HP voices Vista battery life concerns

Centrino Duo laptops like this HP model have a longer battery life - they'll need it if the juice-sucking prowess of Windows Vista is anything to go by

Laptop PC manufacturers are unhappy with the power consumption of Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system.

So says a leading engineer from HP 's notebook development department who recently voiced concerns regarding the impact of Vista's fancy new Aero Glass 3D desktop interface.

Talking to ZDNet last week , a technologist in HP's notebook engineering department, John Wozniak, said Microsoft had "really made [Vista] complex from a power management standpoint. The potential is there to do some good things, the bad thing is that it comes with the canned settings...and we don't like any of them."

Vista vs XP

At launch, Microsoft claimed Vista delivers superior mobile power management technology to previous versions of Windows such as XP.

However, independent testing has revealed that Vista can only match or better Windows XP in terms of battery life with Aero Glass interface disabled.

Significantly, Intel's latest Centrino mobile platform offers support for Aero Glass. So, the vast majority of new laptops sold in the second half of 2007 will be capable of supporting the full 3D interface.

In response, HP has come up with its own suite of power management settings. Other leading notebook manufacturers including Lenovo and Toshiba are taking a similar approach.

Intel Centrino Duo

Microsoft's response has so far been diplomatic. "We actively encourage [PC companies] to customize the default power profiles so that users get the most out of their hardware," a spokesman said.

However, the concerns over battery life performance are just the latest in a long line of doubts over the readiness of Vista for the prime time.

Meanwhile, Intel is making impressive claims about the improved battery life of the new Centrino Duo mobile chipset.

Keep your scanners peeled, therefore, to Tech.co.uk in the coming weeks as we get our hands on the first notebooks powered by both Intel's new platform and Windows Vista.