Microsoft reveals killer power management feature for Windows 10 Redstone 3


The Windows 10 Creators Update is rolling out to users now, but Microsoft is working hard on the next big update to its operating system, and has already pushed out two new builds for Redstone 3 to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring.

Microsoft first dropped the slider into a Windows 10 preview in January, but it didn't actually do anything.

Depicted via a handy, easy to understand slider with "Best battery life" on the far left and "High performance" on the far right, Power Throttling seems flexible in its depth. The feature only works for devices powered by Intel's Skylake and Kaby Lake processors for now, but Microsoft says it will bring support for more processors over time.

A deeper follow-up to Microsoft's Battery Saver feature, Power Throttling allows you to determine whether the demands of specific apps and system processes on processor resources are, well, throttled.

However, this feature is made possible in part by Intel's Speed Shift, a processor feature that allows the CPU to determine its own frequency and voltage. ARM chips have historically been highly efficient, especially in idle modes, so it will be interesting to see just how efficient an ARM-based laptop can get later this year when it's using the Power Throttling technology. "The experiment should have no noticeable impact on your user experience".

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One of the things that Microsoft does with its Insider Preview builds of Windows is run experiments.

According to a blog post by Bill Karagounis, Microsoft's director of program management for the Windows Insider Program and OS fundamentals, Windows is smart enough to know that even apps playing music in the background shouldn't be throttled.

A new, sophisticated detection system in Windows 10 determines which apps are to be throttled, when and by how much, inferring by the frequency of use of other apps. The company claims the new detection system for Power Throttling "works well for most apps" but the company wants Insiders to provide feedback if the detection system doesn't work as expected.

Here's what apps will look like when throttled.

Users will also have some control over which applications are throttled.