When at the beginning of this week Microsoft released the report of an in-house test that showed that Edge browser was the best in terms of battery optimization in laptops, we knew it was just a hatchet job on Chrome browser. What we didn’t know was that a response was going to come from Opera instead of Chrome. After all it was Chrome that was badly battered. Well, Opera is throwing down the gauntlet at Microsoft and their Edge browser. What we now have, apparently, is the beginning of the browser wars. Or laptop battery war.
Microsoft’s test was really a blatant attempt to sell other browsers short. And the worst part is, they did not even tell anybody outside Microsoft the criteria used for measuring how the different browsers consume a laptop’s battery. The only thing most people agree on, as far as that test was concerned, was that Chrome browser really sucks in battery optimization. However, Opera is not going down that road on its defense of the Opera browser that came second in the test. Ignoring Chrome as a non-issue, Opera took exception to having Edge browser declared better for how battery is optimized when one is browsing.
Opera’s position was made known in a blog post titled ‘Over the edge?’ which could be seen as a direct dig at Microsoft’s Edge. And if you want to be less charitable, one can stretch the heading to mean the folks at Microsoft have gone mad. Over the edge of sanity. Opera did not pull any punches in taking on Microsoft:
This May, Opera became the first major browser to ship a dedicated battery saving feature. This feature optimizes our Chromium/Blink based browser engine and user interface in order to give users more time to browse their favorite websites. Our tests showed that the feature increased the battery life by as much as 50% when compared to other browsers, such as Google Chrome.
One browser we didn’t pay attention to was Microsoft Edge. Mostly because Edge is only available on Windows 10. This Monday, however, Microsoft released a video, similar to the one we made, showing Microsoft Edge winning in their test. Following the video was an extensive blog post and obviously a huge PR effort, and it was argued that the test showed that Edge beats Firefox, Chrome and Opera.”
Opera is dead on the money on one point. At this point nobody takes Edge browser seriously because it is only available on Windows 10. And the browser is still in the beta stage as some features are still missing. Opera, not one to run away from a fight, repeated a test it carried out a while back to show that the power saving feature introduced actually made Opera the better browser in managing power in laptops. The test methodology they used is as comprehensive as the actual test itself. All the parameters used for testing all the browsers were listed out and the formula used at arriving at the results explained carefully.
As you would expect, opera’s own test showed that Opera browser is better than Edge at power utilization. Chrome still props the rest though. Heading over to the opera blog post and reading everything would give a better idea of the detailed job Opera put into debunking Microsoft’s claim.
In the Microsoft test, the fourth browser on the list is Firefox. Would the browser war continue with Firefox doing its on test to prove it is better at conserving energy than all other browsers? I doubt it would happen. But again, I won’t be surprised if it does. However we expect the next Salvo to come from Google. They have the financial muscle, technical know how and are media savvy to organize a test that show Edge and Opera had it all twisted. Or they can remain silent and aloft, making out that engaging in this sort of thing is beneath them. But I doubt they would remain quiet for long.
I am putting my money that at the very least, the next update to Chrome would find a way to hit back at Edge, Opera and other browsers. The last has not being heard of the browser wars.
photo credit: theverge.com: redmoondmag.com; opera.com