Tools to Help Windows Application Developers with “PC Insomnia” Issues

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Tools to Help Windows Application Developers with “PC Insomnia” Issues

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Earlier this week we announced new Power Management guidance for software developers that aims to help Windows application developers better understand power management’s role in software application design. In addition to the guidance, there are two great tools developers can use today to help identify power-related issues.

The first is a diagnostic tool that shipped with Windows 7. This tool has been incorporated into the PowerCfg.exe utility in Windows 7 and helps both application developers and IT administrators diagnose and troubleshoot power problems in applications. For example, the diagnostic tools in Windows 7 can help determine if an application or device across an organization are not going to Sleep or how much normal degradation has occurred to the battery of a mobile PC. They can also identify applications and open network files that prevent a computer from entering Sleep and Hibernate modes. Windows application developers can use this tool to make sure their application doesn’t undermine power management settings by giving them a baseline against which to measure improvements.

The other tool is based on Joulemeter, a Microsoft Research project. Joulemeter estimates the power consumption of a PC. It tracks computer resources, such as CPU utilization and screen brightness, and estimates power usage purely in software. Joulemeter can measure the energy usage of virtual machines, servers, desktops, laptops, and even specific software running on a computer.  Joulemeter estimates the energy usage of a virtual machine, computer or software by measuring the hardware resources (CPU, disk, memory, screen, etc.) being used and converting the resource usage to actual power usage based on automatically learned realistic power models. A preview of this technology is available for free download and supports metering PC energy usage.

We hope these tools prove useful and that developers will begin using them to spot issues with power management that might otherwise have gone unnoticed or unreported. For more on the Windows 7 diagnostic tool, go here to download the Windows 7 Power Management whitepaper. To see a video demo of Joulemeter by Microsoft Research’s Aman Kansal, see this Channel 9 video titled “Inside Joulemeter” for more detail. To download Joulemeter, please go here.

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  • Good post and great to see Microsoft getting on board. It really helps solidify the efforts put forth over the years by companies like 1E.

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