Microsoft crowns its Edge browser the winner over Chrome in a battery life battle

Have a Windows laptop that’s experiencing battery woes? Chrome is the likely culprit, alleges Microsoft. In a blog post published Monday to the company’s Windows blog, the Redmond, Washington-based firm detailed the results of battery tests that found its browser, Edge, reigning supreme, and showed Google’s open-source alternative draining more power than the competition.

Microsoft conducted three separate tests over a period of weeks, said Microsoft’s Web Platform Team director Jason Weber: one that measured the power consumption of popular web browsers — Mozilla Firefox, Edge, Chrome, and Opera — in a “controlled lab environment,” a second that used “real-world energy telemetry” from “millions” of Windows 10 machines, and a third that focused solely on battery longevity.

The lab test involved connecting a Surface Book to “specialized power-monitoring equipment,” Weber explained, to measure the laptop’s instantaneous power consumption as it ran tasks meant to approximate an average user’s browsing session. After hours of video streams, tab switching, and navigation of sites like Facebook, Google, YouTube, Amazon, and Wikipedia, Microsoft collected enough diagnostic data to correlate power draw “to the energy consumed by the machine.” The result? Edge used just 2,068 milliwatts of power during peak workload — less than the 2,819mW Chrome consumed and the 3,077mW and 3,161mW Opera (on battery-saver mode) and Firefox drew, respectively.

“Our tests show that Microsoft Edge is a more energy-efficient browser on Windows 10,” said Weber. “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. Microsoft Edge is built to maximize the potential of your hardware to operate efficiently on daily activities, while using minimal resources when a page isn’t being used.”

The second test involved “billions” of real-world data points collected from Windows installations from around the world. Microsoft used the Energy Estimation Engine (E3) service, which monitors the internal power draw of battery-powered Windows 10 devices. Within that data set, Edge eked out an even larger battery win over the browsing competition: with a measured average power draw of just 465.24 mW, it bested Chrome’s (719.72 mW) and Firefox’s (493.5 mW) numbers by a noteworthy margin.

Microsoft’s final test saw video streamed across Firefox, Edge, Chrome, and Opera — the company ran the same looped, high-definition video on four Surface Book devices, each running a single instance of a browser, until all of the devices died. Edge lasted three hours longer (7 hours and 22 minutes) than the worst performer, Chrome (4 hours and 19 minutes), two hours longer than Firefox (5 hours and 9 minutes), and an hour longer than Opera (6 hours and 18 minutes).

Those numbers aren’t implausible. In a battery longevity test across Edge, Firefox, Opera, and Chrome, Digital Citizen found that Edge lasted the longest (and Chrome the shortest). And a recent Wall Street Journal test arrived at the same conclusion, Weber pointed out. “Our testing and data show that you can simply browser longer with Edge than with Chrome, Firefox, or Opera on Windows 10 devices,” he said. “People using Microsoft Edge simply get more out of their battery every day.”

But the battery prowess isn’t Edge’s alone, and Microsoft acknowledged as much. The next major Windows update, Windows 10 Anniversary, contains a number of battery-focused improvements that should see battery life gains across devices and software. Background tabs in Edge use fewer CPU cycles, for one, and networking tasks are executed a bit more expeditiously than they are currently. “These improvements will build on the efficiency demonstrated [in the tests] to make sure you can stay online longer with Microsoft Edge,” said Weber.

Product Review

Recent production woes make the Eve V a worse buy than it once was

Our Eve V review looks at a crowdsourced detachable tablet that checks some boxes for its backers. Its delay in making it to the market holds it back in some areas, and Eve Technology is an unknown quantity.

T-Mobile wants to reinvent customer service with a ‘Team of Experts’

To reinvent how it approaches customer care, T-Mobile announced its Team of Experts. Whenever a customer contacts T-Mobile, they're given direct access to the same team members each time without being put on hold or transferred.

Live out your Steve McQueen fantasies with this souped-up Ford Mustang Bullitt

Ford tuner Steeda teamed up with Chad McQueen, son of Steve McQueen to create the ultimate 'Bullitt' tribute car. It's an upgraded version of the recently launched 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt.

Need a new tablet? Check out the best iPad deals for August 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for July 2018.

Walmart Back to College sale: Save big on computers, TVs, tablets, and more

Walmart's Back to College sale is your chance to score big discounts on name-brand electronics, so whether you're getting ahead of the new school year or just doing some shopping, we've picked out the best deals that can save you hundreds…

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 chip appears in benchmarks with improved performance

A benchmark for Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 850 processor show a less-than-stellar increase in multi-core performance over the previous 835 chip. Introduced in June, the Snapdragon 850 promises up to 30 percent better performance.

With Q#, Microsoft is throwing programmers the keys to quantum

Quantum computers aren’t yet practical, but Microsoft has already developed a programming language for them. Q# works inside Visual Studio, just like most other languages, and could offer a gateway into the weird world of quantum physics.

These 30 apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find for the latest MacOS and how they can help out your…

Apple’s rumored entry-level MacBook may appear in September starting at $1,200

Apple may reveal new products in September including an entry-level 13-inch MacBook based on Intel’s seventh-generation processors. Apple originally intended these units to rely on Intel’s now-delayed 10nm “Cannon Lake” processors.

AirDrop makes sending files to Apple devices easy -- here's how

Want to send files or photos to your friends when you're standing directly beside them? Instead of texting or emailing, why not learn how to use AirDrop? Here's everything you need to know about using AirDrop on both iOS and MacOS.

Stay safe on the web and save up to $70 with McAfee Total Protection

If you don't have some sort of protection on your phone, tablet, or computer, you're basically leaving the door open for anyone looking to do some cyber burgling. Protect yourself for a year with McAfee Total Protection for just $30.

PDF to JPG conversion is quick and easy using these simple methods

Converting file formats can be an absolute pain, but it doesn't have to be. We've put together a comprehensive guide on how to convert a PDF to JPG, no matter which operating system you're running.

Here's how to convert an MP4 to an MP3 file with online and offline tools

Sometimes you just want the audio without the video. In this guide, we'll show you how to convert an MP4 to an MP3 using web-based software and dedicated programs for both Windows and MacOS.

Crypto-intrigued? Here's how to buy Bitcoin for the first time

Is it time to purchase your first Bitcoin investment? If you're ready to get involved in the cryptocurrency, we'll walk you through how to pick an exchange, how to choose the right wallet, and how to buy Bitcoin the safe way!