back to article Microsoft joins battery-saving browser bandwagon with Edge claims

Microsoft has published new research in which it claims that its Edge browser, bundled with Windows 10, can outperform the competition when it comes to battery life. The lab rats at Redmond set up four identical charged laptops, each using a different browser to stream an identical video. The Laptop running Google Chrome ran …

  1. gobaskof Silver badge

    Billions of data points of aggregated telemetry

    "Average power consumption per browser based on billions of data points of aggregated telemetry."

    What is the power consumption associated with monitoring, logging, and sending data about everything the user is doing constantly?

    1. Sebastian A

      Re: Billions of data points of aggregated telemetry

      I'd recommend a slight clarification on their wording.

      "Based on carefully massaged numbers selectively filtered out of billions of data points which our customers didn't actually want to provide to us."

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Billions of data points of aggregated telemetry

        don't forget "in a system built for the test, not for real-world performance"

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Billions of data points of aggregated telemetry

      "What is the power consumption associated with monitoring, logging, and sending data about everything the user is doing constantly?"

      Based on the video - I'd say Google is definitely using more resources to gather user data!

  2. inmypjs Silver badge

    ad blocking > all

    When it comes to power consumption I expect blocking adverts and other crap like trackers and analytics will dwarf any browser differences.

    Also I would be very wary of any benchmark containing video playback without an assessment of rendering quality.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: ad blocking > all

      Edge suspends Flash content on tabs that aren't visible. Chrome doesn't do that by default.

      The video tests MS conducted were based around streaming Netflix. I tried to find further info about the tests, but couldn't. However, it wouldn't be worth MS fudging the tests because of the backlash should they be found out. (And in any case, their findings reflect independent results).

      Curiously, Netflix is only available in 1080p on Edge and IE on Windows, and on Safari on OSX - all other desktop browsers are 720p, and both HTML 5 and Silverlight are used.

      1. Spoonsinger

        Re: " wouldn't be worth MS fudging the tests because of the backlash should they be found out."

        Erm, this is Microsoft you are talking about right?

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: ad blocking > all

        "Edge suspends Flash content on tabs that aren't visible. Chrome doesn't do that by default."

        I wonder what effects that script/flash blocking plugins like 'NoScript' would have in Firefox's power consumption... yeah, compare THAT to 'Edge'. TURN ON the crap-blockage, watch Edge be significantly WORSE than the locked-up Firefox. We'll also conclusively show how much ALL THAT WEB-CRAP costs US.

  3. J. R. Hartley

    Edge

    Arse biscuits

    1. Gray
      Holmes

      Re: Edge

      Horse puckey

      And we trust MS testing?

      1. Oengus

        And we trust MS testing?

        As much as we trust the emissions and fuel comsunption testing by car manufacturers...

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: And we trust MS testing?

          I'm sure it uses reliable battery data, like when Windows shows a bubble saying you have half an hour left and then promptly shuts down.

          1. Def Silver badge

            Re: And we trust MS testing?

            I'm fairly certain (I don't have my laptop to hand to confirm this) you can specify at what level of battery Windows will automatically shut down. If I remember correctly, by default it's set to 10%.

  4. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Flame

    Blegh

    I don't care if it manages to extract its energy from vacuum space and charge the battery while you're using it. It's still an utterly annoying browser to use, and has a design only a Cubist could love.

    I think I'll stick with Firefox.

    1. hplasm
      Devil

      Re: Blegh

      But it will save you battery- you won't want to use the device at all!

  5. Mikel

    Cherry picking

    No doubt their billions of data points told them which notebook, and specifically what to test.

    Of course since I don't have anything left that could run Windows, nor especially Windows 10, and If I had I wouldn't, we don't even get anywhere near the browser selection question. But in the bizarre alternate reality where that might be a choice, "not theirs".

    1. Richard 22

      Re: Cherry picking

      Which platform are you running which doesn't have a choice of browsers? Linux has Firefox (and derivatives) and Chrome/Chromium. (opera?). OS X has Safari, Firefox, Chrome (Opera?)

