Actually, these issues were first documented way back in June, 2009, when the OS was still in its Release Candidate phase. But it appears the problem has yet to be solved, as evidenced by a growing number of complaints on Microsoft's TechNet site.
The crux of the issue: Windows 7 reports that a battery is at or near depletion when in fact it's not, or even that a battery needs to be replaced (when in fact it doesn't). The key question: Is Windows 7 just reporting power levels improperly, or is it actually harming batteries somehow?
According to Computerworld, Microsoft is investigating. In the meantime, we want to know: Have you encountered these or other battery-related issues on your Windows 7-powered laptop or netbook? Vote in our poll, then leave a comment if you have more to say.