Microsoft wants you to know that its Edge browser prolongs the hours of your laptop battery compared to Chrome, Opera and Firefox. The company founded its claim on a recent research it carried out where some common websites were cycled. After testing popular websites like YouTube, Facebook, Wikipedia and Amazon, the Edge browser lasted seven hours and 22 minutes on a Surface Book system. However, Google’s Chrome browser only lasted just four hours and 19 minutes, reports Arstecnica.
However, Opera’s latest browser is not far behind the Microsoft Edge, with its battery-saving mode lasting six hours and 18 minutes, while Firefox lasted five hours nine minutes during the test. The tech giant didn’t limit its test to how long each system runs; it also tested the power draw of the Wi-Fi, CPU, and GPU as well. The project pulled 2.1W in Edge, drew 2.8W in Chrome, 3.1W in Opera, and 3,2W in Firefox. According to the test, the lower pull translates to the longer battery life.
“For these browsing activities, our tests show Microsoft Edge is a more energy efficient browser on Windows 10, with up to 36%-53% more battery life to get what you need done —whether you’re studying at the library, researching dream vacation destinations, or checking in with your friends on social networks,” Microsoft’s Jason Weber wrote on the company’s bog on Monday.
Microsoft’s Windows 10 Anniversary update is also making further changes to improve the power efficiency of the Edge browser. Though, the company could have added bigger changes than it did; it’s worth a mention that Microsoft has changed how certain animations are carried in the toolbar to enable greater offloading to the GPU.
Microsoft also tested the effect of video streaming on the battery—again, this was carried out using Surface Books. Running the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera, Microsoft streamed the same HD video wirelessly on each of the” device and also set up a video camera to record the laptops until each one died.” Doing this, the company took note of the time it took each device to stop playing.
Again, the outcome of the test on video streaming on the Surface Books lasted longer than other browsers—lasting three hours longer than Chrome. According to Microsoft, the Edge browser lasted “long enough to finish the final movie”, while others stalled out halfway through the test.
In spite of all that, the Chrome browser still enjoys a steady growth in terms of usage across the globe. In the Month of May 2016, the browser enjoyed 71.4 percent in terms of popularity and usage compared to others like Firefox (16.9 percent), the Internet Explorer (5.7 percent), and Opera (1.2 percent). The browser’s popularity could be down to other factors different from battery consumption, which is now the selling point for Opera, and now Microsoft.
Opera released an update in May where it claimed its new browser was capable of prolonging the battery life by 50 percent. Where does all these lead us? It appears the browser war is taking a new shape as users are now being encouraged to look beyond current traction when choosing a browser.
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