But both Windows and Linux are more than capable to get this all sorted. Like Google showed with the Nexus 7 - focus is all that's needed. It's just harder for Microsoft considering everything they need to juggle.
Edit: Fun fact: Apple's own Boot Camp drivers disable USB selective suspend on the 2013 Air! Check our powercfg /energy for more fun :)
Edit 2: Surface is Tegra 4 SoC isn't it? Microsoft still is limited by Tegra's power characteristics as far as what I can tell from Anand's review. So the integration story is better but still no match to Apple.
Edit: as pointed out elsewhere, this doesn't excuse MS from not taking advantage of the same vertical integration on their own hardware...
Most servers are idle, or running maybe 40%, might as well let those other cores sit idle if they aren't used. Example is at idle with power management our latest xeon draws 300W versus 390 without. 900W at full tilt and all power management disabled.
The excuse that windows is a "general purpose" OS doesn't fly in my boat. Granted I don't use Linux for laptops generally but power management should be something any OS does somewhat sanely. We're moving to Amdahls law now away from Moore, also is there a law yet on power requirements for appplications? So power consumption is only going to be more of a basic feature than bolted on. That and doing things like using avx or gpu's for array multiplication because the power requirements are cheaper etc...
Terminal Server running serverside, not clientside, screensaver is poor for performance (https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en-GB#!search/windows$20...)
Q: My server has poor performance. (https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en-GB#!search/windows$20...)
I genuinely don't understand the Google groups interface. So I might not have linked to the correct messages. Some scrolling might be needed.
You can turn old laptops into "servers", or raspberry pi's, or hell even a commodore 64 for that matter. As long as it serves something of value over a network it qualifies.
Whether its a good idea is another matter.
You are correct though, people do use commodity and low-end hardware for extremely light server needs, and even in data centers.
What I was referring to, which I thought was apparent but failed to convey, is that this perception of nobody doing it is a fallacy.
> What I was referring to, which I thought was apparent but failed to convey, is that this perception of nobody doing it is a fallacy.
I just think that in this context the "nobody" you are referring to and the "nobody" he is referring to are not equal sets. Yours is a superset of his, which is why both statements are true (in spirit), while yours is true in fact.
I do believe that means it is beer o clock time. Cheers and no worries mate.
I know of a lot of businesses that run their servers on OS X.
"Supports extra hardware" sounds suspiciously like the "unoptimised 3rd party drivers" excuse that Microsoft used to throw around.
I find it very difficult to believe that supporting extra hardware somehow costs Windows 50% of the battery life of a Macbook Air, but somehow doesn't have the same costs in terms of application performance.
See mjg59's reply and my note on USB suspend elsewhere in the thread. (OS X turns off lot of things using non standard firmware implementation and uses out of band notifications that Windows and Linux aren't made aware of. Apple's Boot Camp drivers also turn off USB suspend on Windows. Those things matter a lot for power management.)
For surface - yes they're being a bit sloppy. They should work closer with their hardware manufacturers to fix things such as SoC current leaks, display power draw etc. But they are still limited by say NVidia Tegra 4 power characteristics. Microsoft doesn't design their own SoC like Apple does with A7 for example.
Certainly Microsoft should have the ability or money to optimize those drivers for maximum battery efficiency.
Performance optimizations are all about trade-offs, and what might be a good trade-off for Microsoft's own hardware could be a bad trade-off for 95% of the other hardware on the market.
In theory, Microsoft could ship a second set of bits for their own hardware. But now you start to have nightmares about the antitrust lawsuits in the 90s. Why is Microsoft keeping a secret faster Windows that only it gets to use? That's the headline anyway.
The only way for Microsoft to achieve the kind of vertical integration that Apple has would be if it was willing to destroy its existing OEM partnerships. And risk a lawsuit from the DOJ. And this is a crazy strategy, because Apple has all the experience manufacturing hardware, and Microsoft has very little.
Why not have an "Extended-Battery profile" that you can turn on and off, that will have Windows be more aggressive with respect to power conservation? It'll be toggled on automatically on Surface-type devices, and turned off for desktops and servers (though servers may also benefit).
So give me a break. Where there's a will there's a way.
>The only way for Microsoft to achieve the kind of vertical integration that Apple has would be if it was willing to destroy its existing OEM partnerships.
