Windows 7 is not killing batteries, claims Microsoft

Battery capacity warnings aren't an error, but a new feature, Microsoft has said.

battery power

Windows 7 is not destroying laptop batteries, Microsoft has claimed.

Microsoft battery warning

According to a post on the Engineering Windows 7 blog, Windows 7 isn't causing batteries to fail it's just reporting that they already have, as all batteries degrade with time.

"These articles described posts in the support forums indicating that Windows 7 is not just warning users of failing batteries as we designed Windows 7 to do this but also implying Windows 7 is falsely reporting this situation or even worse, causing these batteries to fail," the post said.

"To the very best of the collective ecosystem knowledge, Windows 7 is correctly warning batteries that are in fact failing and Windows 7 is neither incorrectly reporting on battery status nor in any way whatsoever causing batteries to reach this state. In every case we have been able to identify the battery being reported on was in fact in need of recommended replacement."

Microsoft noted that Windows 7 is the first of its operating systems to look at battery health, so failing batteries would not have been noticed in Vista or XP.

"Essentially the battery was degrading but it was not evident to the customer until Windows 7 made this information available. We recognise that this has the appearance of Windows 7 'causing' the change in performance, but in reality all Windows 7 did was report what was already the case."

Microsoft added that it has had just 20 such incidents reported to it, while online moderators have dealt with another 30. It noted that more users complained about the warning during pre-release testing of the OS, which it said made sense as people were naturally using older computers with older batteries.

"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," Microsoft added.

Still, Microsoft said it would continue to look into the issue, and asked anyone receiving the warning to let it know on its forums.

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