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Windows 10: Chrome vs Firefox vs Edge in Microsoft's new battery life showdown

Microsoft ran a HD video in a loop in the Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge web browser on a Surface Book and measured how long it took until the battery died.

Video: Top features in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Microsoft has run a fresh series of tests it says show its Edge browser offers the longest battery life when browsing the web on a Windows 10 computer.

The company ran a HD video in a loop in the Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge web browsers, measuring how long it took until the battery died on a Surface Book computer.

Thanks in part to performance optimizations made by recent Fall Creators Update to Windows 10, Microsoft says Edge lasted the longest, able to stream video for more than 60% longer than Firefox and almost 20% longer than Chrome. To be more precise, while Edge lasted about 16 hours eight minutes, Chrome lasted about 13 hours 32 minutes and Firefox about nine hours and 52 minutes.

You can see a time-lapse recording of the test here.

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However, Microsoft's claims need to be put in context, as it's not the first time Microsoft has published tests purporting to show Edge beating rival browsers on battery life.

Microsoft ran very similar tests in April last year, when it published a video showing Edge outlasting Chrome and Firefox.

At that time Microsoft attributed the superior battery performance of Edge to the browser prioritizing HTML5 content over Flash and optimizations under the hood.

That said the tech site Linus Tech Tips tried to replicate Microsoft's findings by reproducing the tests using the same machines and methodology. However, their findings were different, with both Chrome and Firefox lasting slightly longer than Edge when playing the same video on loop.

Despite Microsoft trying to heavily push its Edge browser, to the extent of tying Windows 10's in-built Search function to Edge, its userbase remains relatively small.

One issue for Edge is that, compared to the broad range of extensions and add-ons available for Chrome and Firefox, Microsoft's browser offers a limited selection of extensions.

The Windows Fall Creators Update upgraded Edge to EdgeHTML 16, adding a variety of new features, support for new web technologies and various performance improvements.

The next major feature update to Windows 10 will allow web pages to more easily work offline in Edge, and will add support for push notifications in web apps.

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