Microsoft to Browser Rivals: Nope, Edge Is Still the Best

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The tech industry has no shortage of heated battles. This week alone, there were headlines about Tesla versus Mobileye, Verizon versus New York City, and Apple versus headphone jack fans. Not wanting to be left out, Microsoft is reupping the fight over...browser battery life?

In June, Microsoft said the Edge browser has better battery life than that of its rivals. It recently conducted a new round of tests using the Windows 10 Anniversary Update and concluded, not surprisingly, that "Microsoft Edge is more efficient than ever, and still the best choice for extending your battery life on Windows 10."

In June, Microsoft took four Surface Books and streamed a high-definition video wirelessly on each device using Edge, Google Chrome, Opera, and Mozilla Firefox. Average power consumption put Edge in the lead, followed by Chrome, Opera (with battery-saver mode enabled), and Firefox.

If you ask Opera, though, Microsoft is full of crap. "If we get beaten in a test like this, we consider it a bug," the company said earlier this summer.

Google had a similar reaction and pointed to the battery improvements in Chrome 53, which it says cuts down on battery drain substantially when compared to Chrome 46, which launched in 2015. "Over the last year, Chrome has seen double-digit improvements in speed and battery life," Google said. "These improvements help you get more done, faster, and we thought you'd like an update."

In response, Microsoft recreated its original experiment (this time streaming Vimeo instead of Netflix). The results are almost exactly the same: Edge lasted 69 percent longer than Firefox, 45 percent longer than Chrome, and 23 percent longer than Opera (in battery-saver mode).

"With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft Edge is more efficient than ever," said Jason Weber, director of Microsoft's Web Platform Team, pointing to 12 percent better overall rendering efficiency in simulated browsing.

The company also open-sourced its lab test on GitHub and published the full methodology for its video tests, so anyone—including the competition—can reproduce them. "Regardless of which test you choose, the conclusion is the same: Microsoft Edge lets you browse and watch longer, so you can get more out of your devices without worrying about finding an outlet," Weber said.

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