Unlike Windows XP, Power Management in Windows Vista and Windows 7 can also be controlled through Group Policy. In combination with Windows Vista or Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 makes it easy to manage computer power consumption organization-wide. (277KB) Additionally, Windows Server 2000 or 2003 can enable Group Policy on Vista domains with a few simple steps, but must be managed from a Vista Workstation by a user logged in with administrative rights to the domain. Learn how to manage Windows Vista and Windows 7 power management features on a Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 domain.
Unlike Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 power management is machine based rather than user based. This means that any settings changed, whether by a user or by Group Policy, will be applied globally to the system no matter who is logged in. They will also be applied if no user is logged in.
Power management settings can also be configured on Windows Vista and Windows 7 PCs from a Local Policy or a Windows Domain Policy. Power Management items set through a Local Policy or through Domain Group Policy cannot be managed by users through Control Panel or powercfg.exe.
Note that there are two modes that put a Windows Vista and Windows 7 PCs into a low power state: Sleep and Hibernate. Away Mode is not a power management state, but a way to make a computer appear to be off while it is still available to share media and/or record broadcasts.