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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Comments (21)

21 responses to “Microsoft Edge Retains Its Battery Life Advantage in Windows 10 Version 1809”

  1. remc86007

    I really, really hope they are able to keep these power savings when they switch to chromium. I use Edge on all my devices, and I do that in large part because, in my experience, it is way easier to run on slower devices and seems to have better battery life than any other browser. I also really prefer the UI of it to Firefox, Opera, and Chrome.

  2. Pungkuss

    Would be interesting if Microsoft could test edge on iOS vs Chrome on iOS. Wonder what these numbers are without the platform advantage.

    • IanYates82

      In reply to Pungkuss:

      Same JavaScript engine. Same rendering engine. They ought to be very close, but only because neither company is using their code - both are using apple's embedded web engine on iOS

      • Pungkuss

        In reply to IanYates82:

        Maybe wait until edge gets ported to Chromium, then do a comparison on Android and windows. This way there is no platform advantage. Fresh installs of both with no extensions. I tend to not trust any tests executed by the party marketing their product better. My thoughts are that both browsers are close enough that battery life is a wash. Excited to try edge when it goes Chromium though!! Excellent move Microsoft.

  3. SilentHero117

    I prefer to use Edge for shows like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon and Chrome for everything else. The reason is that Edge is somehow superior in video quality over Chrome, which looks terrible in comparison. If they can retain both video quality and power efficiency in their switch to Chromium, that would be great step forward!

  4. chump2010

    "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."


    Would this not set them up for another lawsuit against them? If other companies cannot take advantage of that closer integration with the operating system, they are therefore playing unfairly with the competition. As they are marketing this product - even if it is a free product, I would imagine that somewhere along the line, they would get into trouble for this behaviour, as it is anticompetitive. The only thing saving them I would guess is their low market share, but if say they do get a high market share, then they will have to decouple the browser from the operating system. Then they would lose their battery saving boasts.

  5. MikeGalos

    "[O]ne can only wonder why Microsoft didn’t shout these results to the world as they had previously."


    Perhaps because when they did previously so many industry "reporters" included that as one line and then used it as an excuse to do a long pro-Chrome editorial to show how they weren't so uncool as to use a Microsoft browser.

  6. Aaron44126

    Since they are contributing to the Chromium codebase now, I suspect they'll be doing whatever they can to improve the Blink engine's power utilization, which will make things better for both browsers (Edge and Chrome). In their original announcement, they said that power was something that they would be looking at as they transition.

  7. donaselfies

    Taking a manufacturer-issued "test" with a grain of salt. Their previous claims about Edge battery life were already debunked.


    Just playing video and keeping hardware acceleration enabled in Edge while disabling it in FF and Chrome and then declaring their browser "the bestest battareee life" is laughable.

  8. bart

    Sure will be interesting to see if MS can optimize the Chromium code to get the same battery life as EdgeHTML

  9. jlmerrill

    Is 1809 available? I've tried a manual update several times and no 1809.

  10. madthinus

    To me the Opera pop-out Video feature has turned that browser into my exclusive video watching browser. It is great for watching shows like Windows Weekly and still getting other stuff done.

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