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Cherry picking

      "No doubt their billions of data points told them which notebook, and specifically what to test."

      This would be 'business as usual' from Redmond. Consider all of their "independent" performance comparisons (windows vs linux etc.) from a decade ago. And license agreements saying you couldn't publish your own performance tests without "permission". "Rigged Game" is an understatement.

      But the fact that all of the tests were (apparently) run under WIN-10-NIC, I'm surprised they had ANY battery life at ALL! I'd also like to see what Micro-shaft *DID* to the Win-10-nic settings to SHUT UP all of the BACKGROUND CRAP that's constantly hitting the internet - you know, 'Sports' 'News' etc. - you have to CAREFULLY TURN THAT ALL OFF to STOP THOSE [CR]APPS from frequently updating themselves. And, it is a LOT of traffic. WIRESHARK it yourself, if you don't believe me..

      And, does 'Edge' do that FOR you while it's running (turn off the [CR]app background web updates), via some new undocumented API, to TWEEK ITS OWN STATS in its own favor? I have to wonder...

  6. FozzyBear
    Linux

    Great

    Now what is it's rating and capabilities when it comes to

    >Security features,

    >Web page rendering (timing and quality)

    >user options and configurability

    Seriously how many people are going to put battery life based on browsing before security and configurations features. Congratulations Micro$lop you missed the (bench)mark again

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Great

      "Seriously how many people are going to put battery life based on browsing before security and configurations features."

      The great masses are quite unaware that the browser can be configured beyond changing the starting page, and know nothing about security. Most seem to use whatever browser is the current default - I've seen cases where Chrome was inadvertently installed in place of IE/FF and it didn't bother the user since it imported the bookmarks.

      Opera was (still is?) pretty secure and configurable yet its user base was minuscule. Each Chrome update brings plenty of security patches and is only somewhat more configurable than Edge. Chrome is at the moment the most popular browser AFAIK. I think both these points contradict your argument.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Great

      Seriously how many people are going to put battery life based on browsing before security and configurations features.

      Yet again we have here a demonstration of the "curse of knowledge". The assumption that the average consumer thinks like a Register reader.

    3. rmason

      Re: Great

      You're confusing "people in here" with "most people".

      An overwhelming majority of people don't give a second (or even a first) thought to browser security, rendering speed or quality or configuration options.

      A similarly large majority would, in fact, answer "google" when asked what browser they use.

      Battery life would probably be up there in the top 3 things people *are* concerned about when it comes to tablets, laptops and phones.

      1. VinceH

        Re: Great

        "A similarly large majority would, in fact, answer "google" when asked what browser they use."

        Quite. Conversation yesterday.

        Me: "Type this into the address bar..." <starts reciting URL>

        User: <Starts typing into the Google search field.>

        Me: "No, I'm giving you an address. You don't have to search for it."

        User: "Oh, so I can go straight to it in Google?"

        Me: "What? It's nothing to do with Google."

        User: <Opens a new tab in Chrome, clicks address bar> "See, Google."

        1. tin 2

          Re: Great

          Embrace and extend. Now the web browser == Google. We're sleepwalking into being IE'd again.

  7. druck Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    He who controls the OS...

    ...controls the power usage.

    Ask yourself how easy would it be to for Microsoft to tweak the OS so that certain programs have better or worse power consumption?

    1. VinceH

      Re: He who controls the OS...

      Yesterday, I was presented with a laptop on which Microsoft were quite obviously trying to save power.

      How? Windows 10 was being terribly efficient by not bothering to populate the task bar with anything, and not making the start menu accessible.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: He who controls the OS...

      "Ask yourself how easy would it be to for Microsoft to tweak the OS so that certain programs have better or worse power consumption?"

      Considering it's Win-10-nic, probably NOT hard at all.

