Understanding Windows 10 TP Battery Performance on Mobile Devices

I’ll give you the poison pill straight away: Windows 10 cannot and will not be as Power-efficient compared to Windows 8! Not on an x86 device. On ARM, it’s another ball game. This is why MS is having issues with ARM devices and Desktop for Windows 10 generally.

See, the reason here is simple, since the rejection of Windows 8 platform by the masses who doesn’t understand the OS, Microsoft’s hand has been forced to abandon all the progress made on re-writing Windows from the ground up for a great mobile experience, and concentrate on the Keyboard & Mouse world to make Windows 10 acceptable to Desktop huggers and the Enterprise in general.

This means dumbing down the progress made in Windows 8 timeframe and bringing up Windows 7 UX to the next century. For me I don’t consider Windows 10 the next evolution of Windows 8, but an evolution of Windows 7 with a nod to Tablet/Mobile users with the Continuum technology in it. Windows 10 is Keyboard/Mouse first and Touch second.

Which brings me to the topic at hand. Because of Desktop and UX technology of Windows 10 that mimics Win7 UX, you get to keep lots of windows open. Each opened Window is an active resource in Win10, which means active drain on the battery.

Compare this to Windows 8 which is a single focus OS. The currently opened window in Win8 is the only window tasking the CPU, all other “invisible” windows are put on ice. Sleeping if you get what I mean. The only type of windows that tasks the system while not in focus are those that you allow to run in the background specifically. And guys, this is why you get the warning when you have too many background task Apps in Windows 8 and 10. Like the max number of Apps that can put messages on the Locked screen for example.

On a Desktop device that is continually powered, you will not notice this issue, but if you’re on any x86 mobile device with Desktop, you will have this problem if you do not activate the Tablet mode. The only way to avoid battery wastage then is to minimize every windows you’re not using while on a mobile device with tablet mode not activated. When windows are minimized, they are put to sleep like in Windows 8.

As you can in the title Picture above (click to see larger), I have taken my favorite TV app TrackSeries as an example. This modern app makes full use WPF with lots of eye-candy and animated thingymagic all over the place. As you can see above, even while it is out of focus, it is still draining the CPU at 13.5%. (Of course this is a snapshot, it varies continuously.)

Now take a look after the App was minimized:

The system puts the app to sleep after a few seconds. You will notice some apps that are still active even after they’re minimized while not been set as background apps. These are apps like twitter and mail clients that are making use of connected standby feature of Windows 8/10 that is designed to keep your info-stream up to date even when your app is iced.

So to save battery in Windows 10 x86 (i.e. screen >= 8″) devices, either activate Tablet mode (which essentially switches you to Win8 single-focus mode) or actively minimize all windows you’re not using.

Final note: Please realize this post only relates to Windows Store Apps or Modern Apps like Microsoft like to call them. Those of us puritans call them Metro Apps for nostalgia sake. I am not talking of old Win32 desktop Apps, which will continue to drain battery whether you have them minimized or not. (That is why we developed Metro Apps technology in the first place!). For example, IE11 you see here above is Win32 App.

So now you know. If the same device that was reaching 8 to 10hrs with Windows 8 is not reaching it anymore with Windows 10, you might want to watch how you’re using Windows 10 regarding windowing. For me, I always have the TaskMan icon next to the clock to keep an eye on my CPU=battery drain while I am in mobile mode.

Have you noticed this yourself, or do you disagree with me? Comment below and let’s have intelligent discussion about this.

How to Go Fullscreen in Command Prompt and Powershell

PowerShell Featured

Note: You must have at least Windows 10 for this to work.

You can use Windows Command Prompt (cmd.exe) and PowerShell (powershell.exe) in fullscreen mode. To enter fullscreen mode, follow the following steps.

Continue reading

Windows 10 for Phones May Likely have External Keyboard Support

Earlier today, I spotted a news article by Newoin, which you can see here, that showed new leaked screenshots of Windows 10 for phones and small tablets. I noticed something very interesting on one of the screenshot. Continue reading

SoundRecorder now saves to Documents folder in Windows 10 JTP

The Sound Recorder App was one of the updated apps for Windows 10 January Technical Preview. The Sound Recorder App in Windows 8 was excellent, but it has a nasty design fault; you can’t get to the recordings unless you’re a geek that knows how to hack your device. The files then were always saved in the hidden AppData folder of user’s Profile. Since this folder and its subfolders are invisible to normal users, they don’t care about it’s content. Therefore it doesn’t get backed up except you’re using a backup program. For example users are used to dumping their MyDocument folder on a thumbdrive etc, but not the AppData folder. Therefore, when the system needs to be refreshed/re-installed, the data in AppData don’t normally survive the system reload. All your recordings gone thus. Now, this has been addressed in Build 9926 as you can see above. Sound Recorder now saves by default to your My Document folder under “Sound Recordings” sub-folder. This is joy as your recordings are now conspicuous and gets backed up or made redundant. That OneDrive you see in the screenshot is just me making MyDocument folder point to OneDrive. Continue reading

Demo: Chitchat with Cortana in Windows 10 JTP Build 9926

Here’s a demo showing how Cortana responds to fun queries. This video demonstrates mostly chitchat. I also tried to demonstrate the “Hay Cortana” feature, but, sadly, I had no luck. Anyway, enjoy!

