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Intel, Microsoft working to squash Windows 10 battery life bug

Mark Hachman, Gordon Mah Ung | July 27, 2015
On Thursday, an Intel spokesman confirmed that the company is working to patch a minor bug that will reduce the battery life of some Windows 10 machines by less than 10 percent.

The day-0 update certainly could include a firmware update for Intel-based PCs, but it's not clear whether the issue will be solved at that time, or not.

How Cortana will affect battery life

Meanwhile, some PC makers are warning, unsurprisingly, that turning on the Cortana digital assistant's active listening feature will also reduce a PC's battery life.

Quietly, PC makers have begun to tell us that the "Hey Cortana" feature built into Windows 10 will have some effect on battery life, but it's not clear how much. For one thing, Cortana is broken out as a separate background process in Windows 10. Normally, the app reports zero CPU usage and just a megabyte or so of memory. When "Hey Cortana" is triggered, that spikes to about 6 percent or so of a Core i5-powered HP Spectre X360--a tiny amount, and only active for a few seconds, anyway.

If the mic needs to be powered on to listen for your voice, it probably doesn't take up that much power. Still, any sort of activity can cause a PC to consume battery power, so this may be one to watch.


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