Microsoft: Using Edge Helps Save Your Device's Battery Power

Microsoft: Using Edge Helps Save Your Device's Battery Power

The Microsoft Edge team says a recent round of in-house testing shows that their browser is more energy-efficient, meaning that users who are Web-surfing on their mobile devices will get more hours of active use without needing to modify their settings.

The in-house testing was comprised of three separate test situations:

The team measured the browser's power consumption in a controlled lab environment. They did this by connecting a Surface Book to power-monitoring equipment and, reported team director Jason Weber, "We then automated each browser to perform the same series of activities: opening websites, scrolling through articles, and watching videos, opening new tabs for each task. We used the same websites you spend your time on – Facebook, Google, YouTube, Amazon, Wikipedia and more."

The test showed that the Surface Book running the Edge browser had 36-53% more battery power than the Surface Books running other browsers.

The team analyzed energy telemetry data from in-field Windows 10 devices. According to their data analysis, a Microsoft Edge browser on a Window 10 device had an average power consumption of approximately 465 millwatts (mW), while a Chrome browser had approximately 720 mW and Firefox 493 mW.

The team recorded time-lapse videos of Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox and Opera performing the same tasks on the same devices until the devices' batteries died. To make things even more meta, the team recorded videos of Surface Books playing streaming videos. That's right -- they made a video of a video.

According to the video results, the Surface Book that used Google Chrome to stream video gave out after four hours and 19 minutes; the Surface Book that used Mozilla Firefox for video streaming gave out after five hours and nine minutes; the Surface Book that used Opera lasted six hours and 18 minutes; and finally, the Surface Book running Edge lasted seven hours and 22 minutes. 

Brandon Heenan, Edge Product Mananger, gives a small tour of the power consumption lab, and lays out four more ways Microsoft Edge will pare its energy requirements once the Anniversary Edition is released:

1. Microsoft Edge will only execute background JavaScript timers once per second in every background tab, and these timers will be synced to other system-wide routines, which means the hardware doesn't have to keep waking up and powering down. Since websites often run JavaScript for things like checking for fresh site content, updating web email inboxes, etc., having multiple tabs open can be energy-intensive. 

2. Flash will now run inside a separate process, and be paused by default. Users will have to click on it to interact with it.

3. The user interface has been redesigned to reduce energy, chiefly by reworking the animations so they consume less energy.

4. Because the Windows 10 Anniversary update delivers a range of networking improvements aimed at reducing the machine's overall power consumption, there's a trickle-down effect to Edge running within the operating system.

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