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The PC-versus-Mac controversy took new life last week thanks to Jeff Atwood, who runs the Coding Horror blog. Atwood examined data supplied by Anand Lal Shimpi of AnandTech, ran some tests of his own, and then came to some alarming conclusions.

“The Surface Pro 2 has a 42 Wh battery, which puts it closer to the 11 inch Air in capacity,” Atwood wrote. “The Air is somehow producing nearly two times the battery efficiency of the best hardware and software combination Microsoft can muster, for what I consider to be the most common usage pattern on a computer today. That’s shocking. Scandalous, even.”

”What appears to be the most fair comparison is actually the least fair comparison,” said Gabriel Aul, director of program management at Microsoft.

Aul told us that Apple’s Boot Camp provides a thin layer of code between the operating system and the Mac hardware itself, along with drivers to access the Mac’s hardware.

Drivers can make or break battery life performance, Aul said.