Vista PCs will nod off to save power

by admin October 17, 2006 at 3:38 am

Microsoft plans to put machines to sleep when inactive, helping businesses tackle the problem of power wastage

Companies have long known the benefits of making sure their workers get a good night’s sleep ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù and they would be wise to let their PCs do the same, Microsoft says.

With Windows Vista, Microsoft plans to put machines to sleep after an hour of inactivity. While businesses and consumers can change that setting, the software maker said they would be smart to let their computers nod off.

Microsoft estimates that allowing a PC to go to sleep during off hours, as compared with leaving it on all the time, saves anywhere from $55 (?Ǭ£29.55) a year to $70 (?Ǭ£37.60) annually, depending on the type of monitor.

“This is energy [consumed] when you are not even using the PC,” said Dean DeWhitt, a director in the Windows kernel team at Microsoft. “It truly is a waste.”

The company has done work in the upcoming Vista update to make sure that the PC can rest more easily. With Windows XP, programs could veto a user’s request for the PC to go to sleep. In some cases, that meant laptop owners thought they had put a PC to sleep, only to discover a few hours later that the machine had remained on and their notebook’s battery had been drained.

But Microsoft is hoping to make an even bigger impact with desktops. Today, many businesses leave their computers on at night. Some do it to make sure they can install security patches.

By adding the new sleep option, businesses can wake machines to install security updates, while letting them remain in the power-saving mode the rest of the time.

Full article: ZDNet UK