>Any move to give preferential treatment to MS's own hardware is the push the OEMs need to convert their Windows Tablet initiative into an Android Tablet one.
I hope Microsoft's OEM partners don't think this way for the sake of progress. It is a scary thought that MSFT/Google would not optimize their reference hardware for the sake of pleasing OEM partners. I have a Nexus 4 phone. I certainly hope when they write an update for mako, they optimize it for mako.
It doesn't mean OEM partners can't use similar optimization. However, to my naive mind it is absurd to cripple reference hardware for the sake of pleasing OEM partners.
> Hyperbole much?
Again, no. Any move to give preferential treatment to MS's own hardware is the push the OEMs need to convert their Windows Tablet initiative into an Android Tablet one. Not to mention having potential ripple effects in unrelated businesses lines like spooking HP into doing more Linux servers.
For better or for worse, Microsoft's most valuable asset is its OEM partnerships. It's not as cool a trick as it used to be, but it's the only card they have to play.
Who says it needs to be Surface only? Who says it needs to be limited to Microsoft hardware?
If the changes need to be in the driver or hardware layer, all Microsoft needs to do is release specs and then setup a certifying service for OEMs. Something like "Battery Optimized" cert that the partner can then communicate to the end-user. However, I have a feeling that lots of improvements can be done at the OS level to boost battery life before you start thinking about changing your driver model.
Bottom line this can be done. Windows tablets can and should be able to match Apple hardware in battery life and I have no clue why you're arguing they can't.
So this exists. It's called the Windows Logo Program for Hardware. The reason we are reading this article is that it failed to do the job.
What you seem not to be understanding is that in order to "match Apple hardware in battery life" one also has to "match Apple hardware" in the small number of distinct hardware configurations sold per year.
Taking that hardware configuration and calling it "a standard" doesn't actually do anything. If your standard is broad enough to support 100 hardware configurations, battery life will be poor. If your standard is narrow enough to only support 2 hardware configurations, OEMs will not build it, because Dell has no way to differentiate itself from Toshiba.
To match Apple, Microsoft needs to cut back to maybe 3 models of Windows tablets per year. You can make that into a standard if you like, but no OEM will ever adopt it. They will all (correctly) point out that such a standard is designed for Microsoft's hardware team to implement and to hell with all the third parties.
What are you saying? That Microsoft can't build a consumer OS with great power-management because the kernel also needs to work on high throughput servers?
>But both Windows and Linux are more than capable to get this all sorted.
Bingo. So the questions stands, given that the consumer market is a huge priority for Microsoft and that iPads and iPhones and Android devices represent some of the biggest competition for Microsoft, why haven't they done this already?
Not only servers but they need the same kernel design to work well across a ton of different hardware/firmware combinations, form factors (Phone, Tablets, Laptops) and they do an OK job. But to excel they need to put in a lot more effort (working with OEMs, working with SoC makers is another challenge - everyone optimizes for Android now a days including Qualcomm and Nvidia). So yes, they can do it but it is exponentially more challenging for them due to their legacy and current market position.
For a company with hundreds of millions to spend on R&D, you'd think Microsoft could match a bunch of hobbyists.
Suppose the USB sleep state handling code is suboptimal. Is that because programmers paid less attention to power usage a decade ago, or because some devices implement a power state incorrectly? If the latter, which devices? If Microsoft isn't 100% sure they know of all devices for which it is needed, they may choose to leave the less efficient code in place regardless of whether a deficient device is plugged in.
An example might be a pet peeve I have with Windows: its tendency to 'discover new hardware' when one plugs a bog standard mouse or keyboard into a USB port for the umpteenth time. That in itself is baffling, but it can take Windows half a minute or so to figure out that it has a driver for the device and start it. I do not have the faintest idea what it does in that time, but it must be unavoidable within the constraints microsoft sets itself, since it hasn't been fixed in a decade or so (but it has been improved quite a bit) and I bet it must have itched quite a few engineers.
Whatever the cause, plugging in a USB mouse must use way more power on Windiws than on a Mac.
It's not baffling, it's manufacturers implementing USB standards improperly, and Windows doing the least-bad thing.
They just paid a billion dollars for failing to provide browser options in the EU last year.
