When It Comes to Battery Life, Microsoft Edge is Still the King

Posted on April 13, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 33 Comments

When It Comes to Battery Life, Microsoft Edge is Still the King

Microsoft Edge has proven too frustrating for most Windows 10 users, but this web browser retains one important advantage over the competition: Battery life. And with the release of the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft is again revisiting Edge battery life and comparing it to that of Chrome and Firefox.

Of course, Microsoft faces an uphill battle when it comes to Edge adoption. Its previous and once-dominant browser, Internet Explorer, is widely loathed. And despite major functional upgrades in each of the three Windows 10 feature updates so far, Edge still trails leading browsers like Chrome dramatically from a usability perspective.

But Edge does have one advantage over Chrome and other browsers. It has consistently provided better battery life.

Microsoft first publicized Edge battery life in June 2016, right before the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. At that time, the software giant claimed that Edge provided 35 to 53 percent more battery life on the same hardware than competing browsers from Google, Mozilla or Opera.

At that time, it also noted that Edge battery life would get better still with the Anniversary Update. And sure enough, after that feature update shipped, Microsoft provided new results to prove its point.

Humorously, that most recent report came in the wake of an attempt by Google to save face: The search giant claimed that it had improved Chrome battery life significantly over the past two years. But since it declined to compare Chrome to Edge, Microsoft did so, using Google’s own test, and found that Edge lasted more than 90 minutes longer than Google Chrome. On Google’s test.

Anyway, it’s been several months, and in the intervening months, Microsoft has shipped the Creators Update with a new version of Edge. And the major browsers—Chrome and Firefox—have each been updated several times. So Microsoft is back, albeit quietly, with new browser battery life results.

Long story short, Edge still destroys the competition.

“The Microsoft Edge team measured the time it took three identical Surface Book laptops to run fully through their batteries while streaming video from Vimeo in fullscreen,” the Microsoft report notes. “The test was done on three Surface Books running [the shipping version of Windows 10 version 1703]and connected to the Internet through [Wi-Fi]. Results: Microsoft Edge lasted 77% longer than Firefox and 35% longer than Chrome in this test.”

Microsoft isn’t really publicizing this test as they did with their previous Edge battery life tests, but I suppose that could change. (I found out about it from one blog, which found about it from another blog, which found out about it from a tweet. On and on it goes.) But the fact remains: If battery life is your aim, Edge beats the competition handily. Still.


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