Microsoft has made energy efficiency a key design element of Windows 7, focusing on better power management for end users, company executives said on Friday.
Company engineers have sought to make power-management features more accessible than those of previous versions of Windows, while at the same time giving people the ability to customise settings.
The operating system, which will be released in October, is by default smarter about what to turn on when, according to company executives. For example, the Bluetooth wireless services won't be activated until a device is connected, and the DVD spindle won't fire up as often.
By default, there's an automatic sleep mode and laptop displays will dim after a short period of time. End users can adjust the power-management settings from the battery meter on Windows 7 without having to go into the control panel.
"Just by providing that information when they hover over the battery and [allowing users to] make a change with one click makes it really simple and we get the behaviour we want," said Francois Ajenstat, director of environmental sustainability at Microsoft.
Microsoft is also working with hardware partners during the beta of Windows 7. The company will be sharing energy-related data in an effort to resolve driver conflicts that prevent a PC from going into sleep mode.
Windows Vista added 30 new energy-efficiency features, and Windows 7 enhances some of those. For example, Windows 7 has a 'wake-up LAN' feature so that Wi-Fi-connected PCs can be roused out of sleep mode to get software updates.