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.

VLC Update is now Live in the Windows Store

Our friend Thomas Nigro (@ThomasNigro) just tweeted that the new and overhauled VLC Player is now in the Windows Store. This is a major update to the player bringing performance and UI improvements. Go get it now at: VLC for Windows 8 – http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/app/c527ff2d-b5d0-45b6-bfc3-92fb7357ef72

Cortana is already knocking on Win8 door!

image

Our favourite MS tweeterer and Trekkie-extraordinaire Brandon LeBlanc posted this blog post today to inform that the power of Bing, the same that powers our lovely Cortana is now in Windows 8 common search feature or “Smart Search” as Microsoft likes to call it. Before you only search as always with keywords, now you can input search in Natural Language in the Windows 8 search box, and Bing has got your back to understand your intent and bring you relevant result. Continue reading

All Microsoft Apps and a few Others updated for GA

msohtmlclipclip_image001

msohtmlclipclip_image002

As you can see above, all Built-In Microsoft Apps for Windows 8 has been updated for General Availability (GA) of Windows 8.1 later today. Microsoft has informed severally in the past that they are preparing all their apps for the GA. The Store is at the moment in big state of Flux as MS prepares it for GA, and part of flux are these apps you can see above.

Also earlier today, MS made the mistake to surface the Official Facebook App in the Store before the GA. They made the same mistake with the Movie Moments app that you can see there in the list above. It was also released before time, but I was able to nab it before it was pulled in the Store. So, we now know for fact that there is an Official Facebook app to be made available today. We are all waiting with passion to know what other surprises MS has in store for us later today. Keep checking this Site out as we’re all over the GA as you would expect.

You may now ask what has changed in all these Apps, yes we asked the same question. A casual check on these apps reveals one consistency, there’s not much info. Some of them have the same Change Log that we’ve seen before, some went outright and removed all Change info with nothing to see. The Third-party Apps here above gave a little bit more info, for example eBay informs they now better support Split-Screen scenario and support more Markets. The Netflix app doesn’t give any info at all. All in all, you can just be happy these apps are updated, I guess we’ll see what changed as we continue to use them.

There is only catch with all these updates, they are only available for the RTM version of Windows 8.1. You can force-update these Apps by going to the Store app, go to Settings > App Updates and hit the “Check for Updates” button.

Let us know if you come across anything spectacular with these apps. We will keep you updated here too.

Yay! Microsoft Implements My Advise on Selling Windows 8!

image

Last year everyone was worried that Windows Phone was not getting the traction it deserves. Phone houses weren’t selling these devices, even actively turning potential buyers away from Windows Phone. It was absolutely frustrating. How is it possible that Windows Phone with such gorgeous tiles be so abominably misunderstood by the populace? Then it dawned on me! At the time of the writing of that post, Microsoft just released the Developer Preview of Windows 8. So I decided to title the post “Selling Windows Phone and Windows 8”.

The beauty of Windows Phone and Windows 8 is also their undoing. Windows Phone and Windows 8 are not devices you just look over for 5 minutes and conclude your opinion. Metro devices have to be used to be understood. You need to have your data on it and see how it all connects. So I proposed to Microsoft to create a fictive personal to sell both Windows Phones and Windows 8 devices. This persona should have normal data that everyone in their daily life have. Mails, SMS, Call history, Pictures, Music, Video etc. You know, the kind of data you accumulate after months of using a device. With this data, a seller can demo the device using this data so that a potential buyer will then understand what Metro is all about. Nothing beats a Tile popping up your messages and notifications!

And today, I have just read a post on NeoWin that Microsoft is bursting out Windows 8 with fictive personas built-in, and has trained sellers in its Stores to know these fictive accounts inside out. Awesome! Nice job Microsoft. Can I now have my mention? Smile

Source: NeoWin
Image Credit: Microsoft

The Windows 8 Store is Ready for RTM – [Updated]

Microsoft is overhauling the Store in preparation for the RTM of Windows 8. Last week, the Store peaked at 322 total applications, as of yesterday, the number has dropped to 269 total apps visible to users. My analysis is showing that the Apps that debuted, but are now invisible are possibly the apps that will become paid apps with Go-Live of Windows 8. I am still analyzing the changes and the trends, but clearly the Store is going through some changes.

