Edge is still the most efficient Windows browser, but Chrome is getting close

One of the big advantages that Microsoft has been promoting for its Edge browser is that it’s more battery efficient than both Chrome and Firefox. My own anecdotal experience bears this out; although I use Chrome for most browsing, I’ve found it burns battery faster than Edge under similar workloads. Whenever I’m mobile, I switch to Microsoft’s browser over Google’s.

Microsoft’s own figures use a video-playback benchmark, and the company has duly released a new comparison for the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, version 1803. Edge still comes out ahead—it lasts 98 percent longer than Mozilla Firefox, and 14 percent longer than Google Chrome—but it’s striking that the gap with Chrome has narrowed.

In January, using Windows 10 version 1709, Microsoft’s browser resulted in the battery lasting 19 percent longer than Google’s. In April last year, using Windows 10 version 1703, the Microsoft advantage was 35 percent. And in June 2016, Edge lasted a whopping 70 percent longer than Chrome.

Google has not been immune to criticism of Chrome’s battery life and has been working to make its browser kinder to mobile users. Microsoft’s comparison suggests that this effort is paying off. While the browser doesn’t quite match Edge for energy efficiency, it’s much closer than it once was. I will probably still use Edge when running on battery for a while longer, as I find myself running up against battery life limits from time to time, but what was once a substantial benefit is now a lot more marginal.

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