Your suggestion that they are equally vulnerable to the same thing for solving a difficult, market driven technical challenge seems like a stretch to me.
It's more the drivers than the kernel. Apple has a lot more control over OS X drivers.
With very few exceptions, Linux drivers live in the kernel tree, so the Linux community has absolute control over them. The claim doesn't really seem to make sense. It's not like power management is unimportant in a server rack.
In fact, there's a really nice talk somewhere by (I think) the LWN guy, about how running the same kernel on mobile and on big iron gives huge benefits to development -- it turns out that the needs are really not so different after all, and power management work intended for the mobile space helps big iron (and vice versa, cf. PowerTop from Intel).
You talk about drivers but what about firmware? Have you looked at how kludgy and unreliable ACPI implementations across hardware are? What about the in kernel drivers being mostly reverse engineered - how many hardware vendors care to provide power management docs for their hardware?
Everything is possible of course - it's just that it is way harder to do when you support everything from toasters to big iron in case of Linux and Phones to gazillion varying PC hardware combinations in case of Microsoft.
Couldn't they just hire someone and say "Fix this. Identify the problem and we will support your findings to get the fix implemented."
It's not like they lack the financial means. I just don't think there's anyone at the company that gives a shit any more (or their is no culture to support the few people who do give a shit).
Microsoft in 2013 (actually, for a very long time now) focuses too much on the sizzle and not enough on the steak imho.
Microsoft does have leverage, they just didn't use it for a long time to allow for a quantity over quality approach.
And with OEMs shipping flaky, crapware-loaded PCs that took several minutes to boot, I don't expect power saving was Microsoft's biggest concern...
The article says that "if you take the latest and greatest 13" MacBook Air, and install Windows 8 on it", the battery life goes from 14:25 to 7:40.
It's unlikely a single fix. Probably everything from drivers to GUIs would have to be made more efficient to close the gap.
Power conservation is more of a mantra, rather than a feature. If you decide that this is your priority, it should infuse every feature and every aspect of the OS. This can absolutely be done, and Microsoft is more than capable to cater to this need. I'd like to know why they haven't done so already. I mean, Intel finally got it with Haswell.
Since we haven't figured out free-energy yet, using less power on servers is just as important as on tablets - if not more, considering most servers sit idle.
>The screen is somewhat lower resolution
No, 1920x1080 isn't only somewhat higher than 1366x768, it's 1.97 times the number of pixels and the panel is PLS unlike the TN in the MBA. The display is the component that eats up the battery the most when doing things like Wi-Fi browsing, even the battery life of the MBA scales heavily with the level of brightness.
>not touch capable
It also has an another, separate layer for the Wacom digitizer, it has to be constantly emitting an electromagnetic field, which does take its toll on power consumption.
It's i5-4250U, with a considerably lower base clock (1.3GHz vs 1.6GHz).
Another fact that all the recent articles about the Surface Pro 2 fail to mention, but isn't really relevant to the what the article is about, is that, with the Power Cover that was announced at the Surface keynote, it should be able to get 11.45 hours of Wi-Fi browsing if you extrapolate the results from the Anandtech benchmark, or about 12.9 hours if you do it with the 7:33 hours it got on The Verge review. This does bring the weight and thickness of the device above the MBA though.
Indeed: it is a known fact that Apple gets custom exclusive low-clocked CPUs from Intel. Apple's chips are closer to "Y" class Intel Chips, which are designed for exceptionally long battery life at cost to performance.
Overall, I think the better screen, Wacom Digitizer, and faster CPU will all add up to the difference between the Surface2 and MBA.
This is why Microsoft needs to keep building their own hardware like the Surface. As time goes on, if Microsoft does it right, Surface is going to be the best Windows experience. At least, I would hope so.
The Surface is absolutely gorgeous. If they softened the edges on the tablet portion it would be on my list of greatest pieces of tech hardware ever made. I would love to see MS try to build its own 'Yoga' type laptop...provided I can still install Linux on it.
Dell, Lenovo, Sony, and HP should be ashamed of themselves. Apple makes the best hardware to run Windows on and they don't even like that you can.
I’m not sure whether that’s a fitting analogy. The Mac clone program was launched for other companies to build cheap computers with low margins, so that Apple could continue serving the higher end markets while MacOS would gain marketshare. Instead, clone makers ended up building very high end machines that were faster than anything Apple offered. They hurt Apple’s brand because they were so much faster, not because they were cheap trash.
