By: Bryan Tropeano
Microsoft released Windows 10 last month and it has grabbed much needed attention. It is probably the last operating system by the Redmond giant. Windows 10 includes a lot of new features and improvements over its predecessor but the major addition is the new Microsoft Edge browser. Microsoft has finally parted ways from Internet Explorer and moved on to a new and improved Edge web browser.
Windows 10 is built on consumer feedback with the help of Windows Insider Program. Everyone who was part of Windows Insider Program had the chance to use new features beforehand and provide their feedback. A couple of months back, Microsoft announced that it is introducing a new web browser in Windows 10 and letting go off Internet Explorer. It is a wise decision considering Internet Explorer was a dead stick as it always had many issues.
Analysts were not so optimistic about Microsoft Edge because they believed it will be just another Internet Explorer and could not match up with Chrome and Firefox. Microsoft dismissed such claims by providing some amazing statistics. Microsoft Edge was not only faster but also lighter compared to Chrome. This is a massive claim since no browser has matched up with Chrome’s performance, but as a result users compromise on system resources just to use Chrome.
Reviewers and many tech publications quickly downloaded the latest Windows 10 beta and started to test out Microsoft claims. It is not like something better cannot be developed but it was shocking coming from the developer of Internet Explorer. The test results are indeed surprising and believable at the same time. Publications compared Microsoft Edge with Internet Explorer and Chrome but did not include Firefox, Opera and Safari in their tests. The question remains, is Microsoft Edge better than Chrome and Internet Explorer? Is it more efficient and does not drain laptop’s battery?
Let’s find out.
In order to test browsers’ performance a few benchmarks have been used. Scores from Browsermark, Peacekeeper, Jetstream and Octane 2.0 have been compared across all three browsers. Please do keep in mind that different systems will yield different results.
Starting off with Peacekeeper, it is developed by Futuremark which is a leader in technology tests such as 3DMark, PassMark and more. Google Chrome still dominated the pack with a hefty score of 3,798 while Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer were neck to neck with scores 2,444 and 2,357 respectively. Not a good result to the claims Microsoft made but let’s see how other benchmarks pan out.
Octane is a test developed by Google and it is not biased towards Chrome at all. Sometimes Chrome does not lead in its parent’s company test so you can expect reliable results. In this case Chrome was neck to neck with Microsoft Edge. In some systems, Edge had better scores and in some Chrome had better scores. This is a positive towards Microsoft Edge because it did match up to Google Chrome.
And for the last benchmark, we used Browsermark which is a comprehensive test for all browsers. It tests a browser on various aspects such as speed, page loads, window resize and so on. And once again Google Chrome led the pack with a score of 3956 while Microsoft Edge’s score was almost half at 2,027. In fact it was lower than Internet Explorer which scored 2,159.
According to the benchmarks, Chrome is still the leader in speed and performance. Microsoft Edge does a pretty good job and you have to give it credit. Since it is a beta version, the scores might improve in the final build. Microsoft Edge will indeed get updates in Windows 10 so Microsoft can refine it further. One question is still unanswered and that is whether it uses less system resources or not?
To our surprise, Microsoft Edge is even hungrier than Chrome. Chrome used 444 MB of RAM and 13% CPU while Edge utilized 760 MB of RAM and 18% CPU. Internet Explorer was also heavier compared to Chrome as it utilized 15% CPU and 530 MB RAM. These results are quite surprising since they demolish all the claims made by Microsoft.
Microsoft Edge is a great browser but it does not beat Chrome. Chrome has thousands of extensions and excellent dev support. It is already embedding latest technologies such as HTML5 video streaming, H.265 codec and so on. Microsoft Edge on the other hand is fast but not Chrome fast. It uses more resources and does not have any extensions available. In fact, at the moment it does not even have an ad blocker.
It needs some major improvements but to be honest it does feel fast while using it. It is a great alternative to Internet Explorer but not quite there yet to fight with the big boys. Since it is new, we can cut it some slack but it needs to improve and improve quickly as well if Microsoft wants people to use it.
An ad blocker is the utmost priority at the moment and if Chrome extensions can make their way to Edge it will become an attractive package. Microsoft needs its developers to step up their game and bring improvements quickly because 60 million people are already using Windows 10 so they should start using Edge now.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryan Tropeano is a senior producer and a regular reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Washington D.C. and loves all things Tech.