Vista's answer to PC power woes
When it comes to power management on most electronic devices, things are pretty simple. There’s “off,” and then there’s “on.”
But computers, particularly those running Windows, have always been more complicated. On is on, of course. For off, though, Windows XP machines offer several options–including hibernate, stand by and shut down.
“Users don’t always understand the difference,” said Pat Stemen, a program manager in Microsoft’s core operating-system division.
What’s worse is that even when people do know enough to choose hibernate or stand by, which turn off most parts of the system but don’t clear files away, the computer often ends up staying on. That’s because today’s Windows lets an application or hardware device veto a PC user’s decision.
That won’t be the case in Windows Vista. Applications will be warned that a computer is entering sleep and have a second or two to save what ever they need to, but the programs won’t get a say in whether the machine slumbers.
And with Vista, Microsoft plans to make it so that a PC seems more like all the other consumer electronics out there. Pressing the power button will give users the feeling they are either turning the machine on or turning it off.
In reality, pressing the button to off will more likely send the machine into some form of sleep mode than turn it off. PC manufacturers will be able to map a shut down or a sleep option to the button’s off position–including several sleep modes being developed by Microsoft.
Full article: CNET News.com