Daystar Digital’s Genesis had 4 processors, PPC 604e @233Mhz. It had 12 RAM slots and 6 PCI slots. It was a monster and it creamed Apple’s PowerMac 9600, but it was also considerably more expensive.
It's all the x86 baggage windows has, osx threw everything from the powerpc years away, let alone the stuff from the previous 20 years of systemOS. Windows still carries crap from when 32mb of ram was more expensive than a computer today.
And for what? I got several winxp apps that don't work with 7 or 8, it's pointless.
This could go well beyond what compiling every package for your specific machine can do.
Shipping fat binaries is not new. I remember them (not very fondly) from the MacOS 7/PPC days.
“The Core microarchitecture is a major architectural revision”
Microsoft didn't bother either. SSE2 and PAE requirements mean a Netburst or later Intel Chip. (or K8 or later from AMD). So Windows8 requires a relatively modern chip, and ignores the earlier ones.
IIRC, Windows 8 and 8.1 take advantage of the new P-States in Haswell / Clover Trail. (And connected standby on Clover Trail definitely shows that Microsoft is working hard on the power problem).
I definitely think its an issue with Apple Marketing. Apple is basically selling Y-class processors in their MBA. 1.3 GHz max speed is some 25% slower than the 1.6 GHz that Surface Pros ship with. The Surface Pro also has a superior screen and active digitizer, so it isn't too curious why it would use more power.
BTW: Xeon has been shipping for like 15 years. When talking about architectures, it tends to be more precise to use the core architcture names. IE: Netburst (P4), Nehelem, etc. etc. "Xeon", "Core", and "Pentium" are marketing names that barely mean anything technically.
Apple doesn't really say which SKU they're using, Microsoft also hides that info. Which kinda makes you wonder...
I actually like Surface's edges quite a lot, I think it looks brilliant and stands out from the army of cheap looking iPad clones most of which look exactly the same. And the magnesium casing is also a great choice by MS, it makes it look expensive and well built (which it really is)
The chance that that happens, is abut the as Microsoft giving the physical devices out for free. Lock-in is the common way today to get market control.
If they do that, their OEM's will have to turn their backs on Microsoft in order to differentiate themselves. Dell can, if they want, provide a better Android experience than anyone else, but if Microsoft builds the hardware and has privileged access to Windows core developers, Dell can't hope to do better.
This is, perhaps, Microsoft's most delicate moment since negotiating the exclusivity of PC-DOS.
The reality is that Apple cares about battery life, because they know users do, they work constantly on this. Numerous Apple announcements talk up battery life improvements, they are clearly very aware of this issue.
I've never got the impression that that Microsoft does care very much about this issue, in fact their kernel doesn't even sound like it gets much development in the core functions (it's all about fixing bugs and adding features).
This can be seen by the fact that Microsoft has never shied away from improving their OS kernel. Recent stand-out improvements such as ASLR, UAC, TRIM support for SSDs, timer coalescing etc. These are all things that OSX took years to get after Windows got them.
The Darwin kernel is regularly updated; for example Apple replaced Unix init and cron with launchd in 2005, achieved full POSIX compliance in 2007, and went to full 64-bit in 2009.
I don't think this is true at all. Sure, there's always been a BSD-style environment for compatibility, but Apple has never been shy about ripping and replacing legacy Unix-y infrastructure (see: launchd) or about adding new, "deep" APIs close to the plumbing (see: libdispatch).
Meanwhile, you make woolly justifications of their slowness by making contradictions like this: "They're not slow to add features. Some may arrive after a competitor" Comments like these are not helpful and do not add anything to the conversation.
They're slow. The reasons why this is the case is still not entirely clear. But even OSX fans get frustrated sometimes at how slow they are to add features that other operating systems got years before. The most vocal recent one I can think of was probably the TRIM support for SSDs.
I always have a normal user account and an seperate admin account. The normal account does not have sudo permission. This setup on Ubuntu and what I can remember on OSX is not hassle free because a lot of installers and apps assumes normal user has some sort of sudo.
Unfortunately Windows 8.1 dumped UAC in the toilet when forcing the Windows 8.1 update to be downloaded from the store, which made your local admin account useless.
