Browser Power Consumption—Leading the Industry with Internet Explorer 9

Power consumption is an important consideration in building a modern browser and one objective of Internet Explorer 9 is to responsibly lead the industry in power requirements. The more efficiently a browser uses power the longer the battery will last in a mobile device, the lower the electricity costs, and the smaller the environment impact. While power might seem like a minor concern, with nearly two billion people now using the Internet the worldwide implications of browser power consumption are significant.

This post looks at how we measure power consumption, shares the results from recent engineering tests comparing browser power requirements, and explains how fully hardware accelerating Internet Explorer 9 has improved overall power efficiency.

Browsers Influence Power Consumption

How a browser uses the underlying PC hardware has a significant impact on power consumption. The components used in modern PC’s are power conscious and have the ability to conserve power through techniques such as putting idle hardware to sleep and coalescing computation. Browsers need to take these behaviors into consideration to efficiently use power.

With Internet Explorer 9 we followed several principles to guarantee industry leading power consumption. We focused on making IE fast - the quicker a browser can perform an action the less power the browser will consume. We focused on using modern PC hardware to accelerate IE - natively using the specialized hardware decreases power consumption. We focused on idle resource usage - the browser shouldn’t be doing work and consuming power when the user isn’t interacting with the browser. And we focused on following device power management guidance - the browser should respect the guidance of the hardware manufactures.

How to Measure Power Consumption

To measure power consumption, you have to monitor the power consumed by individual PC components across different real world customer scenarios. Every PC component contributes to power consumption and the patterns around their power usage vary over time based on what’s occurring.

We worked closely with our hardware ecosystem during the development of Windows 7 to build one of the worlds most advanced PC power testing environments. We’ll be using some of the hardware from this test environment, including an instrumented Intel reference PC based on the Calpella architecture, for the measurements in this post.

For fun, here are a few pictures of the machines we use to measure power.

Instrumented Intel reference PC
Instrumented Intel reference PC
Reference PC back panel
Reference PC back panel
National Instruments measurement panel
DC Power Supply Units for Instrumented Laptops
Instrumented laptops
Instrumented laptops

By using an instrumented PC we’re able to measure the power usage of each PC component, including CPU, GPU, GMCH, Memory, Uncore, Hard Disk, Network, USB and many others. This is a more reliable approach than measuring overall system power consumption or battery durations which both have higher variance. Wires from the sense resistors on the instrumented PC are connected to a PCI-6259 DAQ card from National Instruments. With this approach we’re able to sample individual measurement points thousands of times per second and record these result for analysis.

Before running any power test the instrumented machine is restored to a baseline configuration of Windows 7 Ultimate, fully updated with the latest updates and device drivers, and a defragmented hard drive. This ensures the system itself won’t interfere with the power measurements and makes the browser the only variable.

Testing Power Consumption Across Common Scenarios

To ensure Internet Explorer 9 is achieving our goals, we measure power consumption across six scenarios. These scenarios cover both todays HTML4 based Web and the HTML5 based Web applications of tomorrow. We allow each scenario to run for 7 minutes and look at the average power consumption over that duration. This allows us to see multiple power cycles and ensure statistically accurate results.

The scenarios we’re going to look at today are:

  1. Windows 7 without any browsers running (provides baseline).
  2. Browsers navigated to about:blank (power consumption of the browser UI).
  3. Loading one of the world’s most popular news Web sites (common HTML4 scenario).
  4. Running the HTML5 Galactic experience (representative of graphical HTML5 scenario).
  5. Fish swimming around the FishIE Tank (what test is complete without FishIE).

Scenario #1: Power Consumption with Idle System

We’ll start by measuring Windows 7 Ultimate without any additional software installed or running. The power consumption for the system over the duration of the test can be seen below.

System Idle Power Consumption Chart

The vertical axis shows the Watts consumed for each individual PC component. As you can see each PC component consumes between 0.2 and 1.5 Watts. Over the course of this test the average power consumption for each component was System (10.529), CPU (0.042), Memory (0.257), Uncore (1.123), GPU+GMCH (1.359), Disk (1.120), and LAN (0.024).

Scenario #2: Power Consumption with about:blank

To gauge how much power the browser UI itself consumes, we next measure each browser navigated to about:blank. In this scenario the browsers are not executing any markup and are close to idle, however differences in power consumption begin to emerge. Each browser exhibits the following power consumption patterns:

Internet Explorer 9 - about:blank Power Consumption Chart

Chrome 10 - about:blank Power Consumption Chart

Firefox 4 - about:blank Power Consumption Chart

Operate 11 - about:blank Power Consumption Chart

Safari 5 - about:blank Power Consumption Chart

about:blank Total Power Consumption Chart

about:blank System Idle IE9 Chrome 10 Firefox 4 Opera 11 Safari 5
System 10.529 W 10.668 W 10.658 W 10.664 W 11.290 W 11.040 W
Battery Life 5:19 hrs 5:14 hrs 5:15 hrs 5:15 hrs 4:57 hrs 5:04 hrs

With this scenario most browsers are close to the system idle power usage, meaning they have little impact on power consumption. The exception is Opera 11 which is consuming about 5% more power than other browsers when idle.

One reason for this is that Opera changes the system timer resolution from the default 15.6ms to 2.5ms which prevents the CPU from entering low power states.

From Timers, Timer Resolution, and Development of Efficient Code June 16, 2010 Page 3:

The default timer resolution on Windows 7 is 15.6 milliseconds (ms). Some applications reduce this to 1 ms, which reduces the battery run time on mobile systems by as much as 25 percent.

Your choice in browser makes a difference even when the browser is idle and minimized.

Scenario #3: Power Consumption on News Site

To understand the power consumption when browsing between Web sites, we next measure each browser loading and viewing one of the world’s most popular news sites. To ensure consistent results the news site was cached on the network and each browser loaded an identical copy of the site. To provide more context on the power consumption patterns, we’ll walk through each browser individually.

Internet Explorer 9 - News Site Power Consumption Chart

You can see the average power consumption for Internet Explorer 9 follows a different pattern but does not consume significantly more power than the system idle scenarios. Internet Explorer 9’s power consumption for each component was System (11.728), CPU (0.041), Memory (0.273), Uncore (1.152), GPU+GMCH (1.391), Disk (1.198), and LAN (0.697).

Chrome 10 - News Site Power Consumption Chart

When we look at Chrome 10 a very different pattern emerges. Where Internet Explorer 9’s power consumption was relatively stable, you’ll notice that Chrome 10 power consumption is cyclical with regular power spikes that push GPU and Uncore power consumption to nearly 3 Watt’s for those components. Chrome 10’s power consumption for each component was System (13.561), CPU (0.198), Memory (0.300), Uncore (1.810), GPU+GMCH (2.027), Disk (1.311), and LAN (0.697).

Firefox 4 - News Site Power Consumption Chart

When we look at Firefox 4 we see a stable pattern consistent with Internet Explorer 9. One thing to note about power consumption is that low and steady consumption is more efficient than cyclical and high power spikes. Both Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9 do well against this objective. Firefox 4’s power consumption for each component was System (11.830), CPU (0.048), Memory (0.273), Uncore (1.170), GPU+GMCH (1.399), Disk (1.275), and LAN (0.697).

Opera 11 - News Site Power Consumption Chart

When we look at Opera 11 a cyclical consumption pattern is visible again. It’s that cyclical pattern that impacts the system power consumption over time. Opera 11’s power consumption for each component was System (12.833), CPU (0.108), Memory (0.283), Uncore (1.382), GPU+GMCH (1.637), Disk (1.283), and LAN (0.690).

