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Power boost for Longhorn laptops

Antony Savvas

Microsoft and Samsung have developed a hard-disc drive for laptop PCs that will help save battery life when machines are running Longhorn, the next major version of the Windows operating system.

The pair have designed a hybrid disc drive with a flash memory cache that takes the pressure off the energy-sapping hard-disc spinner. Data is instead written to the flash memory.

Microsoft said Longhorn could cut the disk drive's power consumption by around 90% by turning off the drive spindle for long periods of time.

Writing to the flash memory also reduces the risk of hard-disc problems when the PC is moved, as spinning drives can lead to crashed machines when they are moved.

When the flash memory becomes full, the data is automatically written to the hard-disc drive.

The first hybrid disc drives are expected in summer 2006, when Longhorn makes its first appearance.


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