Microsoft explained some of this in their blog post at BuildWindows8 on their preparatory efforts of the Store for RTM. You may want to read it for more information. I will be updating this blog with more info as it becomes available.

[Update: 2012-07-07]
I promised to continue analysis and report back my findings. Indeed I have found out the real cause of reduction in the number of Apps I am seeing in the store. It doesn’t have anything to do with the updates Microsoft is making to the Store in preparation for the RTM, but actually to do with the activation of the Regional Feature of the Store. The Regional feature can be found in the Store Settings shown here below:

This setting has been there all the time, but it has never had any effect. So with my analysis this week I realized I was seeing only English Apps, before you will see Apps for different countries and different languages, French, Chinese etc apps,  all of a sudden these were all gone. Then I realized in the past I have set the “Preferred Languages” option ON for my Store Settings.

So the drop in number of Apps was easily explained, Microsoft just activated this week the regional feature of the Store Servers to obey the User’s Preferred Languages option. To confirm this I set the setting back to NO as shown above, and refreshed the store, and the total Apps count jumped to 332, and when I set it back to YES, it was reduced to 278 as of today.

So, there you have it. Indeed MS is preparing for the RTM. They’ve activated Regional settings for the Store, so your store will always show Apps developed for your region. So those of you complaining not seeing all the Apps I have been mentioning, please see if your Preferred Language setting is YES, if so set to NO and see if you can now access all Apps in the Store.

The New FlipToast is now Available in #Win8 Store

Image

The integrated Social-media App FlipToast has made it into the store. FlipToast if you remember is the official first Indy Twitter/Facebook app in the store (after the MS people app; duh) for the Consumer Preview timeframe. The App has now returned for Windows 8 Release Preview sporting a new GUI, and muscle to boost. You can still connect to both Facebook and Twitter as usual. The app can be found in the Social Category in the Store, if you can’t find it, search for it via the Search Charm.

On the iPAD and TabletPC – Huraah! A baby is born!!

Hello there iPAD, welcome to our world. You turned out uglier than we expected and you miss a lot attributes or shall I say appendages; and what an awful name your father gave you, I am sure you’re not proud of it, possibly you will change your own name when you mature.
Hopefully you are going to succeed where others have failed. Knowing your father SJ has the power to move the masses, we hope you are going to pave the path for the Tablet era and bring us the revolution we’ve all been waiting for.
You yourself know you are not the first like your father and everyone will make the world believe, even you didn’t pretend to be the panacea that you’ve been proclaimed you will be. Your CPU can hardly manage the full of a business applications, you turned out to be only a leisure device; to be carried around by people with little self-image.
Take a look at your big brother HP TC1100, aren’t you jealous of its bezel and its connectivity, for a device that was built 6-years ago? Aren’t you jealous it can run circles around you in terms of performance? We love your humble birth into this world, hopefully you will grow in the future to be something the masses will run after.
You ask why I wish you all the best knowing I hate your father’s camp? Because I am selfish, because I am tired of crappy products from Microsoft OEMs; they abandoned the slate format and jumped on the Convertibles bandwagon. Because I have been loving Slate TabletPC format since BillG launched it in 2000, and I hate the mediocre product the TabletPC manufacturers have been producing throughout the years.
The only TabletPC that is worthy of our attention is the HP’s TC1100, a product we all expected much of, but was still-born; murdered by its own parent HP before it could see the limelight. Shame on you HP! Double shame on you HP for abandoning the TC1100 productline and letting Apple steal your thunder! Because of you iPAD will not to know its big brother and its competition in the marketplace. Now iPAD is all alone in this tablet world getting all the attention and not knowing what to do with it.
iPAD, we of the tabletPC community(http://www.tabletpcbuzz.com/) whish you’ll grow up to be something like the TC1100, kick Microsoft and its OEM’s butts so they will wake up from their slumber and start producing something we will be proud of. As functional and pretty as you may be, we at the Microsoft camp will not buy you because your father believe in total world domination. We don’t want to be told what to do and what not to do; we love this open Microsoft platform where anybody is allowed to produce anything, and we can install anything we want. But we don’t want to play second to the best, so we wish you all the best with your launch iPAD. Go ahead make the masses go crazy, let the competition begin! Bring us the tablet revolution. Bring it ON iPAD!!!! Long live the Slate format!!!