Microsoft Edge Retains Its Battery Life Advantage in Windows 10 Version 1809

Posted on December 27, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Windows 10 with 19 Comments

Though Microsoft has in no way promoted this advantage as it did with previous versions of Windows 10, it turns out that the software giant has issued the results of a formal test of Edge battery life compared to Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox in Windows 10 version 1809.

“The Microsoft Edge team measured the time it took identical Surface Book laptops to run fully through their batteries while streaming HTML5 video in fullscreen,” a page on GitHub explains. “The test was done with Windows build 17763 [version 1809] and connected to the Internet through Wifi [sic], and multiple samples were taken.”

On average, Microsoft Edge provided a 24 percent battery life advantage over Google Chrome and a 94 percent advantage over Firefox. Edge lasted over 16 hours on average, compared to almost 13 hours for Chrome and 8 hours and 16 minutes for Firefox.

This news is always of note. But this time around, the results take on a heightened sense of curiosity for a number of reasons. With previous Windows 10 versions, Microsoft has heavily promoted its Edge battery life test results with a video and formal blog post, and it never did that here. Indeed, I never even knew this tested existed, so thanks to Brian Trager for pointing it out.

Too, Microsoft is switching Edge to the same Chromium-based foundation used by Chrome so it will be interesting to see whether it can maintain the same battery life results and advantages in the future. My guess is that it will thanks to the underlying integration with the operating system.

And finally, this set of tests marks a rebound from the battery life trends over the past several Windows 10 versions, where Edge’s advantage had been going down with each release.

In June 2016, Microsoft reported that Edge provided a 47 percent battery life advantage over Google Chrome. By April 2017, that advantage had fallen to 35 percent. And by May 2018, the advantage had fallen to just 14 percent. So I began theorizing that Chrome battery life might surpass that of Edge by the time Windows 10 version 1809 shipped.

But that didn’t happen. So one can only wonder why Microsoft didn’t shout these results to the world as they had previously. Perhaps it has to do with the switch to a new browser engine, which sort of undermines any promotion of the old technology.

Whatever. I still feel that Chrome’s advantages outweigh whatever battery life advantage that Edge may or may not have today. And that switching to Chromium was the right choice.

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