Safari 5 - News Site Power Consumption Chart

Safari shows a stable pattern similar to Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4. Safari 4’s power consumption for each component was System (12.060), CPU (0.043), Memory (0.272), Uncore (1.122), GPU+GMCH (1.379), Disk (1.211), and LAN (0.690).

News Site Total Power Consumption Chart

News Site IE9 Chrome 10 Firefox 4 Opera 11 Safari 5
System 11.728 W 13.561 W 11.830 W 12.833 W 12.060 W
Battery Life 4:46 hrs 4:07 hrs 4:44 hrs 4:21 hrs 4:38 hrs

Scenario #4: Power Consumption on HTML5 Application, Galactic

The Web is rapidly moving to HTML5 and new capabilities including Audio, Video, Canvas, SVG, and CSS3 are enabling a new class of Web based experiences. HTML5 is the future and to understand the power consumption of HTML5 based scenarios, we next measure the Galactic from the IETestDrive Web site. The Galactic demo uses HTML5 capabilities, common Web patterns, an open source JavaScript framework, and NASA images to simulate the solar system. To ensure a fair test we use a locally cached copy of Galactic and rotate the solar system three times per second (that’s how fast Chrome 10, the slowest of the browsers, can rotate the solar system on this machine).

Internet Explorer 9 - Galactic Power Consumption Chart

Internet Explorer 9 exhibits again a fairly stable pattern with the GPU clearly being utilized. Internet Explorer 9’s power consumption for each component was System (14.345), CPU (0.462), Memory (0.527), Uncore (1.847), GPU+GMCH (2.170), Disk (1.169), and LAN (0.697).

Chrome 10 - Galactic Power Consumption Chart

Compare with Internet Explorer’s power consumption, Chrome 10 exhibits a very different pattern. The two camel hump CPU power consumption is paramount consuming over 5 Watt at its peaks. In addition the GPU and Uncore usage is also up to a Watt larger than in Internet Explorer. Both of these factor into the dramatic difference in overall average consumption of IE’s 14.345 and Chrome’s 19.283. Chrome 10’s power consumption for each component was System (19.283), CPU (2.980), Memory (0.493), Uncore (2.673), GPU+GMCH (2.905), Disk (1.274), and LAN (0.697).

Firefox 4 - Galactic Power Consumption Chart

Firefox 4’s power consumption for each component was System (16.708), CPU (1.188), Memory (0.784), Uncore (2.146), GPU+GMCH (2.550), Disk (1.335), and LAN (0.697).

Safari 5 - Galactic Power Consumption Chart

Safari 5’s power consumption is significantly higher than all of the other browsers. Specifically the CPU usage is even higher than Chrome 10. Safari 5’s power consumption for each component was System (24.321), CPU (6.597), Memory (0.477), Uncore (3.120), GPU+GMCH (3.280), Disk (1.155), and LAN (0.690).

We did not run Galactic on Opera since at this time it does not run on Opera, specifically, Galactic uses ECMAScript 5 properties API which Opera 11 does not support.

Galactic Total Power Consumption Chart

Galactic IE9 Chrome 10 Firefox 4 Opera 11 Safari 5
System 14.345 W 19.283 W 16.708 W n/a 24.321 W
Battery Life 3:54 hrs 2:54 hrs 3:21 hrs n/a 2:18 hrs

Scenario #5: Power Consumption on HTML5 Application, FishIE Tank

Finally, no Internet Explorer 9 discussion is complete without testing FishIE Tank, one of our favorite demos. To ensure a fair and equitable test on this hardware, we’re only running with 10 fish swimming around the screen. This allows every browser to be able to achieve 60 frames per second (FPS). In this scenario each browser must update the screen 60 times per second which is considered real time animation and something we believe is important to ensure HTML5 success.

In this scenario each browser’s power consumption looks dramatically different by comparison:

Fish IE9 Chrome 10 Firefox 4 Opera 11 Safari 5
System 22.738 W 32.812 W 23.195 W 31.941 W 29.021 W
Battery Life 2:27 hrs 1:42 hrs 2:24 hrs 1:45 hrs 1:55 hrs

Results of Power Consumption

For many customers, battery life is the most important gauge of power consumption. A typical laptop uses a 56 Watt hour battery, which means the laptop can consume 56 Watts worth of energy for one hour before running out. The fewer Watts the browser consumes the longer the laptop battery will last. Where’s how the battery life works out across these scenarios for a standard 56 Watt laptop.

Web Browser Impact on Battery Performance Chart

We are using an equal weighting for each scenario, meaning each would be run the same about of time. So the power consumption and battery life of a 56Wh battery is:

Scenario IE9 Chrome 10 Firefox 4 Opera 11 Safari 5
about:blank 10.044 W 7.821 W 9.570 W 7.704 W 8.087 W
News Site 11.042 W 9.951 W 10.617 W 8.757 W 8.835 W
Galactic 13.506 W 14.150 W 14.995 W 17.742 W 17.817 W
Fish 21.408 W 24.078 W 20.817 W 21.769 W 21.260 W
Battery Life 3:45 hrs 2:56 hrs 3:35 hrs 2:43 hrs 2:55 hrs

Power Consumption Matters

Browsers play a significant and important role in overall power consumption. The more efficiently a browser uses power the longer the battery will last in a mobile device, the lower the electricity costs, and the smaller the environment impact.

How a browser takes advantage of the underlying hardware makes a significant impact on power consumption not to mention performance and user experience. As computing becomes more mobile, and as the HTML5 based Web becomes pervasive it’s important that browsers make power consumption a focus. We hope and encourage the industry and other browser vendors to follow us on the path to a more power efficient Web.

Special thanks to the platform engineering teams at Intel Corporation who have worked closely with us to make power a priority throughout the Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9 releases, and for their assistance reviewing the results of our tests.

—Walter VonKoch, IE Performance Program Manager,
Matthew Robben, Windows Power Program Manager, and
Jason Weber, IE Performance Lead

Comments (146)
  1. Lucas says:

    I commend Microsoft's efforts to lower browser power consumption.  It's not just about improving battery life, but being kind to the environment. Great job!

    Other browser vendors should really take their performance in this area more seriously.

  2. Marty Alchin says:

    For the record, the fact that you're using bar charts that don't line up zero means that those charts are in fact very misleading. Because the power consumption charts start at 10 W, differences as little as 5% look like nearly 100% differences. Int the about:blank example alone, it's scaled to show opera consuming over 93% more power, while the raw data and even the accompanying text show that it only consumes a little over 5% more than IE9. In the battery life chart at the end, the origin is 2 hours, which makes a 38% increase in battery life look like closer to a 150% increase in battery life.

    Sure, you could make the argument that people should read the accompanying text and data, but the entire point of using charts and graphs is to provide the data in a consumable way that doesn't require the use of the accompanying text. Someone skimming this article and moving on to other things is likely to be completely misinformed by these charts. I'm not sure if it's just a simple oversight, an attempt at making them more "interesting" or deliberate misinformation, but it makes me severely distrust the quality of the rest of the experiment over all. Poor form, Microsoft. Poor form.

  3. Björn says:

    Interesting, I wonder what programming approach leads to a cyclical versus steady pattern in power consumption.

    Also, I would have never expected Firefox 4 to be that good with all its abstraction layers and subsystems and not the sometimes enormous memory usage.

    Too bad this test wasn't done by a neutral party, could have done the tests also on other operating systems, would have been interesting to see these numbers on OS X and Linux.

  4. Björn says:

    Oh, nice to finally see PNGs instead of JPG images but graphs in SVG would have been even better. 😉

  5. CvP says:

    thanks for this informative post!

  6. hAl says:

    @Marty Alchin

    you complain about the linging up of the bar charts.

    However the bar charts line up with 10 W which is almost equal to the idle power usage.

