Thursday, November 11, 2004

Microsoft on Tablet Power Management

Robert Williams, who is Director of Business Development and Partner Engineering for the Mobile Platforms Division at Microsoft, writes about power management issues on his weblog:

One of the things we learned with V1 was that the enhanced mobility enabled by Tablet PC exposes a lot of work we need to do to make power management better. Laptops are used mostly as station to station desktops, rather than as truly mobile devices like PDAs and SmartPhones.
Robert's observation clearly matches my own about the differences between tablet and laptop usage models. I'm glad to hear that Microsoft is thinking about such issues. I'm also glad that he has a tip:
Whenever I set up a new tablet I immediately reconfigure one of the buttons to control screen off... When I am using my tablet in a meeting or at home on the couch I just activate the button whenever I pause to think or actually engage in conversation with another human, possibly even a family member). A tap of the pen on the screen turns the display back on. In Chuck's prototype the screen was 4 watts out of a nominal 10 watt power budget so just this simple discipline greatly extended the battery life. It's almost half way to S3 without any resume issues or delays.
Thanks for the tip, Robert!