Today, I want to briefly chat about the two new power buttons that are located on the Start Orb of Windows Vista. The Power button when selected, puts your entire session in memory and puts your computer in a low power state (sleep mode). It takes a minimal amount of power.

I left one of my laptops in this mode for 3 days with a full battery (100%) and it was still at 90 percent 3 days later. On a Windows XP machine, Standby mode on the same laptop dies within 24 hours. I tested this by reimaging the same laptop with Windows XP.

The second button or lock button, quickly locks your computer when you need to step away. It is very handy. If you click the arrow, you get the following options:

  • Switch User
  • Log Off
  • Lock
  • Restart
  • Sleep
  • Shutdown

You can also configure what these buttons do by clicking the Start Orb and typing power options in the search box. From the side menu, select Choose what the power buttons do. You can configure to your desired action.