    So the bar charts very indicative for the extra powoerusage related to the browserinstance.

    Which is exactly what you would want to know.

    So your critisism seems premature. The bar charts are actually very helpfull in interpreting the effect of the different browsers.

  7. meni says:

    Sorry for putting this here, as the relevant post (about SVG open 2011) is apparently closed for comments. BTW, this seems a nice post :-).

    Klimax, I wanted to apologize to you and Microsoft about some remarks I made about Microsoft trying to hinder some open standards such as TCP/IP, HTML, and JavaScript. Taking TCP/IP as an example, after doing some long reading, i admit indeed MS didn't do anything to hinder it. What i did get out of this history lesson, is that Microsoft simply ignored TCP/IP at the beginning. WinSock (sockets API for Windows) for example was started by some Unix guys! Only later did Microsoft take over and put it in the Windows API.

    Let my revise my post. Microsoft didn't care much about these open standards, TCP/IP. HTML, JavaScript, SVG, HTML5, and most other open standards until they became big. Most of these standards have deep Unix roots. (e.g. did you know that HTML's H1-H6 reflect the man page format?)

    Which leads me to my insight of the day: Microsoft was dragged into HTML5, as opposed to Google and virtually everyone else that led the way to it. In my opinion, had IE not bled market share, you would not see Microsoft supporting SVG and friends. They would still be promoting Silverlight as a flash killer.

  8. Marty Alchin says:

    hAl: I did consider the System Idle point, but I left it out because the study itself left that out as well. The accompanying text of the idle text, for instance, cites a 5% increase in consumption for Opera, so I took that to mean the chart should be referencing the same numbers. Interestingly, if System Idle is taken out as you suggest, Opera 11 consumes a whopping 447% more power than IE9! Showing numbers relative to System Idle with the chart origin at 0 would've been a very dramatic way to demonstrate the relative differences in the browsers. For whatever reason, the study leaves that as an exercise to the reader, which is certainly a shame.

    As for "what you would want to know", I'm more interested in "what they're trying to say" and making sure they say it accurately. As I noted in the previous paragraph here, had they intended to show the data you mentioned, they still would've had to adjust the chart to make it accurate, and it would've been far more compelling.

    However, neither of these points excuses the battery life chart at the end of the article. They made no attempt to chart (or even enumerate) the battery life in a System Idle state, so it's an even more difficult exercise to piece together the numbers and figure out how much of that battery life is actually used by the browser in each case. If you're right that the key takeaway is browser impact on battery life (which, indeed, is what much of the article suggests), the lack of System Idle as a baseline is also pretty disappointing.

    That said, I applaud Microsoft for undertaking the tests at work here, and they seem to have done a great job at instrumenting the systems under test and taking into account the appropriate variables. Unfortunately, the presentation of results fails to take these things into account (to Microsoft's own detriment) and misleads readers in the results that are shown.

    What I'd like to see is those charts remade by removing System Idle power consumption from the data before charting the results. That would show the impact of *just the browser* under test, rather than the entire system plus the browser, which is currently shown. It would be more appropriate to the content in the remainder of the article, it'd be easier to get it accurate, and the results would be much more impressive in Microsoft's favor. I'm not necessarily trying to champion Microsoft here, but when there's a compelling story in the data that the graphics don't adequately (or even accurately) illustrate, I see vast room for improvement.

  9. Prior Semblance says:

    This is pretty interesting, though I would have liked to see a comparison to IE8 as well to see how much of an improvement has been made.

  10. @Marty Alchin says:

    you mind me of "haters gonna hate."

  11. typo says:


  12. hAl says:

    @Marty Alchoin

    The idle system power baseline is, as the article shows in the beginning, 5.19 hour at 10.529 W (totalling 56W).

  13. Jon says:

    Hmm, interesting article, though it makes me more impressed with FF4 than IE9. You guys at MS have virtually unlimited resources, plus direct access to the guys who wrote the OS, yet Mozilla managed to virtually equal your power performance, while still implementing way more features from CSS3, WebGl, etc. Kudos to the  Mozilla engineers!

  14. Jon says:

    That's kind of irrelevant. No, really, do you think that IE9 uses undocumented, unsupported kernel calls?

  15. Joey says:

    It would have been interesting to see IE8 to see how much energy has been waisted by microsoft during the many years where no improvements have been done.

    Also, running Windows on a Mac reduces significantly its battery life.

    That's why i think for a few years that Microsoft is bad for the environment. If there are 2 billions PC running windows, waisting 20-25% more energy than another OS, its up to half a billion PCs running for nothing but executing poor code.

    So ok, maybe you want to do something about that now but please, be humble, work hard, don't show biased benchmarks and charts, finish to implement HTML 5 and… Maybe stop supporting Flash ?

    I hate the tone of this post, but well, if you start a new kind of benchmark based on energy consumption (of real life cases, not FishIE-likes) that could be a good thing.

  16. Mark says:

    Man, I would hate to have to write for this blog.  Do you guys just sit around waiting to post negative comments?  meni actually went as far to concoct a whole intro to his ludicrous rant.  meni, who cares? You think your comment is going to persuade people not to use IE because of your interpretation of Microsoft's intentions? … so frustrating to see this.  I almost hate reading microsoft blogs, because I hate to be surrounded by the congregation of haters they attract.  why don't you guys go find a cave to crawl into and continue your non-sense there.

  17. cool_scientist_273 says:

    @Jon………  Mozilla gets boatloads of money from google (100 million $) for default homepage, and have people around the globe doing free work for them. And as stated many times its really foolish to support standards that are in flux. (IE implementing a std would mean that would become default) , By the way,Microsoft , u are being overtly fair to browser makers. Using joulemeter from microsoft-research and running 50 fish , i get 68% for firefox, 53% for chrome and really despicble Opera and  Safari performances.(with ie's battery life as 100% reference—2.25 hrs Hp G60)

  18. Jawed says:

    @Björn: We're blessed 🙂 In the past we've had PNGs with JPEG artifacts!

  19. @Joey says:

    Does Mac work on all types of PC hardware? NO! Mac is like console..highly optimized on a selective hardware.

    On the other hand Windows work on EVERYTHING. If MS goes Mac's way (only run on selective hardware) will be the first one to complain MS is bullying (read antitrust). so yeah, keep yappin'.

    biased charts…well said. MS loves Firefox so much..

    implement html 5..yeah, implement something that is not complete yet and retards like you will blame MS after one year.

    stop supporting flash..trololol?

    you say you hate the tone of this blog post but you sound more like a "blind MS hater"…

  20. Andrew says:

    "biased charts…well said. MS loves Firefox so much.."

    Yes, as far as MS is concerned Chrome is the big enemy, not Firefox.

  21. Patrik says:

    The final total table is strange, specifically the values under 10 W of Chrome in first two tests  and measurement of Opera 11 on Galactic. Are only these numbers wrong or is the battery life also wrong?

  22. Henri Sivonen says:

    Did the news site test include Flash-based ads? It would be interesting to see numbers for a news site that has Flash-based ads with Flash enabled in all tested browsers and Flash disabled in all tested browsers.

  23. Patrick Jefferson says:

    Multiple platform support with much better Windows support than Microsoft offers and the result is that Firefox is for practical purposes equivalent to the narrowly focused IE9 in power usage. Now that's some impressive engineering and industry leadership from Mozilla.

  24. Kirill says:

    Interesting. Looks like Firefox will become my second favorite browser in disfavor of Chrome. With IE being my favorite still.

  25. to kirill says:

    I hope it is only a bad joke about IE as your favorit browser

  26. alvatrus says:

    Silly question, I know…

    But did you also take into account the display / monitor of the system(s)? It's an essential part of the browsing activities.

