Microsoft touts the Edge browser’s battery-friendly traits

The company says Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 Creators Update uses up to 31% less power than Chrome, 44% less than Firefox

Microsoft touts the Edge browser’s battery-friendly traits
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft already has laid claim to its Edge browser being the most battery-efficient Web browser available on Windows 10, and now with the Creators Update, Microsoft touts even further gains in energy efficiency.

According to Microsoft’s own tests, Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 Creators Update uses up to 31 percent less power than Google Chrome, and up to 44 percent less than Mozilla Firefox. Before you dismiss it as rather convenient that they did their own tests, they did make the methodology available and provided open-source testing tools for download, so you can run the tests yourself. 

+ Also on Network World: Microsoft Edge gets 5 key improvements with the Creators Update +

In a rather lengthy blog post about the Edge browser's energy efficiency, Brandon Heenan, program manager for Microsoft Edge covered how Microsoft improved battery life in Edge with the Windows 10 Creators Update: 

  • Improvements to EdgeHTML 15 are focused on not only improving the average power consumption in Microsoft Edge, but also making it more consistent. The 90th percentile has improved by 17 percent from the previous version of Microsoft Edge to the latest version.
  • Edge throttles the JavaScript timers for iframes that aren’t visible and stops them from calculating animations that will never be seen. Users won’t notice any difference visually, but Edge no longer runs code you don’t see.
  • Say you have an animated iframe at the bottom of a page, but you are at the top of the page and have not scrolled down. You can’t see the frame, so it will not animate it. They have added an additional layer of caching and optimizations to perform this operation with less CPU and less power.
  • Microsoft has implemented a standards-based framework for web pages to do this animation check without needing to constantly check for visibility on its own. This framework is called Intersection Observer. It’s supported by other major browsers and is documented with a working draft through the W3C.
  • Edge now blocks Adobe Flash by default, but users have full control over whether to allow Flash or not.
  • Microsoft is tweaking and improving what’s happening under the hood in Microsoft Edge using telemetry. By measuring how much time they are spending responding to different APIs in JavaScript, they are improving the response times.
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