Microsoft’s Environmental Sustainability Blog has posted an excellent blog post today highlighting Windows 7’s Power Management features. These features can help our customers be much more energy efficient. Windows 7 has a strong focus on reducing the overall power consumption which can enable companies to be able to further reduce their operational costs as well as their carbon footprint. I recommend giving the blog post a read to understand how Windows 7 will help people consume less power. Windows 7 is a great example of a product designed to minimize environmental impact.
You can also read this whitepaper (PDF) on Windows 7 Power Management too which is also highly recommended!
UPDATED: Fixed broken whitepaper link.
' I've found Windows 7 gives the same battery life on my laptop as Vista, absolutely no difference, XP gives half an hour longer. '
I think so, too. Namely, it also depends very much on the manufacturer's battery-consumption software.
What does Microsoft have to say to this comparison->: anandtech.com/.../showdoc.aspx ?
Under exact similar conditions and after performing various tests (extreme power saving, most peripherals disabled, max performance, continuous video playback, wireless on/off), I've found Windows 7 gives the same battery life on my laptop as Vista, absolutely no difference, XP gives half an hour longer. Also, unfortunately, Windows 7 takes away the convenient 3 plans option that is available in Vista at one click, (Power Saver, Balanced and High Performance) and reduces them to just 2 plans, amongst which Balanced is fixed and cannot be changed. To toggle between Power Saver and High Performance, I constantly have to click More Power options which take me to control panel.