Microsoft Claims Battery Life Edge, Again

Posted on May 23, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 35 Comments

Microsoft Edge has retained its battery life advantage over competing browsers, the software giant claimed this week. Left unsaid, however, is that the gap is closing.

“What happens when three identical devices run different browsers?” the description of a Microsoft video posted to YouTube reads. “The Microsoft Edge team wanted to find out. This experiment showed that battery life on a PC running Microsoft Edge lasts 98% longer than Mozilla Firefox and 14% longer than Google Chrome.”

To be clear, what Microsoft is testing here is the battery life of the two top web browsers, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, compared to Microsoft Edge in the latest Windows 10 version, version 1803. And a 14 percent advantage over Chrome is indeed a win. But only barely, right? Doesn’t that seem smaller than was the case with previous Windows 10 releases?

I searched for my stories about Edge’s advantages over Chrome in previous versions to find out. Here are a few key milestones.

In June 2016, Microsoft first touted battery life as a key advantage for Edge. And it claimed an incredible 47 percent battery life advantage over Chrome.

By April 2017, Microsoft was claiming that Edge provided 35 percent better battery life than Chrome when running in the Creators Update, or Windows 10 version 1703.

A year later, the advantage has fallen to just 14 percent. That’s actually quite a change, and I suspect that Microsoft shaming Google over the past few years might have played a role, with Google working to make improvements to the browser market leader.


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Comments (38)

38 responses to “Microsoft Claims Battery Life Edge, Again”

  1. Edward Grego

    If I had to guess, I would say Edge saves battery life over other browsers because it hangs so often that it rarely renders a web page,

    Seriously MSFT, who gives a shit about battery life when your browser hangs so much, fix that issue then I will care about your browser...

    LOL, I have 6 dislikes!? Must be 6 of the 8 Edge users.......LOL How funny

  2. CeeTee

    MS should focus more on getting Edge to behave the same as other browsers.

  3. UbelhorJ

    I bought a low-end small laptop as a secondary computer. I'm mostly using it on battery, so I gave Edge a try. The extensions I want actually exist. I gave up and went back to Chrome. Edge just kept stuttering and randomly locking up for several seconds. Chrome has no such problem.

  4. Waethorn

    "What happens when you run a $399 Chromebook up against a $399 Windows PC?" would be my argument against this claim.

    • MikeCerm

      In reply to Waethorn:

      That would be a very different comparison -- apples and oranges. I'm sure Microsoft's answer would be, "what happens is you lose compatibility with important legacy applications, hardware devices like printers become even more frustrating to deal with or impossible, and you can't play League of Legends." Well, that's my answer at least.

      • My Hell baby speaking

        In reply to MikeCerm:

        Lets collect useless anecdotical 'answers' like you did, then. Here's mine:

        There are no important legacy programs shackleing me, my wifi connected HP Envy got unlearned by Win10 consistently, never by Ubuntu, Android, ChromeOS, where it works flawlessly.

        League of Legends - heard about it, not interested. Currently playing containerized Baldur's Gate from the Google Play store on my Chromebook.

  5. ReformedCtrlZ

    If it spurred Google into making improvements to Chrome while at the same time Microsoft has been able to make improvements to edge then I think its a win-win. I really want to like Edge, because there are enough things I don't like about chrome that I'd love to switch or at least have an alternate and right now there aren't any browsers that work as well as Chrome. I've seen improvements and I think the success they've found with their mobile edge strategy has helped, hopefully they continue this trend and give us a viable alternative browser at some point down the line!

  6. NT6.1

    No one cares about getting more battery life in a bad browser. Give up, Microsoft. Edge won't be a thing. You had decades to make Internet Explorer a good brand and you failed.

    • dontbe evil

      I bet you didn't try edge, or you stuck at first version...ah no wait, you cannot know, because you have win7

    • MikeCerm

      In reply to NT6.1:

      Unfortunately, Edge is still the only browser that works well with a touch screen on Windows, so if you have a Surface you kind of have to use Edge sometimes.

      • Steven Lendowski

        In reply to MikeCerm:

        Well, try the new Firefox! You can adjust the UI density / scaling especially for this usecase and for the other extreme like 4K monitors.

        Have been disappointed from FF and used Chrome many years, and i never thought they could win me back.. But they DID live up to their promises..

        Extensions are not the problem anymore, 95% of legacy extensions are either migrated to webextensions, or have equal or better alternatives now.

  7. Tony Barrett

    I do believe the last time Microsoft did this, they also cherry picked the versions of Chrome and Firefox to test against. Were MS testing against the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox available at the time? Who knows, because they don't say so. Despite this, Edge usage is showing no signs of growing anytime soon. It's languishing in browser limbo land, and MS have to do all they can to ignite *any* interest whatsoever in their browser.

  8. bluvg

    Not surprised about Firefox. The memory and CPU usage and overall reliability have just been awful in my case.

  9. madthinus

    The curious bit is what is left out this time. The previous two times they ran these numbers, Opera was included. It is not this time. Why? Maybe it is because Opera has really worked really hard on their battery saver mode and energy efficiency over the last couple of months. I think it is time we put these tests to the test independently.

  10. rameshthanikodi

    Microsoft is accidentally showing how quickly Chrome has managed to close the gap while not making much progress for themselves.

  11. fbman

    I still prefer Firefox. I have experimented with Edge, its not a bad browser, but I cant bring myself to use it. But the funny thing is, I actually love using the IOS version on my Ipad. The lack of extensions are not an issue for me, as I dont really use extensions. The only extension I use is an Ad blocker.

    So for now my browser of choice is Firefox, at least they dont use it for data collection like google uses chrome for. I have never used chrome and never will.

  12. PeteB

    Nobody cares, Microsoft. Especially not the Windows 7 and 8.1 users you alienated by not providing Edge on your own OS while Google and Mozilla do.

    Who'da thunk creating a gimped UWP/app browser for only one version of one OS might not gain any traction? Thats arena sized stupidity.

    • RM

      In reply to PeteB:They should have provided Edge for Win 7/8 or waited a year or two before releasing Edge with more features. They definitely should not have made Edge the default browser in the original Windows 10 versions. However, they currently have made Edge available for multiple OS versions. "Windows 10" is not a version, it is the new branding of "Windows". "Windows 10" has a number of versions and Edge works on all of them.

  13. MattHewitt

    Man I look at it almost in reverse. I might not have been willing to pay a 50 percent battery tax for using Chrome, but 15 percent doesn't seem too bad. I guess it's time to stop torturing myself with Edge. The performance is miserable.

  14. dkb1898

    I definitely see much better battery life with Edge over Chrome, BUT it also loads pages slower and just has some finicky behavior so I have to switch back to Chrome (This could be Ad Blocker Plus perhaps, but it's unbearable)

  15. Winner

    I don't think that's going to win over many users.

  16. aThingOrTwo

    It is only testing video playback, which is not representative of typical web browser usage and in particular does not test the efficiency of the rendering and JavaScript engines. It would be nice to have some more details - I looked for a blog post or something but couldn't find anything.

  17. John Scott

    Every time I see this claim its the same old thing. Yet others have repeated Microsoft test with less remarkable differences. Just not convinced this marginally better battery life is convincing many to switch to Edge. At least not in any numbers that affect market share much and Chrome still seems to be gaining market share. I myself use whatever is the most popular simply because it works best with most sites.

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