The browser battery wars are heating up. Microsoft made a bold claim earlier this week that its new Edge browser in Windows 10 is better for your laptop's battery life than Opera or Chrome. While everyone who uses Chrome is aware of the bad effect on battery life, Opera introduced a battery saving feature last month to improve things on its own Chromium-based (Blink) browser. Naturally, Opera saw the Edge claims and the company has a bone to pick with Microsoft.
"Like most other engineering teams, we love it when someone picks a fight," says Błażej Kaźmierczak, director of software development at Opera. "If we get beaten in a test like this, we consider it a bug." Microsoft hasn't revealed exactly what its battery tests consist of, so Opera created its own test using automation to simulate visits to popular websites. Opera claims its latest Developer release (39.0.2248.0) with ad blocking and power saver enabled can run 22 percent longer than Edge, and 35 percent longer than Chrome.
Opera has detailed its exact methodology in a blog post challenging Microsoft to do better. "If Microsoft really wants to prove that its browser performs better than others (in any regard), the company should be transparent about its methodology so that others can replicate it," says Kaźmierczak. "Better luck next time, Microsoft!" Kyle Pflug, a Microsoft Edge program manager, has responded on Twitter to Opera's claims. "This test turned on an ad blocker, which is off by default," says Pflug. "Not loading and rendering the same content in all browsers."
While we await Opera's response, both companies have found a middle ground to agree on one aspect of the browser battery wars. They both clearly agree that Chrome is terrible for your laptop battery life. Your move, Google.
Update June 23rd, 6:40AM ET: article updated to include a response from a Microsoft Edge program manager.