Skip to main content

Watch Google's response to Microsoft's Chrome battery complaints

Watch Google's response to Microsoft's Chrome battery complaints

Share this story

Microsoft kicked off a battery life war with Chrome and Opera earlier this year, and Google is finally responding. Microsoft used a number of Surface Books side by side to compare battery life across Firefox, Edge, Chrome, and Opera, and it showed that using Chrome was really bad for your laptop battery life. Microsoft even generated notifications in Windows 10 encouraging Chrome users to switch to Edge.

Google has responded with a new comparison video that also uses Surface Books to show how its latest Chrome 53 release includes much better battery life improvements than Chrome a year ago. Chrome for Windows got updated with Google's Material Design and big battery improvements over the weekend, but neither Microsoft nor Google have compared how battery life ranks between Edge and Chrome now.

Google is focusing on HTML5 video battery life improvements

Google claims you can get around two hours more battery life with Chrome 53 compared to Chrome 46, all while playing HTML5 video from Vimeo, Facebook, and YouTube. That appears to be the focus of Google's efforts, so it's not clear whether Chrome is using less battery life when browsing regular websites on Windows.

Chrome hasn't drained battery on just Windows, though. "Chrome for Mac now uses 33 percent less power for everything from videos and images to simple page scrolling," says Google's Chris Cameron. We saw claims of better battery life from Google almost exactly a year ago with the release of Chrome 45, but little changed during regular use. Google isn't claiming it has all the issues resolved, but Chrome 53 is a good first step in the right direction toward fixing Chrome's lousy effect on laptop battery life.