Microsoft has revealed that Google's Chrome browser exerts a huge drain on laptop batteries and is pretty much the most RAM-intensive when evaluated alongside Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Opera.
The computing giant is making a great fuss because Google previously promised to improve Chrome's impact on battery life but there hasn't been much improvement, and Microsoft wants more consumers to switch from Chrome to Edge in the continued battle for web browser supremacy.
Microsoft conducted two separate tests in a lab-controlled environment – the first measured typical browsing behaviour on popular sites like YouTube, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Wikipedia on four identical Windows 10 Surface Book laptops.
Each laptop ran a different web browser, where an automated program opened webpages in the web browser, scrolled articles and opened new tabs, while the second test primarily looked at how long the laptops would last if they were just streaming HD video.
The tests found that if the same browser windows were open on each machine, then the laptop running Microsoft Edge would last for 7hrs 22min, 6hrs 18min on Opera, 5hrs 9min on Firefox and 4hrs 19min on Chrome.
Microsoft says Edge is 70% faster than Chrome
Microsoft also gathered telemetry data from millions of Windows 10 laptops around the world which showed that Edge had the lowest power consumption when compared Chrome and Firefox, while Chrome had the highest.
Overall, Microsoft says that Edge performs 70% better than Chrome does on battery life, and that these results are echoed by a recent independent test carried out by the Wall Street Journal, which found that a Dell XPS 13 laptop's battery life lasted one hour longer using Edge over Chrome for regular browsing. When tested streaming Netflix, the test found that Edge lasted two hours longer than Chrome.
However, the Wall Street Journal concluded that users should still use Chrome on Windows 10 because Edge does not currently have good web apps and will not support feature-adding extensions like ad blockers or password managers.
The battle of the web browsers has been going on ever since the internet became easily accessible to the masses. Netscape was superseded by Internet Explorer, which was in turn pushed off the top spot by Mozilla Firefox.
But when Firefox subsequently began to slow down and Google launched Chrome, many users switched to Chrome, and the browser's popularity has risen to dizzying heights, despite persistent complaints about its impact on the computer's RAM.