Microsoft announced this week that it is formerly launching an investigation into complaints that Windows 7 is adversely affecting laptop batteries in a variety of ways.

Oy! So let me count the ways (i.e. types of complaints):

- Some batteries are dying sooner than later (Windows 7 was actually supposed to sustain battery life longer and not shorten it).

- Some batteries are unable to hold a charge.

- Batteries are actually experiencing permanent damage. Some users claim their batteries no longer work properly when they switch to another operating system.

- The operating system indicates the battery is fully charged, when it's only been recharging for a few minutes and clearly not recharged.

- Even users with brand new laptops are reporting their batteries can't hold a charge.

- The problems are happening to a variety of different laptop brands, including the major names like Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Acer and Toshiba.

Microsoft says there's likely a problem in the firmware (i.e. somewhere in the guts of the BIOS - that black or blue screen of geeky programming prompts you see for just a flash before it boots up) and that it is working with its "hardware" partners.

Here's two things that I don't like about this response from Microsoft:

- Users have been complaining about this since June (when Windows 7 was still in beta). Here's a link on Microsoft's own tech forum. You'll notice the first comment was on June 5th of last year. Hello, it's February! Once again, Microsoft has knowingly rushed a faulty product out of beta and to market.

- Microsoft is clearly pointing a finger at "hardware partners". Perhaps, that's where the problem began. But, Microsoft's name is on the product. So, shouldn't the buck stop with Microsoft? (Steve Ballmer is no Harry Truman).


Published on: Feb 16, 2010