On OSX you get an elevated privileges login prompt for any installer needing to write to / and even for many write protected folders inside your own homedir. You can grant rights as any user you want simply by entering that username (it's automatically populated with the current user)
The only thing Windows does differently here is that it provides a silent, non-admin workaround (filesystem and registry virtualization) for buggy applications, which works, but which can be problematic in other ways. Most notably, while OS-level workarounds are a clear win for older and otherwise unsupported software, they reduce motivation for developers to fix bugs in current software papered over by Windows' workarounds.
Windows Phone 8 vs Android/iOS would be a fair comparison. Because WP8 has undergone the same treatment and has been optimised for high battery efficiencies whilst still retaining the Windows NT kernel at its core.
WP8 has always had support for high-resolution displays and Nokia et al have not had issues with it. WP7.x was a different story but that was a different OS kernel (WinCE not NT). During this time Microsoft was busy creating a minimised edition of the Win8 kernel that would be suitable for use on a smartphone, much like the work Apple did to OSX in order to create iOS.
Search in a page with plenty of marketing blurb for "mobile". Zero results.
So since they aren't marketing it as how you perceive perhaps you should cut them some slack.
ReFS would be a better example. And that's just another example of how Microsoft is keeping their core technology up to date. Apple meanwhile is still using HFS+ which even Linus Torvalds called out as being utterly crap.
From my perspective that shows that MS cares.
Programs written for the Mac can't run on iOS, I think.
The old Windows tablets had 4 main problems:
1) apps not optimized for touch
2) OS not optimized for touch
3) expensive hardware
4) inefficient hardware/small battery life
It seems to me that with devices like Surface Pro, the 1) and 3) problems are still ported to the new devices. I don't see legacy apps that aren't optimized for touch and on a 10" screen, as an "advantage" for Windows tablets. For all practical purposes, they are not.
Even if you want to do "work" with legacy apps when in "laptop mode" - are you sure you want to do that on a 10" screen? Because I'm telling you 10" is too small for productive work, and the keyboard is too crammed at that size.
Because the customers want it.
They're intelligent enough to know that a tablet isn't going to be as productive as a desktop/laptop.
But they still want it.
That's not the consumers' problem, is it?
> Because the customers want it.
That's not reflected in sales yet. If you're talking about the 100 Microsoft fans that upvote and comment all positive Microsoft stories on Reddit, HN and Verge - that doesn't count. We're talking about the market as a whole.
Also, even Microsoft themselves barely even promote the "legacy app" thing in their commercials. All they are showing is Metro. But if they think Metro is their tablets' competitive advantage, then why wouldn't the consumer just get an iPad or Android tablet instead - and for a lot less?
If they did then Surface Pro would be the number one seller.
Our's would be such an application but even as it is there are certain aspects of its typical daily use that might/would be best served by a tablet.
At those times it would be nice for a user to be able to switch from one device to the other and then back again.
In fact, requests like this are becoming more frequent.
It's the same reason Windows apps can't run on Surface RT.
Rosetta is neither included nor supported in Mac OS X v10.7 "Lion" or later. Therefore, with Lion and later releases, the current Macintosh platform does not support PowerPC applications.
Simply because it (Surface Pro) runs the same OS ie regular Windows.
Apple were able to rip the top layers off OSX and ship it as iOS without too much trouble, because it's unix. (They didn't start from scratch.)
Windows, not so much. MS have been trying to do it for a decade or more, and they've failed for the reasons outlined by optymizer.
In fact examples like Windows CE (Now WP8) prove you wrong.
Please give server core on Windows Server 2012 a try. They could use your feedback.
> "Server Core is a minimal server installation option for computers running on the operating system. Server Core provides a low-maintenance server environment with limited functionality."
Limited functionality is the key. In order to administer windows server, one is expected to use remote desktop. This is in contrast to a unix machine, where everything can be controlled via command line and configuration scripts.
It is getting better, as Powershell exposes a lot of functionality. But it is still not there yet.
It's actually how Apple built iOS, too. But will they put WP8 on tablets? No of course not. Instead, they'll try and push Windows RT to phones, which is the totally wrong way to do it. But just watch it happen.
But probably the entire administration modules requires a GUI.
