At long last, Google plans to fix the "bug" — or "design feature" — in its Chrome browser that has reportedly been making Microsoft Windows run slower, shortening battery life, and wasting unknown megawatts of power mainly to make its browser look "peppier". But until it does, you may want to close Chrome when you're not using it, or possibly upgrade to Firefox.
The first bug report was filed on June 14, 2010 and apparently fixed. Except it wasn't, and another was filed on September 29, 2012. Unfortunately, that didn't get much attention even after Valve programmer Bruce Dawson wrote a blog post about it on July 8, 2013: Windows Timer Resolution: Megawatts Wasted.
As Dawson noted in a comment to the second bug report: "This bug needs to get fixed. It's a regression compared to Chrome's documented behavior, it happens without Flash being loaded, and it happens on battery power. It not only wastes power and battery life, it also makes the PC 2.5 percent to 5 percent slower. I can't leave Chrome running on my laptop unless this is fixed. Chrome could save 10+ MW by fixing this bug, in addition to improving battery life."
What finally got the problem some attention was a post by Forbes contributor Ian Morris earlier this month: Google's Chrome Web Browser Is Killing Your Laptop Battery. The headline turned it from an issue that bothered a few programmers into one that had a significant impact on businesses and everyday consumers.
The problem is straightforward. Windows spends a lot of time asleep, to save power, but it wakes up every 15.625ms to see if anything needs doing. Chrome changed the timer to 1ms so it woke Windows up 1,000 times a second. This can be useful for some purposes, such as running Flash videos or playing games with high frame rates. Unfortunately, Chrome was increasing the global rate and not reducing it afterwards, which Internet Explorer does.