Vista Battery Saver Beta
Windows Vista in its default state needs a lot of battery power on my notebook which is why I deactivated several features like the Vista Aero theme or the sidebar when working without a power source. The free software Vista Battery Saver which is currently a beta offers a way to manage the power handling automatically.
It can be configured to automatically deactivate the sidebar and the aero theme when running on battery and enable them again when the notebook is connected to a power source. It is also possible to mange the Vista power plans automatically with the application and choose a power plan for battery mode and one when connected to a power source.
Vista Battery Saver has to be started with Vista to be able to change the power management for the user. The application does only need about 6 Megabytes of RAM and almost no CPU power.
Update: The battery saver application is no longer available on the website it was posted on. We have however covered a couple of alternatives for the Windows operating system that work and are still available today.
Vista Battery Saver is a program that allows you to modify the behavior of two features of the operating system when the computer is running on battery. You can configure the program to deactivate Windows Aero or Windows Sidebar whenever the PC is running on battery, or only when the battery level drops below a certain percentage.
The second option is Aerofoil, a program that you can use to disable a couple of power-hungry features of the Windows Vista operating system to save power when it is running on battery.
Microsoft has improved the battery situation somewhat with the release of service packs for the operating system. My suggestion would be to make sure all updates are installed before you start using any of the programs suggested in this article.