Opera hits back at Edge power efficiency claims

June 23, 2016 // 12:10 p.m.

Tags: #battery-life #bazej-kazmierczak #browser #chrome #edge #opera #power-efficiency #web-browser

Browser maker Opera has hit back at Microsoft's claims that its Edge browser beats out the competition in energy efficiency, running its own test which it claims demonstrates quite the opposite.

Microsoft published the results of an internal experiment into browser energy efficiency earlier this week, claiming that using its fresh new Edge browser could boost the battery life of your laptop by several hours compared with rivals Firefox, Chrome, and Opera - even when enabling Opera's recently-added power saving mode, designed specifically to reduce its power usage on battery-driven systems including laptops and tablets.

Opera's Błażej Kaźmierczak claims, however, that Microsoft's test is inaccurate. In a somewhat acerbic blog post, complete with Condescending Wonka meme, Kaźmierczak defended his company's exclusion of Edge from its own initial testing - 'mostly because Edge is only available on Windows 10,' he explained - and describes the results of Opera's follow-up testing into Microsoft's claims. Unsurprisingly, these show Opera as in the lead: when running a script which simulates normal browsing activity in a reproducible manner, the test laptop ran for 2:54 under Chrome, 3:12 under Edge, and 3:55 under Opera.

Kaźmierczak's methodology, however, raises some concerns: the test was carried out using the latest development release of Opera, rather than the latest stable release, compared with older stable releases of both Edge and Chrome; the Opera Developer build also had both the power-saving and ad-blocking features enabled, while Edge was run without the use of any ad-blocking - functionality which, it must be admitted, requires the installation of an add-on extension rather than being natively supported as per Opera.

Nevertheless, Kaźmierczak has chalked the test up as yet another win for Opera. 'Better luck next time, Microsoft,' he concluded.
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