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Microsoft trashes Chrome's battery life

Engadget Engadget 20/06/2016 Jon Fingas
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Your choice of web browser can have a tremendous effect on your laptop's battery life, and Microsoft is determined to prove that its Edge browser the most efficient of them all... at Google's expense, of course. The crew in Redmond has posted battery tests showing that Edge lasted longer in web video playback and standardized surfing tests than any other browser (including Opera in low-power mode), and over 3 hours longer than Chrome in the video test. And this is with the current version of Windows 10, Microsoft notes. Edge in Windows' Anniversary Update should be downright miserly thanks to lower resource usage and tighter restrictions on Flash.

Of course, it's a wise idea to take this (and any other company-run benchmark) with a grain of salt. Most people don't spend all day watching Netflix on the web, and Microsoft doesn't mention exactly how long the browsers lasted in the generic browsing test. Also, it conducted the tests on Surface Books. Your mileage is likely to vary with third-party hardware. The company does point to lower overall power consumption based on data from "millions" of Windows 10 PCs, but that will only tell you so much about your own experience.

Still, it's no secret that Chrome is relatively power-hungry. Google's attempts to improve Chrome's battery efficiency have only gone so far, and it's practically common wisdom that you use another browser if you need an extra hour or two of runtime. It's just important to remember that Microsoft has a strong incentive to trash talk Chrome, and that battery life isn't always the most important factor.

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