    What would a typical display consume in power, and how does that compare to the 10W difference in power by choosing one browser over another?

    Great post, BTW. <humour> Shows that there is a lot more about browsers than just painting the pretty pictures. </humour>

  27. Bas says:

    Where does Opera's Galactic score come from in the results table?

    Some reverse engineering reveals that the totals are weighted to sum to 56W (ok, but I think it's weird to put those in a table like that), and Opera's Galactic score was guessed to be 26.000 W (higher than the rest). Why?

  28. Joey says:

    "Does Mac work on all types of PC hardware? NO! Mac is like console..highly optimized on a selective hardware."

    eeeer…. no, not at all. anyway.

    "implement html 5..yeah, implement something that is not complete yet and retards like you will blame MS after one year."

    do you have any idea of what you're talking about ?

    anyway if it's easier for you, we can talk about CSS and browser vendors prefixes.

    for a very long time, IE didn't have border-radius. On MSDN, you could have an advice on how to implement rounded corners, using four images and a bunch of divs. This was just crazy and inefficient.

    Now we have CSS animations that are a nice way to make things without having to load any javascript. And CSS gradients.

    But not in IE.

    Not to mention IE on W7 mobile that is still a mix of IE7 and IE8. I like W7 on mobile phones, it has a great interface, a great look, but the browser ?

    Come on, that was one of the worst news of the year for developers. On the iPhone and Android phones, you have nice browsers that support shadows, borders, gradients, animations, HTML5 video etc… from the very start.

    When you were developing a mobile site, you were sure to target only modern browsers and that was so great. The heaven of web developement, sort of !

    Then MS entered the game and ruined it all with a crappy browser, using outdated technologies, no hardware acceleration, forcing to transfer many pictures for the same visual result that other browsers can render.

    @mark : "Do you guys just sit around waiting to post negative comments?"

    nope, i came here from a tweet

    "You think your comment is going to persuade people not to use IE because of your interpretation of Microsoft's intentions?"

    No. But you think we'll trust that green washing post, think that these few tests reflect the reality and forget everything else ?

    See, this post could have been about how IE9 is better than IE8. But no, it's about other browser vendors, how IE9 is superior, with

    "Common Scenarios :


    Running the HTML5 Galactic experience (representative of graphical HTML5 scenario).

    Fish swimming around the FishIE Tank (what test is complete without FishIE)."

    These are not common scenarios at all. These are pages that have been tailor-made for IE9.

    Still, I think IE9 is a huge improvement over IE8, it's a nice move and all, but it's too late to claim any form of overall leadership.


  29. Aethec says:

    @Joey: If you want CSS gradients that much, use -ms-filter (or filter on IE7 and lower). It was there before all other browsers….and please don't tell me "prefixes are bad" because you have to use -moz- and -webkit- prefixes to use gradients anyway.

  30. Daniel says:

    It is sad that more than 50% of the comments are from haters that add no value at all….


    Do you guys have any KB about developing for lower energy consuption?

  31. k3n says:

    And for this week's installment of "crap MS trumps up to try to make it appear superior to other browsers"…..

  32. @ to kirill !!! OFF TOPIC !!! says:

    Yes, actually I like IE9 best.

    Why? Because all IE installations work about the same. No funny customisations, no confusing UI, straightforward in use and during support call for my family. It's the ideal "point and browse" brower.

    IE9 may not be the most feature rich in that respect, but it is good enough for me. I can read the web-pages. Features for the sake of features only confuse the matter and takes away from viewing the internet. Good consistent and reproducible human interfaces are usually much underappreaciated for the want of *more* (of anything)

    I'm sure a lot of non-technical folk (and IT support folk) will feel the same.

  33. Josh says:

    Very interesting and great to see improvement in IE9 here. Wondering about the news sites you tested: although you cached the files locally I wonder if any of them are doing browser sniffing in their code and not updated for IE? So either they are running more or less code for IE if that is the case meaning your results could be better or worse when all things are really equal… just speculating. What about measuring power on the acid3 test or something else where we know there isn't browser sniffing going on?

  34. werwolf says:

    are you all pade by MS for these comments? You cannot really be that stupid!

  35. Jeffrey Gilbert says:

    I can't tell you how happy i am that someone finally dispelled the myth that no one would run the fish tank demo for over 2 hours.

  36. Jacob says:

    It's not right to use the FishIE demo as a baseline tool since that app was written by and (therefore) optimized for MSFT.

  37. Jacob says:

    Also, please identify the news site used as a baseline.

  38. tuxplorer says:

    IE9 leads in memory consumption as well. I keep getting this error message:…/iememory.png and tabs I close sometimes automatically open in a new window once or twice.

  39. Michael Taylor says:

    Honestly I don't think this proves anything useful.  You could have brought up a blank page and still conveyed the same information.  Sites these days are using JavaScript, Flash and lots of DHTML (AJAX anybody).  This stuff consumes a lot of power.  I honestly can't go to a few sites with IE9 because it tanks the CPU for minutes.  100% CPU != low power consumption.  What you really need to do is run your tests against real websites that people actually visit rather than contrived sites.  Try testing against Yahoo, MSN, Youtube and others and then share how well IE9 compares to the other browsers.  One can argue that plugins (like Flash) shouldn't be counted against the browser but the reality is that plugins are part of the browser even if MS didn't write the code.  So if a plugin tanks so does IE and Flash runs horribly slow in IE 9.

  40. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    This test result

    seems to be irrelevant because it fails to highlight the power used for one cycle of page loading. This is the important figure that is missing.

    For example, although Chrome is using more power, it might (and it appears in the graphs) be getting more done in the time. In the case of the news site load, it achieves more cycles in the timeframe given which means the area under the curve for the single page load (which is what an end user does) could actually be less.  Until you publish the total cycles achieved by each browser during the 7 minutes, we can't work out which browser is more efficient on a per-operation basis.


  41. emadsen says:

    @ werwolf

    "Werwolf" and "pade" – and you call others stupid?

  42. Mark Aggar says:

    @ Daniel – check out for guidance on developing apps that work well with power management.

  43. Nerd says:

    Lucas: "It's not just about improving battery life, but being kind to the environment."….

    What an ignorant, useless illiterate comment. In any kind of electronics, power is everything

  44. Kaz says:

    I don't believe this. IE is a bloated pile of crap.  I can start and quit Chrome or Firefox five times over again in the time that IE starts up just once. Every operation is slow and painful in IE.

    IE does not run on any power-efficient operating systems.

    IE does not have useful extensions like AdBlock to prevent it from fetching unwanted objects in web pages.

    Take IE and shove it. Sideways.

  45. Rune says:

    But IE gains form its tight integration with the OS, I suppose.  Can such tests ever be fair?

  46. John Doe says:

    Well Done, Microsoft !!!

    Now – you guys need to port IE9 to other Operating Systems so that they all can benefit from it.

    Oh wait.. what — it's THEM who needs to move to your OS ?

    Heh heh good one – I see what you did there !!

  47. Andrew Fidel says:

    It would be interesting to compare the power consumption of Chrome and Firefox with AdBlock+flashblock to IE9 on real sites since there is no free adblock or flashblock client for IE but they are commonly used with those browsers. The biggest speedup I saw with Chrome from upgrading versions had nothing to do with new javascript engines or any other tweeks to the layout engine, but rather when they switched the addon framework to allow adblock and flashblock to properly filter out the vast majority of the power sucking javascript and flash heavy ads on the web.

  48. Truth in charts says:

    @Marty I was going to point out the exact same thing. Choosing 10 watts as a starting point for the bars is very misleading. Thanks for addressing that, and I agree with your other points–subtracting the idle time from the bars would make a much more compelling argument.

