Microsoft Edge throws the latest punch in the ongoing battery wars


    There’s a hint in the air the browser wars are making something of a comeback. And this time around, the measuring stick everyone seems to be crowding around is battery drain time. Microsoft just released the Creators Update for Windows 10 so they figured it was a good time to reproduce their prior battery life experiment and reiterate just how much more battery friendly Microsoft Edge is for Windows machines.

    The tests were run using Surface Books installed with the Windows 10 Creators Update (build 15063). The team compared their own Microsoft Edge against Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox in a test streaming video from Vimeo in fullscreen.

    And the winner is…Edge, again!

    Edge buried its competition, outlasting Chrome by 35 percent and Firefox by 77 percent. Of course, this was only performed on Microsoft’s Surface with very specific device settings so the average consumer will probably never see these kind of results. But it’s no secret browsers like Chrome and Firefox have a penchant for sucking up a laptop’s precious life force.

    But will people finally leave Chrome?

    Are these latest results enough to make a dent in Chrome’s massive market share? As of March, Chrome continued to eclipse the competition with 58.6 percent market share on desktops worldwide while Edge made a drop in the bucket at 5.6 percent.


    browser marketshare

    While Edge might be making some incremental gains, Chrome still offers a compelling value proposition that makes it hard to beat. To this day, Edge only works on Windows machines. Contrast that to Chrome, which supports both Android and iOS versions so you can pick up on your phone where you left off on your PC.

    Chrome also has a massive extension ecosystem so users can tweak and customize their browser experience to extreme ends. Edge’s extension support looks a bit desolate in comparison. But we can’t count out the underdog yet. Edge has a few tricks up their own sleeve, including tab previews and Cortana voice-command support.

    On benchmark testing, Chrome has a long reputation for doing the best at supporting HTML5. In one recent comparison, Digital Trends gave Chrome 55 the highest comparative ranking on this benchmark. But Edge came out as the surprise winner on the Jetstream benchmark – which focuses on modern web applications. Still, all the browsers Digital Trends tested tended to come in close to each other with none failing spectacularly.

    The fight continues

    As it stands today, Edge probably doesn’t offer enough of an advantage to restore Microsoft’s standing to the glory days of Internet Explorer. What’s more certain is we’ll keep seeing some fierce competition between browser developers along with the requisite back-and-forth that comes with it. All in the name of winning over our hearts and gaining that coveted default browser status.

    Kelly Paik
    Kelly Paik writes about science and technology for Fanvive. When she's not catching up on the latest innovations, she uses her free-time painting and roaming to places with languages she can't speak. Because she rather enjoys fumbling through cities and picking things on the menu through a process of eeny meeny miny moe.