      One of the BIG problems I've seen in Win-10-nic [which hasn't been fixed, as I understand it] is how applications tend to SPIN on 100% CPU usage when waiting for one another. Micro-shaft has split up their system into multiple "apps", where "something" waits on the start menu "app", or the cortana "app", or whatever else, to return back some results. You see it during the startup. I've even measured what effect it has overall. You can see the CPU utilization peg at 100% *UNNECESSARILY* for WAY too long, and don't even get me STARTED on "the METRO" games, which are the WORST offenders.

      The problem goes back to how 'yield()' and WaitForSingleObject and other API functions actually work, PLUS the effect that "100% CPU" (no idle time) has on CPU frequency throttling, etc. etc.. It is my observation that 100% CPU keeps you at the HIGHEST CPU frequency, which equals MAX POWER CONSUMPTION. If the "apps" (sic) were SMART enough to *NOT* peg out CPU usage (and *I* know of ways to code this PROPERLY, which I use in my OWN code, but they're all writing ".Not" C-pound 'Universal' piles of CRAP so they do it *WRONG*) then the scheduler would detect "not using 100% CPU" and throttle CPU frequency and save power. "All that BACKGROUND CRAP" in Win-10-nic *NATURALLY* disrupts this possibility, *AND* "CPU spinning" [CR]apps completely NUKE it.

      So, Micro-shaft would've had to somehow FAKE the CPU throttler into lowering frequency ANYWAY, or else 'work around' the "100% CPU utilization" problem within Edge. And would they *SHARE* that 'work around' solution? heh, I doubt it.

  8. Captain Badmouth
    Happy

    A world first!

    This is great news: a manufacturer, in a controlled trial by said manufacturer, discovers that it's product is better than any other product doing the same thing. Must get on social media straight away with this news.

    Oops, I already am......

    1. herman Silver badge

      Re: A world first!

      Well, I actually received a cheque from a MS lawsuit once, so I am not exactly a fanboi, but I have to agree with their graphs, since they confirm my own experience. If you want a burning hot lap and a flat battery - run Chrome.

      The same effect is true on Windows, Linux and Mac.

      1. Captain Badmouth
        Happy

        Re: A world first!

        "Well, I actually received a cheque from an MS lawsuit once"

        Do tell.....

      2. revdjenk

        Re: A world first!

        "The same effect is true on Windows, Linux and Mac."

        Yes, Chrome is running hot and heavy on my laptop running LinuxMint (which had win8 installed for about 10 minutes). However, there is no way to test Edge. So, until MS makes it available for more than one OS, we will never know if this test is because of internal code benefit. (MS has been known to do this! http://www.ecis.eu/documents/Finalversion_Consumerchoicepaper.pdf)

  9. johnB

    It would take more than a marginal claimed increase in battery life to get me to use Edge.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Web browser?

    I'll stick to gopher, thanks!

    1. herman Silver badge

      Re: Web browser?

      Funny. I actually use links/lynx quite a lot. They are rather more functional than gopher these days.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Web browser?

      "I'll stick to gopher, thanks!"

      I've toyed with a simple gopher server, and it has its uses. There's support for Firefox for gopher (client). Unfortunately, the gopher server that I found doesn't support IPv6. I could fix it myself, but that would take work.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    want max battery time?

    use: Lynx

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Adblock

    Load an ad-blocker, and you'll not have to download and render all those tiresome, power hungry adverts....

    The Ghostery plugin to limit the tracking cookies and you restrict / remove all that traffic too...

    (Does Edge even support plug-in ad-blocking?)

    1. herman Silver badge

      Re: Adblock

      I'm sure Adblock helps, but Chrome still heats up my laptop much more than the others.

  13. Slions

    Is that a chromium issue?

    Would other chromium based browser like Vivaldi also use that much power? Ho wait I guess Opera is based on chromium too these days.

    Still it would have been nice to see how Vivaldi fairs.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Opera repudiates Microsoft Edge battery-saving claims

    "The browser-maker Opera has negated Microsoft’s much-publicised claim that its Windows 10-exclusive Edge browser provides significantly less battery drain than competitors Chrome and Opera – and its own tests put Edge firmly in second place for battery efficiency."

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