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Microsoft is about to release Win10 FBL_Awesome Build 9931 [Update: Nope!]

 

[Update] It seems this is a false alarm folks. You can now stop pressing the Retry button. We’ve just been informed by @GabeAul this upgrade is meant for Microsoft internal. We may eventually get it, but for now, it’s no go.

Original Text

Earlier this evening there was a tweet from @GabeAul that a security update is released for Windows Insiders for Flash. Of course you when you see this you run to the WU to download the update. For me however there were plethora of updates available including one specifically for Win10 and one for my DisplayLink driver. It all went too fast I wasn’t able to take a screenshot. Continue reading

Network is back in Windows 10 JTP

A few weeks back we informed of a development in Windows 10 Build 9879 in which Microsoft changed the name of Network node in File Explorer to “Computers and Devices”. Well guess what, they’ve changed the name back to Network with January Technical Preview (Build 9926) as you can see in the image above. Continue reading

New Windows 10 JTP App from Microsoft: Student Planner

Here is another gem from Windows 10 January Technical Preview for all of you Students out there to track your Study Schedules etc. It is a good place to start your day and make plans for your courses. You can enter Course, Assignments and Exams. You can link to Outlook Mail app, OneNote and your files on OneDrive. Continue reading

Microsoft Released Customer Support App with Windows 10 JTP

There is a new Support App in Windows 10 January Technical Preview to obtain support directly from Microsoft for Windows. This shows how serious Microsoft is about it’s business of converting Windows into a Service. There are lot of people that will be needing assistance understand this new Windows and understanding the new Service structure. Continue reading

Breaking: New OneNote Universal App is Live for Windows 10 JTP

I was using OneNote a moment ago and I had noticed my new Windows 10 January Technical Preview has finished all updates after install and wants to reboot. So I finished my work, saved everything that needed to be saved and I restarted the machine. Continue reading

Watch Windows 10 The Next Chapter Event Live!

Windows 10 Featured

Microsoft is about to reveal its true vision of Windows 10, in their Windows 10 event slated for January 21, 2015. We expect Microsoft will cover the updates to Windows 10 desktop since the last build release in November 2017, with Windows 10 build 9879. We also expect Microsoft to unveil Windows 10 for phones and tablets, along with the continuum feature for convertible touch PCs. Furthermore, we are counting on Microsoft to show off some cool advances in gaming on the PC, which they have fallen short of for the last decade. Will Microsoft make a new contender against Steam? Only time will tell.

So let’s find out together. Let’s watch the event as it happens…Live! If you miss the event, don’t worry, as you can still watch the rerun. Click the link below to watch the event. Enjoy!

http://news.microsoft.com/windows10story/

 

 

Network now called ‘Computers and Devices’ in Win10

Here’s another subtle change in Windows 10 File Explorer before next week’s revelations. The ubiquitous Network Neighborhood node or ‘Network’ as it was shortened to in Windows 8 has now changed name again. You will be calling it ‘Computers and Devices’ forthwith; which is basically what you do with that node anyway. You use it to see connected computers and devices on your network. Continue reading

Install Windows 8.1 with your Windows 8.0 Key

Windows 8.1 Download Featured

There was a time we users were extremely frustrated because we were unable to install Windows 8.1 using any Windows 8.0 product key. This was a nonsensical decision by Microsoft because Windows 8.1 was a free upgrade to all Windows 8.0 users, and, furthermore, Windows 8.1 could be activated using a Windows 8.0 key. But that same key couldn’t be used to install the OS. One had to obtain a Windows 8.1 key. Fear not, folks. The times have changed, as we can now install Windows 8.1 using our 8.0 product key. Continue reading

PSA New Windows 10 Build in few Weeks

winver featured

We have a quick public service announcement to let you all know that a new Windows 10 Technical Preview build is due in a few weeks. The information comes from Microsoft’s Gabe Aul, who works in the Windows Division to help make Windows 10 a reality. He notified one user via reply that a new build is arriving soon. Continue reading

Windows 10 Media Controls for Desktop Apps

Music Tile

In Windows 10, Microsoft seems to be extending the modern media playback controls to desktop apps. In Windows 8, if you changed your PC’s volume using a hardware volume button on you device or on the keyboard, you got an on-screen volume control display. If you had a modern (Windows Store) application playing a media file, you got an on-screen playback controls in addition to the volume control. This feature was mostly aimed at touch tablet devices running Windows. It is also similar to how Windows Phone behaves. With Windows 10, this functionality seems to be extended to desktop applications as well. Continue reading