    @hAl Yes, the idle battery life is written in the article, but Marty's point is that it should have been included for comparison in the battery-life charts. For example, if running a browser at full load only reduces system battery life by 30 minutes for one browser and 3 hours for another, that is a useful comparison to make.

    I question the weighting scheme used, as it heavily biases the results toward the browsers that complete the graphics-intensive pages efficiently. I would be much more convinced using an "average user's" web browsing, which is going to be dominated by news sites and facebook, not glittery fish.

    Also, what about these browsers on a different architecture, like a mobile OS? The way that they are compiled for Windows 7 might play a large role, and PC power consumption figures are certainly not indicative of mobile performance.

  49. blech says:

    I have used all of them and still prefer Opera. As others have noted, IE is just slow.

  50. Truth in charts says:

    Another important factor is page render speed. If a browser uses 1 watt, but takes 10 seconds to load a page, then its power consumption is identical to using 10 watts to load the same page in 1 second.

  51. linuxguy says:

    Page loads are somewhat irrelevant as the measured times are long enough all browsers should have finished the page load. It seems FireFox held its own, not surprisingly. Chrome fails likely because Google is harvesting data in the background. Not sure what operas problem is. I will be sticking with FireFox on the rare occasions I run Windows. More features, and yes I do use them.

  52. to kirill says:

    WIth that mindset, you shouln't install any OS newer than win2000, if what you just want is the basic internet experience, that provides the basic infrastructure and capabilities for its viewing. Your point makes no sense at all. You don't choose A over B because A has *fewer* features.

    On topic, IE is still slow and bloat-prone. Chrome and Firefox have rightfully taken it's marketshare, since they provide better, faster, more customizable experiences. I, for one, will not switch back.

  53. Daniel Einspanjer says:

    Thanks guys, this was a fun read.  I would love to see a follow-up that went into some of the improvements that resulted in your low and stable power consumption.  Putting an article out like this is a statement that you want to reduce consumption, and a big way to do that is to help others by giving concrete examples of how you did it.

    p.s. Thanks for the cake, I didn't get a slice but I heard it was delicious.

    Daniel Einspanjer

    Mozilla Metrics

  54. Anon says:


    That is what I thought – IE benefits greatly from integration with the OS (which is not a bad thing but it leads to misleading results) since if it bypasses or uses special API it might not need to go through the same process to access the kernel which will normally be guarded by the OS to prevent unauthorized access to the kernel. This guarding will add extra steps, extra code execution and extra power consumption.

    Now if I am wrong, then kudos for the IE team, if not then results are bias.

  55. mark says:

    we at starbucks only recommend starbucks :-/

  56. Allison says:

    Misses a MAJOR power consideration:

    Which browser/OS combination uses the least power?  I'm guessing Windows/IE would come in second or third.

  57. Phillip says:

    well this is an intersting article to read if highly biased and with bad maths. doing some quick maths they have clearly not weighted each test the same to get there battery life results to favor IE.

    now i have no problem in promoting your own product but this is just rude. ie averages at 14 watts through the 4 tests that results are given (presuming the results are accurate. resulting in 4 hours battery life give all are run for the same amout of time on a 56 watt hour battery. (so they even got there own number wrong) and firefox averages at 13.99 watts giving even more batterly life, please check your maths next time.

  58. The Real Reason says:

    The real reason the IE team must be looking at power consumption right now is you're now trying to wedge IE9 into windows mobile 7 and verify its not a power draining hog. This is good engineering and I'd love to see a an excellent mobile browser coming out of Microsoft, however, why do you have to always waste time like this and spin it to 'Were superior the other guys browser" than put the real emphasis where it belongs: "We're engineering the next Windows Mobile 7 browser to have excellent browser battery life". Stop bragging about imperceptible (and fleeting) differences in speed/power between all the modern very fast & lightweight browsers, and start fixing what people really do notice like a very crappy mobile browser experience. Must be an imbalance of too many 'evangelists' up there to make umpteen 'spin demos' on the IE html5 site and not enough real engineering going on. Why doesn't windows phone 7 have a modern browser? Why can't Outlook render HTML better than IE4? (It can't do DIVs!) Why does Windows 7 instant search not search my whole HDD when my Mac has done that for years?? You've gained a slight lead in one small area according to yourselves, now lets fix all this other inferior stuff. You don't have the time nor the credibility right now to brag, are you so delusional to think the competition is behind you?

  59. Marcel says:

    I just wish Microsoft wouldn't devalue their fantastic effort on IE9 with such propaganda pieces.

    I think it does such a disservice to IE9 to produce such silly biased and misleading graphs time and time again when surely just celebrating the comparison of IE9 to IE8 is enough to show people just how far you have come!!

    I just HATE that I can't get IE9 at work as we will be on XP for the next ten years!

    I would suggest that you don't be so desperate to climb up out of third place in benchmarks that you make yourselves look dishonest by producing your own biased ones. Your browser is currently third best, that's nothing to be ashamed of at all considering IE7 & IE8 were last in the field , look at it as a challenge to improve for IE10 rather than a reason to lie.

    Anyway BIG CONGRATULATION to the DEV TEAM on such great improvements!!

    PS. Screw you in the media team for devaluing their efforts by producing such rubbish.

  60. Help says:

    IE9 RTM doesn't ship with local CHM help? F1 opens a useless help window that says: "The topic you are looking for is not available in this version of Windows. For more information, try searching on;

  61. Marc says:

    Wake me up when you actually run Safari on OS X.

  62. tuxplorer says:

    IE team, do you not feel responsible to document on MSDN what IE9 removes or no longer supports that IE8 does? Take a look at Office 2010 documentation. They do a fantastic job of documenting what's no longer supported or gone from small UI features to larger design changes.

  63. Alfie says:

    Interesting article. It was also be interesting to see the same done but for web servers i.e. Linux vs Windows vs BSD

  64. cmdr_tofu says:

    Let's see IE9 running on an Intel Atom CPU compared to Firefox/Chromium running on Linux on an ARM processor.  You will see significant differences I assure you.

  65. brian says:

    This is interesting, although a much better comparison would be the amount of system resources, not power. No, power is not an important consideration in browser choice. Being able to display the page properly trumps power any day.

    However, were those statistics measuring amount of resources used – CPU in %, HDD in iops, GPU in flops, etc, that would be a chart worth reading.

    What's baffling to me, however, is that M$ has time to construct this ridiculous chart measuring power consumption in WATTS of a GPU while visiting different IE-friendly pages while still being unable to create a product that can view the rest of the web correctly. It's so broken, in fact, that we have to break our code and use invalid syntax (in non-ie browsers) so we can say <!– IF IE.

  66. mh says:

    Internet Explorer possibly has modules in use that are already in use by the OS or the explorer.exe process. Other browsers don't have this advantage. It's nice though to see that IE is doing well in this regard. It may still be a burdened browser name, but under the hood it appears to hold its ground nicely.

  67. fm says:

    Sorry but with the conflict of interest and IE9 clearly performing the best, I just can't believe the results. Next time get an independent third party if you want us to believe the results.

  68. mojosam says:

    I wish someone on the Microsoft team would clarify how the test shown in Scenario #2, for instance, was conducted. The graph for each browser shows about 6:45 minutes of time; how many times was each browser directed to display about:blank? Was about:blank displayed repeatedly and continuously throughout the test, with no gaps? If so, doesn't that mean that faster browsers would display about:blank more times in the 6:45 minute period shown? Or was about:blank displayed at specific intervals; if so, what were those intervals?

    In addition, how often was power on the various components sampled? Looking at the points on each graph joined by straight-line segments, it appears that power was only being sampled once every 5 seconds, which leads to the peculiar triangle waveforms for, for instance, CPU power consumption for Opera. Are these points displayed every 5 seconds instantaneous power measurements or an actual average; if the latter, how many samples were used in each 5 second average?

