Chrome may have the lion’s share of the web browser market but it is no secret that it is also one of the more resource-heavy and battery-hungry options in the market. Not a problem for desktops, of course, but as more and more people start working more on laptops, it definitely becomes a pain point. Fortunately, there might be some hope coming and it’s coming from a rather unexpected source: Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge browser.
It is almost an ironic turn of events because almost four years ago, Microsoft boasted about how its self-made Edge browser topped the charts when it came to battery efficiency. That Edge, however, quickly lost in the browser market, only to be replaced by a version that was based on Chromium, the open source foundations of Google Chrome.
Microsoft, however, wasn’t about to eat its own words after already swallowing its pride and actually made its own changes to fix the battery gripes users have with Chrome. These don’t change the experience across the board but focus on specific use cases like when playing videos or detecting whether a device is running on battery or AC power. In a nutshell, Chrome’s behavior would only change if it’s running on battery rather than affect even desktop users.
Fortunately, in the spirit of the new and more friendly Microsoft, the company has submitted those changes back to the open source Chromium project. This means that any other browser that uses the same Chromium base will be able to take advantage of those battery optimizations for themselves. That includes Google Chrome, of course.
Google, however, is still calling it an “experiment”, which is to say they’ll still be testing if Microsoft’s changes will meet their own standards. This also means there might be a chance it won’t though, for the sake of Windows users who could migrate to Microsoft Edge, Google will hopefully make similar improvements.