during idle times. Finally, Microsoft taps into a new runtime device power management framework in Windows 8 to reduce power consumption. “PCs attain their longest battery life when all devices, including the processor, storage, and peripheral devices enter low-power modes,” Microsoft states.

Microsoft continues to work with their ecosystem partners to deliver a low-power consuming and long battery life Windows 8 operating system.

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