    Finally, the statement "the quicker a browser can perform an action the less power the browser will consume" is not universally true; power consumption and speed do not have a linear relationship and the power-saving features of modern processors make this relationship even trickier. A browser might gain a performance boost by offloading certain tasks to a GPU, but the total power consumption for the GPU to complete the tasks might be higher than that of the processor. A browser might be architected to improve performance by taking advantage of multiple cores, but a browser that operates on a single core may use less power for the same task because the other cores can remain idle. A browser might be architected to allow a core to spend more time in idle during I/O-bound tasks, reducing power consumption, but at the cost of a performance hit.

  69. hAl says:

    For those interested in the powerconsumption of Windows 7 here is a comparison with Ubuntu 10.04

    Measured powerconsumption of Ubuntu 10.04 is higher than Windows 7 on the same hardware.

  70. MrBlueCheese says:

    @ fm I can see your point, but with such "big claims" i can bet that some independent reviews are going to be made.

    Also, i wouldn't totally dismiss their claims, yet i won't fully trust them until an independent tests them.

    How i would approach it is this "MICROSOFT claims that their browser is the best in terms of power consumption, and here's THEIR proof."

    @ Everyone who cares to read this next bit

    I think a majority of the people who either claim for or against IE (Microsoft) are pretty loyal to their own browser's performance.

    However, i bet there are a large portion of you who have multiple browsers installed on their computer.

    With that saying, people have individual "tastes" For one reason or another, they like a certain browser.

    Certainly, resorting to name calling and other "childish" acts are not the way to go.

    Some people need "hardware accelerated browser" while others prefer the customizablitiy of Firefox, while some like the pure simplistic, yet fast browser of Chrome.

    Its really about what best suits your individual needs.

    I bet we could go through a list of each browser's strengths and weaknesses, but it won't solve anything.

    What we should learn from this data is that each developer has to take all of these things into consideration before executing a final product.

    What we should do is have a powerful browser, that not only can do everything we want in a browser, but have a light footprint.

    It might be that Microsoft stepped up their game. The question is, are other developers are going to follow suit?

  71. CvP says:

    It's really funny to see anti-MS horde getting butt hurt and spamming their stupidity in here…

    @hAI thanks for the link

  72. FJ says:

    What's with all the Microsoft fanboys here who can't accept that a large multinational might skew results slightly in their favour simply as a matter of course. While this might be hard for some to accept, it's the nature of the world we live in. What on earth are you expecting from a corporate blog.

    And what about the HTML5 bashing? The problem is that IE9 doesn't support ENOUGH of HTML5, not that HTML5 is unfinished and therefore Microsoft's implementation should be. This illustrates the futility of a power consumption test comparing pieces of software that do a DIFFERENT JOB, and on ONLY ONE PLATFORM.


    "(IE implementing a std would mean that would become default)"

    Wait, what? Is that not totally contradictory to the rest of your rant?

  73. guess what says:

    it doesnt matter!!!

  74. Exactly says:

    Who cares about it – you could do much better job enabling the features that all other browsers support like CSS2 text-shadow that is supported since 2003!!! 9 editions of IE and still no support for something this basic.

  75. IE9 says:

    IE9 is a new IE6 of new generation browsers the only difference is that the 6 is upside down… Whatever you may boast about IE9 it is still pretty much crap! Why dont you just give up and let others do the proper browsers?!? Or just scrap it and write it from scratch….

  76. ssam says:

    it would also be interesting to see if having an animated tab in the background. for example the ticker at the top of BBC news seems to take up CPU even when the tab is not visible.

  77. Loweded Wookie says:

    Now, could we see how Safari performs on a Mac?

    It's not that I'm complaining about this test, I really want IE9 to do well because then we can get rid of the crap sites developed for old pathetic versions of IE but Safari on Windows is a poor shell of it's capabilities on Mac OS X.

    Power consumption on Mac OS X should be better because of the better technologies that Safari can leverage.

  78. hmm says:

    I am getting tired of reading the same stupidity over and over again from infantile people on every single post in this blog. IE Team, please make registration compulsory for leaving comments!

  79. Ted says:

    Good job MS! Power consumption was not something I had factored in when I was thinking about web browsers, but I'm glad you guys took it into consideration. IE9 doesn't work for me, but for many people upgrading to Win7, I'm happy they're going to get significant battery life improvements.

    I'm glad to see Firefox 4 fared well in this benchmark too, and can only hope Chrome manages to fix these issues. It may be due to its unusual, multi-process architecture and constant killing and spawning of processes, but I'm not completely sure what your news site test involved.

  80. Rusul says:

    Maybe IE9 has lower power consumption compared to other browsers…


    IE9 takes longer to open and render pages


    IE9 is slower and has higher power and time consumption.

  81. NewIrishArt says:

    Congratulations to MS for raising the whole power consumption issue. The 'carbon footprint' of today's billions of web surfers should come under the microscope and a set of reasonable benchmarks should be agreed to give an accurate, real world reflection of the potential for waste.

    I would like to see the issue handled from the perspective of the content, methods used on web pages and background apps and how that impacts power consumption.

    It might be fair to expect that flash advertisements and dancing animations would 'eat-up' cpu and waste power so that the comparison of browser brands becomes irrelevant.

    This is a much bigger issue than a simple browser war (or after-war), it should become as critical competitive benchmarking to win deals or 'pissing competitions', as we used to affectionately call them when I worked at it in San Jose [1996/97]. Maybe it deserves the name 'The Green Benchmark'.

    Leadership is something that considers this stuff, not the constant regurgitation and re-examination of old stuff, its time to move on, where are the technical leaders now?

  82. Simon says:

    Interesting, but both firefox and IE9 has hardware acceleration on by default and chrome does not. I wonder what would happend if you reran the tests with hardware acceleration turned on (about:flags in chrome).

  83. Tony says:

    Your reference hardware is old. The representation of your findings in chart form are inaccurate. You have also used Microsoft benchmarks to create your biased data.

    IE9 is not available on any machine running Windows XP (Most Netbooks where power consumption is important) So the people who would benefit the most, even if your data was validate-able – do not.

    You make no reference as to whether 32 bit or 64 bit Windows 7 was used.

    So to sum up : I find it easy to believe that every web browser available uses more power than Internet Explorer and that is because every single one is more feature packed, supports more standards, renders faster and is more secure than IE.

    Of course Internet Explorer uses less power than other browsers but by such a tiny amount and that is because IE ignores what it can't do and is consistently slow at doing very little. There is no prize for power consumption when the utilization of the power the program does consume is inefficient and inferior to it's competitors.

    It is also highly likely that IE9 looses the benchmark game at power consumption at start up and when opening new tabs and windows. Something the other browser makers have focused on.

  84. Peter says:

    Three comments:

    1) I agree that the bar charts should start at zero. I also misunderstood the results on first skim. The difference is definitely there, but in most cases, it is not huge.

    2) I would rather see more about the methodology. In many ways, the key question to me isn't total number of watts, but computes per joule. I can make any of the browsers use less power by giving them less CPU time.

    3) I think the practical issue is that *any* browser I've used, Firefox, IE, or Chrome, eventually begins sucking up near-infinite CPU. I don't know why. Firefox does the fastest (indeed, it is why I switched away from it). At that point, my laptop gets hot. Not doing that is a lot more important than to power consumption than the kinds of 20-30% gains. If my browser had an option to limit non-active tabs to 1% CPU each, or to simply suspend them (preferably with an exception for gmail), I'd be a lot happier and a lot more power-friendly.

