There are many reasons Microsoft would like you to stop using Chrome – mainly, so you could use Edge instead. But this new ad puts forth a compelling argument: Chrome is terrible for battery life (and Edge is pretty great).
If you own a laptop and use Chrome, then you probably already know it’s a power-hungry beast. We’ve written about it before. But it’s gratifying to see it proven in this video, where Microsoft pits Edge against Firefox, Opera and Chrome by streaming the same HD video for hours:
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If you’re too lazy to watch here are the results, from worst to best:
- Chrome: 4:19:50
- Firefox: 5:09:30
- Opera: 6:18:33
- Edge: 7:22:07
In other words, Edge lasted 70 percent longer than Chrome. Even for non-video tasks, Microsoft claims Edge lasts 36 to 53 percent longer than the competition.
While it’s easy to suspect Microsoft somehow tweaked the conditions to their favor, this is virtually identical to the results I saw in my own testing of the Surface Book – the laptop Microsoft used in the video, and my primary laptop – as well as other Windows 10 devices.
In fact, I’ve so consistently seen Chrome sap away from various laptop’s lifeblood that when friends ask me about buying a new PC with good battery life, I make a point to tell them to make sure to use Edge rather than Chrome when they’re working on the go, if they can.
And it all makes sense: Microsoft cares about optimizing its browser for its OS and hardware, while Google cares more about you getting on its ecosystem. To Microsoft, it actually matters whether it’s browser is power efficient, because bad performance would reflect poorly on Windows 10 and Surface hardware.
This is not all to say anything about how these browsers compare otherwise. I use Chrome for work. I like Edge, but it can be glitchy, and extension support is only available to Windows Insiders. And lately I’ve been more fond of Vivaldi anyway.
But when it comes to battery life on Windows 10, using Microsoft’s own browser is definitely your best bet.