Great news out of Microsoft WinHEC for mobile devices: Windows 7 will enable notebooks to run longer on a single charge. To demonstrate the optimizations, Microsoft set up two identical machines in terms of hardware: one was running Windows Vista, the other Windows 7. Setting both machines up for DVD playback, they then monitored the battery drain on each device. The Vista hardware was pulling around 17 watts of power while the same machine running Windows 7 used only around 13 watts. Putting that in perspective: if your laptop battery offers 52 Watt/hours of juice, the Vista machine would theoretically last 3.05 hours. The same machine with Windows 7? Four hours, which is a nice jump in run-time. Check the short video at Engadget for all of the specifics.
I have Windows 7 on the MSI Wind and also installed it on my Samsung Q1UP last night and there is a noticable difference in terms of run-time. I can’t put exact numbers on it just yet and in fairness, it’s probably not appropriate since this is a very early test build, but it’s looking good so far for mobile devices. I’ll be curious how the battery life is affected by other test scenarios such as web surfing and other everyday activities.