  85. Tommy says:

    Shouldn't that be "Wh" instead of "W" in the last table?

  86. Engin says:

    I think Steve Jobs should ban Safari from all Apple mobile products because of the power consumption…

  87. hAl says:


    Text shadow was removed from CSS2 when version CSS2.1 was released. It is now part of CSS3 which no browser implements fully.  It is actually part of the CSS3 Text  Level 3 spec which no browser implements fully…/WD-css3-text-20110215

    For instance IE9 from that same CSS3 Text evel 3 specification supports the properties text-align-last, text-justify, text-overflow en word-break which most browsers do not support.

  88. Dao says:

    You should try that again with a GPU that doesn't run all the time. This should give Chrome/Opera/Safari a boost. As tested, IE and Firefox get Direct2D for free, which doesn't quite reflect reality.

  89. Ryan V says:

    Given that the actual difference is very small, and the battery life differences listed in the last graph are likely completely wrong, especially given the type of browsing habits people have, I'll go ahead and stick with the browser that I prefer.  (Chrome) 😉

  90. Dominic says:

    As Win7 does not represent the largest OS share, this only actually reflects the minority of computers.

  91. Who will trust a microsoft benchmark ? says:

    This is a joke.

  92. Greg says:

    Interesting tests. I'd like to see how WebPositive would perform on the lightweight operating system Haiku (

    CNet has an article where IE9 and Firefox perform well in these tests as well.

  93. @Ryan says:

    Repeatedly stressing that you are using (or are going to stick to) a particular browser, makes you look like someone having inferiority complex (about using that browser).

  94. alvatrus says:

    Can someone give a rough estimation of the power consumpion of the display? Either the laptop screen or a common TFT monitor?

    Because my hunch is that the power losses in the power supply of any system will exceed the differences that this test measures. Which means it's a moot point. Interesting to discuss perhaps, but still moot.

  95. Scott says:

    If we are talking about mobile devices, why not compare mobile browsers on mobile hardware?  MS + Intel is hardly leading the mobile industry.  Show us some numbers on ARM devices.  Where is IE9 on ARM?

  96. lolfail says:

    unless i am mistaken, given that the ie9 developer had this as a feature compared with firefox who is only trying to build a better browser the results are rather pathetic.

    also we have to take into account that this is no an independent test.

  97. krpalospo says:

    @Lucas ONLY MICROSOFT ….. ??????

    did you see the results of  Firefox ????…….

    It had to be an investigation  supported by microsoft

    only look  the blog's domain is as absurd as a campaign

    against snuff sponsored by Marlboro

  98. krpalospo says:

    Where the benchmarks in others OS ahhhhhh really IE don't work in others OS ;P

  99. hAl says:


    "Where is IE9 on ARM?"

    Here it is:

  100. noone says:

    What a piece of marketing crap this article is.

    I can't believe there is actually so many people who are so dumb they can't recognize marketing article from actual research.

  101. @noone says:

    I believe these results .IE9 and firefox use GPU off loading and would tend to consume less power.

    Did you ecen bother to read the article?

  102. Balls says:

    Maybe if IE9 used more power they could compete with the rendering performance of Chrome….

  103. power (consumption) user says:

    You're not only producing trash (in terms expense/usefulness) software in general, and are not only underestimating people's intelligence with imposing your "American 'culture'" through it and "localization", but are also real aware how stupid Microsoft users are, since most of them will not realize this marketing fraud. You're pathetic (also rich, but that doesn't change the point). This has been written in Chrome.

  104. Chris Friesen says:

    I agree with the earlier comment about the bar graphs…they should all start at zero to make comparisons more fair.  As it stands, it's a pretty transparent ploy to try to emphasize any differences.

  105. Xeridea says:


    "The bar charts are actually very helpfull in interpreting the effect of the different browsers."

    Interesting choice of words their, look at battery life, IE9 is made to look like more than twice as good, but in reality it is only ~35-40%.  "Helpful" or not, every "study" MS has every done has intentionally extremely skewed results and display.  When looking @ any hardware review, they list total system consumption, not the skewed version to show one thing looking like it barely uses anything and something else to look like it would stress the local power grid.  I don't trust this at all, I wouldn't be surprised if other browsers actually do better in many cases.  You can't ignore idle power, because, believe it or not, it is there.

    Oh and BY THE WAY this "new site" test (fine print, some site we cooked up  to show best case for IE9 results), isn't fooling me.  They actually make an ok browser (not that I am ever going to switch), after making 8 trash browsers, that actually does ok at rendering pages (though not the best, and their "tests" on that are also extremely skewed), and they gotta lie about it just like they do with every single "test" or "benchmark" or "comparison" they do.  How many other "tests" have you seen with wording similar to "new site" (replace with whatever fits the context)?

  106. Xeridea says:

    There are other companies that are rich, but don't produce trash, show tailored, misrepresented tests, copy things that have already been done by everyone else, far later, and tout them as awesome, lie about copying other peoples works (Bing), be hypocritical (shun piracy, but copy Google with Bing), or do any other number of shady practices.  They you know, make good products, and use this to become popular.  Look at the Google story, they had an awesome search engine set up, that wasn't bloated with crap, and the world flocked to them.  The only reason IE has high market share is because it is the only browser that comes with windows (except in countries that believe this is evil), and the general public is misinformed and just use whatever crap comes on the computer.   IE has been loosing market share for several years as people realize IE is crap.

    I can commend MS for actually making an OK browser, but they, as usual, fill their marketing with trash and lies.  I like Win7, I feel MS finally made a worthy successor to XP (which wasn't terrible, just outdated now).  It is sad that MS can't just tell things how they are to promote their inferior products.  FF and Chrome have continuously growing market-share, and they don't constantly spread lies.

  107. lol says:

    lol @ all these butt hurt chrome fanboys. Help yourself with this:…/Butthurt-ad-de1.jpg

  108. Kungpaoshizi says:

    I've never been an advocate of any browser, except neoplanet lol. And people always give me crap about using IE. But it's funny, the last 2 comparisons of all browsers I've seen is this one, and the one I believe Tom's Hardware did about 2 weeks ago. In both cases, IE9 beat everyone else. Grats to Microsoft for coming around! Hands down though, these 2 recent tests are the reason I prefer IE, it is just plain more mature since it's been around the longest? I think that goes beyond the 'Internet explorer' name since a lot of it was based off of Explorer dll's as well versus the others are not children code from their OS parent company?

  109. Xeridea says:

    Being around longer doesn't make you mature.  There are 20 year olds more mature than 60 year olds.  It has been around making garbage, lagging several years behind in features and never supporting standards, forcing millions of web developers to spend countless hours making sites work with IE.  They built on garbage so that the old garbage would still be supported.  IE has consistently had the most problems with stability, security, support, and usefulness in general.  They have stayed on top because the general public doesn't know any better, and IE is bundled, and/or some businesses are forced to use IE due to compatibility with trashy outdated software.  So yes they have been around longer, no that doesn't make them more mature.  Everyone I have gotten to switch from IE is glad they did, coincidence?  I think not.

  110. MacGyver says:

    @Microsoft, judging by the amount of flak you're getting on this post, you're doing a GREAT job!

    @Everyone of course this is Microsoft showing their benchmark results, but seriously it's not like we can't test this ourselves. Go out and grab a power meter and you'll know the answer immediately. What's also obvious is that a LOT of the posters here obviously haven't used IE9 yet, judging by their comments that are obviously based on prior IE versions. Guys, a company can (and should) turn 180° on certain projects/products.

    Whoever claims this is unimportant or the difference is negligible; would you have claimed the same if IE9 would have been last? Obviously not, but whatever.

