SLS 'smart' charging ranting

Rant incoming/
Your laptop’s battery life may be dropping faster than you think | PCWorld
Browsing a few sites on lunch and happened across this. I know PCWorld isn’t the major site it once was for a bit now, but I’d have at least hoped their senior editor would’ve known that the smart charging feature wasn’t turned on because Microsoft in all their wisdom decided to have the ‘smart’ part be the only way to do so.
He even wrote an article about how to turn it off a year ago, did he not notice at the time there wasn’t any way to turn it on?

This frustrates me most about the Surface line. Many users, even so called ‘techy’ users have no idea how Microsoft implements functions, what limitations Microsoft sets, even what power envelopes are per power plan (CButters seems to be the only one who’d reported on the weird laptop vs studio mode power limits, which is pretty important for users)
Microsoft is free to break things as they wish and nobody seems to know what’s going on, other than, ‘oh my laptop broke, windows is probably ■■■■, I should switch to mac’

Honestly, I don’t even blame people for this mindset anymore. I’ve stopped recommending Surface devices to friends, colleagues, etc. You can never trust Microsoft to just make it work (■■■■, even fix things when they break them). When I started college, the first surface pro was a unicorn device for my needs. Now, I’d recommend most people just get a macbook and ipad if they want devices that won’t be a pain to use.
It’s funny to me that by chasing after Apple all these years, Microsoft only achieved the worst of both worlds in the end.

/end rant


Whew! Happy Rant Wednesday! And yes, the smart charging function is badly implemented, lots of complaints about it in several threads here, the most recent ones from today!

Personally I think it’s good that it turns on automatically, but there should be a way to disable that (with a warning that it’s bad for your battery), and there should be a way to manually start it after pausing it.


Haha, nice one. :+1:

I wouldn’t go quite that far but it does seem to me that there are elements within Microsoft that are at odds with each other, intentionally or unintentionally, and that that prevents them from bringing forth a unified vision and implementation of anything (excepting, perhaps, Xbox?). Which is a key to what Apple accomplishes.

Or something like that.

1 Like

While we’re ranting, let me repeat an earlier complaint. I plug in a feeble charger, so I know what to expect, but the average user will see an exclamation mark on the battery icon and worry. Hmmm. Maybe double click it. Power settings open, with an even more colorful and brighter alert overlay. Looks worrisome, maybe it’s overheating??

I cannot get over the fact that there is no tooltip or byline explaining what exactly the impending disaster is. MS response would probably “well, but we fired a notification that you’re using a slow charger”. Well, sure, but I have notifications on mute, and notifications are temporary.


Of course even worse is the ‘smart charging’ heart, which indicates a charging policy that cannot be found in the power settings. WTaF. You need to intuit that this is hidden in the Surface app. I mean (Chandler voice) could you BE any less helpful?

1 Like

Dang, I’ve wiped from memory how annoying that sign was. It doesn’t show on windows 10 after I downgraded.

The surface app update today also introduced an amazing feature. Ads for more Microsoft stuff. Great, just what I wanted, gee thanks. Good to see the development is focused on the important things


So Microsoft is on a Vision Quest…tell them to call 1-800-Matthew

A couple of times a week I get a message from my battery monitor that I have an incompatible charger so plug in the one that came with my device - it just happens to BE the one that came with my device…and yes, I tried another MS charger and it crops up randomly a couple of times a week…

1 Like

That message is actually the result of poor device enumeration (aka Plug and Play) in both Windows (buggy and slow) and device manufacturers not fully/poorly following spec. Which is why we still have to “certify” devices to this day for use with our devices

1 Like

Ha ha ha - they can’t even properly enumerate THEIR OWN DEVICES - no wonder it’s still called Plug and Pray…

1 Like