Save Energy, Use Internet Explorer: Microsoft

Dennis Faas's picture

A new report has found that Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser uses less power than the competition. According to a study commissioned by the Redmond, Washington-based firm, Internet Explorer is 18 per cent more energy-efficient than Google Chrome (version 26) and Mozilla's Firefox (version 21).

The study was carried out by the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, which examined the power consumption of web browsers running on laptop and desktop computers.

PC Magazine notes that if every user of Chrome or Firefox switched to using Internet Explorer 10 and the Windows 8 operating system for a period of one year, they would save enough energy to power roughly 10,000 individual households. (Source:

Adobe Flash, HTML5 Power Drainers

However, the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems acknowledged that, when performing most tasks, Internet Explorer is only marginally more energy-efficient than its rivals.

The key, apparently, is when browsers use Adobe Flash -- in those scenarios, Internet Explorer uses far less energy.

The study also found that visiting sites coded in HTML5 can be quite costly when it comes to power. (Source:

"Testing of two HTML5 websites (one benchmark, one video) and one Flash video found that both appear to increase power draw significantly more than the top ten websites tested," the study said.

"Most notably, the HTML5 benchmark test condition more than doubled the notebook power draw for all computers and browsers tested, while desktop power draw increased by approximately 50 percent."

Google, Mozilla Remain Quiet

Microsoft marketing director Roger Capriotti was understandably pleased with the study's results.

"Power consumption is an important, but often overlooked, consideration in building a modern browser," Capriotti said. (Source:

"It is one of our objectives to lead the industry in power requirements because the more efficiently a browser uses power, the longer a user can enjoy the Web on a PC, the lower the electricity costs and the smaller the environmental impact."

In the end, however, it is worth noting that Microsoft -- and not Google or Mozilla -- commissioned the study. Google and Mozilla have not yet commented on the study's findings.

NOTE: There was an error in the original version of this story regarding the 10,000 household claim. The story has now been updated.

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