With the arrival of Boot Camp, installing Windows on a Mac became a straightforward process. Say what you will about premiums on Apple’s hardware, in the last few years MacBooks have consistently delivered quality components, so much so that buying one for the express purpose of running Microsoft’s OS is not uncommon. But does this seemingly simple switch in operating systems come at a price?
ZDNet’s Ed Bott gathered battery test data for the past year from Engadget’s reviews of MacBooks and ultrabooks to determine if Windows on Mac drained the device’s battery faster than an equivalent machine running OS X, as well as the boatload of Windows ultrabooks it now competes with. Bott states that Endgadget’s tests are consistent enough that finding an answer to this question is very possible.
Bott’s chart, created using Engadget’s results, can be seen to the right (click to expand).
The 2012 Macbook Air running OS X is in the top four, while the same model with Windows installed drops over 120 minutes of battery life. That’s a fair chunk of time.
So who’s fault is it for the lost battery life? You could point a finger at Apple for not optimising its Windows drivers. Or you could pin Microsoft to the wall for not taking into consideration that its OS can now be installed on Mac hardware.
While the former is the more credible scenario, I feel both are long bows to draw, given Apple provides users with a perfectly good operating system in OS X. I also don’t think you can blame Apple for weakened battery life when you run a competing OS on its hardware, but considering Boot Camp is an official product, it does have some responsibility to support it as best as it can.