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article imageMicrosoft: Edge gives you 50% more battery than Chrome, Firefox

By James Walker     Jun 20, 2016 in Technology
Microsoft has slammed the battery life of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera, claiming its own Edge browser allows laptops and tablets to last for up to 50 percent longer on a charge. It is also updating Edge with even more power saving features.
Google Chrome is known to negatively impact the battery life of mobile devices but over the past year Google has sought to begin to fix this. According to a Microsoft blog post today, the company still has a significant amount of work to do. Along with Firefox and Opera, it saw Chrome draw 750 milliwatts more power than Edge when running an identical workload.
The testing was conducted using one of Microsoft's own Surface Book devices. Specialized power monitoring equipment was connected to measure actual power draw. Edge, Chrome, Firefox and Opera were then put through their paces in a series of automated tests. The suite involved opening websites including Facebook, Google, YouTube, Amazon and Wikipedia, scrolling through articles, opening new tabs and watching videos.
Microsoft Edge power consumption compared to other major browsers
Microsoft Edge power consumption compared to other major browsers
Microsoft
The results proved to be conclusive and in Microsoft's favour. Edge easily won the test, drawing an average of 2,068 milliwatts of power. Chrome came second, with 2,819 milliwatts, and Opera and Firefox third and fourth respectively at 3,077 milliwatts and 3,161 milliwatts.
Microsoft has attempted to cover any allegations of it skewing the data. It followed up with an additional test, assessing average power consumption of Edge, Chrome and Firefox under everyday browsing. The difference this time around is the source of the data. It aggregated telemetry from "millions" of Windows 10 devices worldwide, using actual readings from real consumers rather than lab devices.
For the second time, Edge led the way at 465 milliwatts. Firefox came second, at 494 milliwatts, and Chrome third, significantly behind the others at 720 milliwatts. In a third test assessing wireless video playback, Edge outlasted Chrome by over three hours, enough to watch an entire movie.
Microsoft Edge power consumption compared to other major browsers
Microsoft Edge power consumption compared to other major browsers
Microsoft
The results suggest switching to Microsoft Edge could extend your battery life by 36-53 percent if you are a heavy browser user. The amount you save will naturally vary depending on your device and the websites you visit but Edge appears to command a strong lead over its rivals. Microsoft points to a recent Wall Street Journal investigation into the battery life of major browsers as a secondary data source. It also determined Edge is the most power efficient browser available.
"We designed Microsoft Edge from the ground up to prioritize power efficiency and deliver more battery life, without any special battery saving mode or changes to the default settings," said Microsoft. "Our testing and data show that you can simply browse longer with Microsoft Edge than with Chrome, Firefox, or Opera on Windows 10 devices."
The company isn't stopping there though. In a further blog post, it detailed changes coming to Edge in this summer's Windows 10 Anniversary Update that will make the browser even more power efficient.
Background tabs are now less power-intensive and can only perform operations once per second. This prevents animations, adverts and tracking scripts in open tabs from consuming your battery while in the background, providing energy savings of up to 90% in some scenarios.
Additional changes include more efficient Flash content that runs in a separate process and can be independently monitored, optimisations throughout Windows networking and Wi-Fi connections and improvements to the Edge user interface itself, all of which combine to make Edge even less power hungry than it is today.
More about Microsoft, Edge, microsoft edge, Chrome, Google chrome
 
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