I think it's not about the OS, it's about the drivers. If you would trace the power consumption properly my guess would be that the WiFi module is the culprit. As the hardware is the same, the driver must be the place, where Apple has the edge.
If you want a device that delivers maximum battery life for light web browsing, there's no question that you should get something with an Apple logo on it.
Except the top two champs on the Anandtech chart - champs which are way ahead of a fairly close pack - don't have such logos. If one is honestly trying to illustrate the simple point that Windows has a power problem, its a strange conclusion to draw.
It's like comparing apples, oranges, peaches, and tomatoes.
That being said, the 13" MBA has the best battery life out of everything on that page. I also imagine the Shield is somewhat compromised for web browsing, given it's been optimized to be a gaming machine.
I don't want to state the obvious, but different laptops have different capacity batteries. Atwood was comparing the 11" MBA to the Surface Pro 2 as they have similar battery capacities (SP2: 42 Wh, MBA: 38 Wh), and - as Maakuth notes -- are both made by companies in control of both software and hardware. The fact that you can find laptops with higher capacity batteries that have longer battery life doesn't prove very much.
2013 MacBook Air 13"
Under OS X: 14hr 26 min
Under Win8: 7 hrs 40 min
Though I am not sure I would call that 100% fair. Apple wrote the firmware and drivers used by each OS, so it has a vested interest in getting something out there that works but not optimizing for the competition.
In essence, your average OEM does not do a great job. The capacitor, the transistors they use are probably way cheaper than what Apple have put into their MBA. That is expected because after all, your Dell computer is not going to cost $1499.
First Samsung laptop review I read, a NP900X3E-K01US with a 44 Wh battery:
...battery life is disappointing for such an expensive laptop... 
Second, a Dell XPS 12 review:
50WHr battery ... Wi-Fi browsing test ... seven hours and 58 minutes
* There is not a battery life problem on Windows machines.
* The battery life problem on Windows machines is not surprising.
They are the same components as widely used, just packaged differently ( as lspci from Linux on an Apple machine will show ). From memory the only Apple-branded components were the SD card readers and the keyboard.
And how would Intel / Nvidia / Broadcom / Samsung / LG / whomever be persuaded to keep it a secret?
There's nothing secret about this. Anyone who spends a while looking at the ACPI tables will see it. Recent versions of ACPI provide a standardised mechanism for doing this, but Apple have chosen to continue using their custom implementation.
So maybe not ACPI, but homebrew.
ACPI has also proven to be an idea with a very bad execution: much of the tables are filled with bugs, and the spec has been written by complete psychopaths. IIRC sometimes it is better to skip entire sections and to use a custom written driver for each OS (like Intel did for some processors or chipsets for Linux I think)
Remember that ACPI has been created in part by MS, and that Bill himself wanted a conception that was easy for windows and hard for the other. I'm not sure this has been executed for the conception (even though the result is a mess), but MS absolutely managed to create an ecosystem where board vendors test only on Windows and ship if this kind of work, regardless of the amount of obvious bug present in their ACPI code.
I have a old netbook that I've had running win7 starter, win7 ultimate running from the old SSD i had in my desktop, and a bunch of linux distros. So far, the win7 ultimate configured for a desktop pc has been the most energy efficient.
Battery life varies greatly between e.g. Google Chromebook systems, running the same software (and between windows systems for that matter).
Some of this is to do with the power usage of the CPU, and whether video decoding is done in low power hardware, or which wireless chipset is used. But just looking at the power usage manager on your Android phone will tell you that the screen uses most of the power.
Windows hardware varies from high priced ultra books (where all is sacrificed for shininess and performance), to bargain bin systems where using an old backlighting technology saves a few bucks.
Question to Apple users - comparing windows laptops to your mac, which shipped with the more aggressive power saving settings in terms of turning the screen off when not in use?
Maybe misconfigurations like these are also causing more power consumption than needed.
Also there are some decent performance improvements that would mean less cpu usage (or bursts of them, which is more power efficient).
Are there any benchmarks? Or is it still behind NDA?
I'm pretty sure that that will only widen the gap between OSX and Windows on Laptop hardware.
The 13" Macbook Air could then theoretically reach 17 hours of operation time!
Mavericks IMHO is designed for the newer MacBooks which really need to get to 8+ hours battery life for it to change people's behaviour i.e. being able to realistically leave the power adapter at home.
