Earlier today, I wrote about how using Microsoft Edge can reap big battery life benefits when compared to competing browsers, especially Google Chrome. But Microsoft has also documented the changes its making in the Windows 10 Anniversary update. And Edge’s battery life advantage is about to get even bigger.
“With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, we are hard at work pushing the envelope further, engineering Microsoft Edge to last even longer with typical workloads,” Microsoft program manager Brandon Heenan writes. “The Windows 10 Anniversary Update brings dozens of improvements to power efficiency, informed from analyzing customer telemetry and experiments in our controlled labs. These improvements are built into Microsoft Edge, so you don’t need to change settings or turn on a power saving mode – every Microsoft Edge user will receive these without a compromised experience.”
Mr. Heenan provides the following examples of power optimization in Edge in the Anniversary update.
More efficient Flash. Adobe Flash is a notorious performance suck, and since many ads use Flash, this can be a big problem. So in the Anniversary Update, Edge runs Flash in a separate process, and controls which aren’t central to the page are paused by default. This lets Edge monitor and control the resource impact of Flash, and when it consumes too many resources or crashes, Edge can simply stop Flash without impacting the website. (Users who want to interact with Flash can simply click the control.)
Edge UI is optimized for power efficiency. That sounds … unlikely … but Microsoft claims that the Edge UI is optimized for power efficiency, with smaller animations on controls (like the Reading Mode button, which now uses just 40 percent of the animation frames previously used, resulting in fewer visual updates. Furthermore, these updates are timed to, and rely solely on, the GPU, reducing the performance cost to the CPU by literally 100 percent. The total power impact is near zero, Microsoft says.
More efficient networking. The Anniversary update delivers a range of networking improvements which improve performance and efficiency while reducing power consumption, Microsoft says, and these changes benefit Edge as well.