Microsoft Details How the New Edge Has Become More Efficient

Posted on September 23, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge with 21 Comments

Today, Microsoft explained the many improvements it’s made to the new Edge web browser since its initial release back in January.

“Performance is essential to your success, which makes it core to ours,” Microsoft’s Kim Denny writes. “To help ensure the browser doesn’t slow you down, we always keep performance in mind as we continue to improve Microsoft Edge. We’re always working to make Microsoft Edge faster  and more efficient than ever before.”

In Microsoft’s view, “performance” in the context of Edge relates to four key areas: Speed, responsiveness, resource usage, and size. And Edge has seen improvements in each of these areas throughout the year.

Speed. Microsoft shipped its Profile-Guided Optimizations (PGO) in Microsoft Edge 81 in March, followed by Link-Time Optimizations (LTO) in Microsoft Edge 83. Together, these changes contributed to a 13 percent browser speed improvement as measured by the Speedometer 2.0 benchmark.

Responsiveness. In April, Microsoft publicized the scrolling personality improvements it made to Edge and contributed to other Chromium-based browsers. “These improvements help Microsoft Edge feel smoother and more responsive to the mouse wheel, keyboard, or scrollbar scrolling,” Denny says.

Resource usage. If Chromium-based browsers have one major issue, it’s resource usage, and Microsoft is working to reduce the amount of memory and CPU that its browser needs. With Windows 10 version 2004, Edge now leverages Windows segment heap memory improvements to manage memory more efficiently and reduce overall memory usage. And the firm reports that Edge’s memory usage is down 27 percent as a result.

Size. Microsoft claims that it has shrunk the size of Edge on disk by half over the last year.

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Comments (25)

25 responses to “Microsoft Details How the New Edge Has Become More Efficient”

  1. xapache

    Now if they can apply these principles to Teams - major resource hog if I have ever seen one.

    • lilmoe

      In reply to xapache:

      But Paul said no one calls Teams a "Dog" :p

    • lilmoe

      In reply to xapache:

      BTW, Steve Sanderson posted an article last year about an alternative to Electron using Blazer and a lightweight instance of Edge. Since Microsoft is still more likely keep using HTML/Javascript for their client applications, Blazer should dramatically increase the performance since they can still use HTML, but utilize C# and .NET (compiled to web-assembly) for all their code-behind instead of Javascript. Let's see how this pans out, probably not very soon.

    • jim_vernon

      In reply to xapache:

      What's wrong with Teams? I've been using it on a Surface Go and haven't noticed any issues.

      • shawnthebeachy

        In reply to Jim_Vernon:

        Well the fact that it chews up over 2GB of RAM for me on a cold start isn't great...

      • lilmoe

        In reply to Jim_Vernon:

        It's a bit more responsive than Skype for business which was a stubborn mule, buggy as hell. But then again, anything was better than Skype for business.

        Like Visual Studio code and all other Electron based apps (looking at you Postman), it's a memory hog, very slow to load modules/extensions, and the latency is crap; jumping from one chat to another and switching between tabs (chat/teams/calendar/etc.) is really cumbersome and sluggish. Though once it's settled on one of those modules, it kinda feels acceptable again.

        You need a powerful CPU and lots, LOTS of RAM to keep it happy.

  2. zhackwyatt

    Are these comparisons between Legacy Edge and Chromium Edge, or Older version of Chromium Edge to newer version of Chromium edge?

  3. buzzmodo

    Paul, given you know people in high places, could you ask the "Edge" team why there is no keyboard equivalent allowing one to "share" a link in "Edge". In Firefox "alt+f+e" will drop in a link right into a new Outlook E-Mail, and is incredibly useful. I have take our ActiveWords scripting language, and have written a mini-script that executes it. I must share 20 links a day using that functionality. Yet on the build of "Edge" that I have Version 85.0.564.51 (Official build) (64-bit), the share tool is grayed out and not available. Any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions would be great!

    • Paul Thurrott

      Curious, I've not seen Share grayed out. Wonder if this is a setting somewhere?
      • buzzmodo

        In reply to paul-thurrott:
        I upgraded "Edge" and the grayed out is gone. But no keyboard equivalents to allow to "Share" and when you click on Share, you are vectored to Outlook Webmail, not the Outlook of Office. When one then goes to try to find Outlook in the App Store, the only choices are to subscribe to O365, without any assurance that it will work. I have Office 2016, works great, and a shared hosted Exchange provider, that is superb, so no interest in O365 at the moment. There must be a workaround, but I'm not seeing it. Any ideas?

  4. winbookxl2

    I can verify in my own usage that the new Edge runs great on Windows On Snapdragon machines and brings a new improvements.

  5. winner

    They could make Windows more efficient by not running Edge ads.

  6. Kevin Bae

    I'll be happy if they add the ability to have a "print" button. I still print things and going through the right click menu is tedious.

  7. anderb

    I thought I read that they rolled back the segment heap memory usage optimisation because it resulted in higher cpu usage?

  8. martinusv2

    Hope it will eventually show in browser usage. Kinda nice to see Microsoft outdoing Goolge.

  9. MacLiam

    The new Edge is good enough that I can see myself making it my default browser in coming months, but I have spent so much time with Firefox while Edge was burning up the months getting good (cynics might say "less disappointing") that I still default to FF just on grounds of familiarity. If I ever take a couple of hours just to work my way systematically through the Edge universe of options and operations, I may get the confidence to jump. For the moment, I have both browsers installed (as well as a couple of others that I respect for their reviews but which I never seem to get around to using).

    I usually don't find myself using shortcuts as described below, so I don't have a dog in the fight about that kind of unimplemented functionality. But for those who do use them, isn't it possible with a keyboard editor or macro recorder to generate simple calls for the actions that are desired? Or maybe some add-in or extension creator could do it if there is measurable demand for features that are still missing from Edge.

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