We see the comparisons:
Surface <-> iPad, OSX MBA <-> Win7/Vista MBA
Surface has different architecture than the iPad, so the battery difference is easily explained, and maybe driver support is just less than stellar, meaning HW isn't as efficient and/or doesn't scale back quickly enough?
I had an Asus laptop some years ago that would last 3 hours under Vista, and would be dead in the water in 1 hour under Ubuntu. I think it was either GPU or CPU scaling or both that wasn't supported in the linux drivers I was using
>I had a brief Twitter conversation with Anand Shimpi of Anandtech about this, and he was as perplexed as I was. Nobody could explain the technical basis for this vast difference in idle power management on the same hardware. None of the PC vendors he spoke to could justify it, or produce a Windows box that managed similar battery life to OS X. And that battery life gap is worse today – even when using Microsoft's own hardware, designed in Microsoft's labs, running Microsoft's latest operating system released this week. Microsoft can no longer hand wave this vast difference away based on vague references to "poorly optimized third party drivers".
So the real comparison is SP2 (42Wh) with 6 hrs. vs. MBP 11' (38Wh) with 11 hrs.
The charts are quite ridiculous in the article - comparing an Ivy Bridge, actively cooled laptop-tablet to a Nexus 7? Why?
BTW, the biggest difference is maybe CPU core hotplugging, this exists in Android and iOS but does not in Windows RT.
The relevant comparison was the surface pro 2, (a joke of a tablet), has a 42 Wh battery and runs a mere 6.6 hours, but the macbook 11 inch has a smaller 38 Wh battery yet runs longer at 11.1 hours very nearly twice as long.
Umm... I don't think keyboards draw as much power as you might think.
mind sharing why you think it is a joke of a tablet?
That said, I'll try the 2 as well when I can borrow it for a few weeks. I'm afraid the difference won't make me a convert though.
They've improved a battery life to 7 hours of browsing, it's even more than many other windows laptops out there. Are you talking about type cover? If yes, than what exactly drove you insane? It works find for me.
> I didn't like how it stands up compared to a laptop
They've added a new stand position which will satisfy those who are looking for laptop-like stand
> For the price of these things I don't really see why anyone would buy one unless you have way too much money to spare on toys.
It costs as much as macbook air but has a touch screen and a tablet form factor, it might fit a lot of people who don't want to carry around macbook air + ipad but want a single device.
You don't conform for mating rituals by purchasing some weird thing that no one else wants.
(non-engineering defined) Power comes out of what you can do with something, not meaningless specification numbers (however awful they are for the surface pro 2). So to do something powerful on a surface pro 2, you go to itunes app store for that cool new app and ... whoops I mean play.google.com and ... whoops I mean I hope you never leave the tiny walled garden of the shovelware it ships with, because no 3rd parties are going to pay any attention to it and it'll be forgotten about in a year at most. Its got the expandability of a fisher price toy tablet.
So if you're trying to impress/intimidate/mate (all three?), its about as useful as wearing a Darth Vader costume other than on Halloween, if you're trying to collect meaningless specs its one of the worst in class for battery life, if you're trying to actually do something you need a real supported tablet like an apple or google tablet. So other than that, its a great... paperweight?
I mean, if you're in the market for a big iPhone, you'll be disappointed, but it's not competing with iPad, it's competing with Macbook Airs and Chromebooks.
Kind of sad.
I still don't really get what they're trying to do with the surface. If I want a tablet, I can buy a nexus 7 for cheap and it's a superior tablet to the surface anyway from things that are important to tablets (battery, apps, ui etc). If I want a laptop, I can go buy a laptop and not pay for all the bells and whistles with a touch screen, odd hardware in the screen, etc.
I expect great performance and battery life improvements with Mir and Unity 8, though, but that won't happen at least until 14.10, and won't be stable until 16.04. By then the Linux drivers should be a lot better and more efficient, too.
It's just like saying "this human and this bacteria are the same, they have a DNA with the same chemical structure !".
I'd be interested to see the answer for an out of the box Ubuntu distribution (latest stable version), as well as the answer for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, to cover the "leading brands" for the consumer and business markets.
I think it's fair to say Android is running on Linux, it's just not GNU/Linux.