In its latest bid to jump-start Windows Vista sales, especially to corporations, Microsoft this week touted what might be Vista's biggest advantage yet: Vista PCs will consume less electricity because of new power management features. According to Microsoft, Vista machines will automatically slip into a deep sleep after a set period of inactivity, saving from $55 to $70 in power costs annually per PC.
"We've done some calculations of power savings that we expect," Windows Co-President of Platforms and Services Division Jim Allchin told News.com in an interview last year. "When 100 million machines are running Vista, the power savings around the world \[will be\] unbelievable." Sleeping PCs also have a positive effect on the environment, requiring less cooling in office buildings.
This might all sound far-fetched, but Microsoft says that changes to power management in Vista make for a truly revolutionary improvement compared with Windows XP. Applications can prevent XP from moving into sleep mode, but Vista's power management technology and policies let businesses ensure their PCs are resting comfortably when workers are away. That kind of peace of mind is hard to put a value on.