    Great jobs guys, I can't wait to see IE9 running on WP7 and powering all applications embedding the IE components.

  111. Rod says:

    That's really quite interesting

  112. markeby says:

    I believe that some of the tests selected have preference to the IE9 browser.  This is too small a sampling.  Need common browser locations like a igoogle homepage and search results..

  113. tuxplorer says:

    Why the hell does the notification bar not get active when I click on its empty area? The only way to make it active is Alt-N? Or click the buttons using the mouse? One should be able to just click in an empty area of the notification bar and click Esc to close it.

  114. MICRO$OFT says:

    Your stupid bar graphs are purposely scaled to mislead. By starting the y-axis "Power Consumption in watts" at 10, a difference of less than 1 watt appears to make Opera consume twice the power than the rest. Start all graphs at 0 and watch the seemingly large differences disappear.

  115. @tuxplorer says:

    Alt-Q will close the notification bar

  116. John says:

    Thanks for the information.


  117. you says:

    someone said:

    "By starting the y-axis "Power Consumption in watts" at 10, a difference of less than 1 watt appears to make Opera consume twice the power than the rest"

    As the powerusage below 10W is below the idle power iof the system it is actually Opera that is consuming twice amount of the power that IE9 consumes.

  118. me says:

    Test with code you didn't write yourself LOL

  119. me says:

    opera is a piece of crap BTW

  120. Simonius says:

    It is great to see the subject being discussed by Microsoft.  

    The bar charts not starting at zero is unforgivable.  Truncating the zero is s very common practice in industry by the dishonest or stupid, it is unclear which group MS is in here.

    FWIW the first thing I do to speed up home computers and reduce power use is go into Advanced Settings – Performance, turn off "let the system decide" and disable everything except screen font smoothing.

  121. Walter VonKoch [MSFT] says:

    @alvatrus – The monitor consumption was not taken into account. We used an instrumented reference system to run the tests. Typical machines that you purchase from PC manufacturers usually have different components (memory, hard disk, LCD, … ) than the reference system. In addition PC manufacturers often spend significant effort to optimize several component for power savings. Each of these differences impacts the overall power consumption, which means that the absolute power consumption number does not equate to what you might experience on your machine. So adding a LCD panel will impact each browser similarly and there adds little to the overall landscape.

    @Henri Sivonen – the news site test did not include flash. We focused our testing on the impact of different browser implementations while minimizing external components like plugins.

    Also note the Case Study: Adobe Flash Player gets Energy Smart […/Developing%20Energy%20Smart%20Software%20Case%20Study%20-%20Adobe%20Flash%20Player.docx]

  122. Roman says:

    People what's the fuss about charts not starting at zero? In the most heavy test the difference between the winner and the loser is 30.7%. It's substantial regardless of the base line. Suck it up.

  123. Pelle says:

    All this flash and java script ads, pushed to the end users PC users hardware. It`s nessesary to finance various websites. I belevie most user aren`t aware that all those ads are as the artickle above is pointing out is using electric power on your behalf.

    Except paid subscription, there is no way to avoid web ads.

    But if we could get some kind of "green setificate" for web ads, according to how much energy the ads are demanding from the users PC. The worst case scenario is that that web sites becomes so heavy to run that ppl must replace their hardware.

    I“m talking about ppl just doing casual surfing and occasional web banking. I can`t see any reason why these ppl should upgrade their hardware every tree year just to be able to see the latest FX ads.  Why dònt yoiu measure How mutch power the average compute-ad "draini" the poiwer grid.After reading 10  lines of text and ditto Flash ads.

  124. Joshua Liu says:

    What about performance with flash?

  125. Kona says:

    On my Macbook Pro, Safari is more efficient than ether Firefox or Chrome. And when I boot to my second partition in Win7, I loose around 2hrs of battery life compared to OS X no matter what browser. So clearly MS should start focusing on Windows power consumption instead…

  126. Zorro says:

    Looks nice BUT there is no analyse of measuring errors. I noticed that the platform is not stable and average power consumption is not stable either. There is no mention how many measuring reputation has been done to get an acceptable average value. If this is based on single run measurements, this study has been good for nothing. Too many possible variance errors in the figures. This is just pure basics on math analyses. You should know that. If not – this is just pure bs propaganda. You must run this same test on Linux and OSX platforms and cross analyse the results. If your figures are still valid – you should probably publish this out.

  127. Ken S says:

    Interesting…I'll just stick with FF4 and Chrome anyway.

  128. Regnard Raquedan says:

    Considering that this is a biased test, Mozilla Firefox 4 did a good showing.

  129. Billyfrench says:

    Can you sort out the issue i have with printing forms from sites using flash player. The printer prints out the background as black when it should be white. Does the same when using chrome, but ok with IE 8.

  130. Bill says:

    As Web servers are stacked in Data Centers, their CPU efficiency should also matter.

    Here is an interesting comparative review:…/serving-small-static-files-which-server-to-use

    Requests per sec. ….. Server ………………… Type of Server


    142,000 ………… G-WAN ………………………. (a Web Application server)

     80,000 ………… Nginx …………………………. (a Web server)

     60,000 ………… Lighttpd ……………………… (a Web server)

     52,000 ………… Apache Traffic Server … (Yahoo!'s "Web accelerator")

     28,000 ………… Varnish ………………………. (Facebook's "Web accelerator")

  131. sim says:

    I think that the test should be repeated on Atom processors. I have a netbook and use Opera and  Explorer. When I use Explorer seem to me that the fans rotate faster.

  132. Gary says:

    They should repeat the test and include Opera Mobile 11 for Windows 7.  I've been using this on my netbook recently and I'll bet that is uses less power since its basically a mobile browser for a non-mobile OS.  They are afterall testing with a non-mobile setup.

  133. josephmartins says:

    In 2007 while writing an article about "irresponsible" Internet usage, I discussed what I call "Green Surfing". Application resource consumption was one aspect of the concept but I had no data to back it up.  It's nice to see that researchers have been taking such a close look at application inefficiency.

  134. M$FT FAIL says:

    The web would be a much better place if M$FT would just give up already on this abomination of a browser.   Drop Trident, switch to Webkit, and hire some better UI designers.

  135. hamstap85 says:

    I have a feeling that this would not have been posted if IE was not on top. Did you test other operating systems? Other browser versions? Other webpages? Perhaps something that is just static text, and no animating or rotating pictures? Mobile versions?

    I will start listening when you compare things on something, say Linux? (Of course you don't support it off of your native OS, only Apple is smart enough to do that)

  136. power says:

    Hi, thank you for this benchmark !

    I use Firefox 4 and I am happy to see you've worked in the right direction ! I wish other softwares could take care of batteries. Intel as release Powertop, do you know other tools that helps to build more efficients softwares?

    PS: I can not post my comment without javascript, shame.

  137. sandy says:

    <p><a href="…/services.html"&gt; @sandy  </a>Wow thank you very much..</p>

  138. joji says:

    Bar graphs are inaccurate.

  139. Rob^_^ says:

    the Watt is a unit of Work. Browsers do work correcting markup errors. Imagine the global impact if markup was validated and corrected before it was shipped to production and a browser was just a rendering engine that did not have to do the compilation and validation work.

    Instead of 2bn browsers having each to individually do the compilation and validation work to assemble the web page, it came down the wire already corrected.

    Validated markup decreases global energy consumption/waste.

    The moral for us developers is that we can have a huge impact on global power consumption/waste if we validate our markup and do not leave it to the client browser to make the guesses and corrections.

    The philosophy that a web browser should be able to handle anything that is thrown to it (Quirks, tag soup, typos, unsupported ns) has led to the impossible situation where browser vendors are each maintaining disparate sets of error correction code. Indeed HTML5 and the W3c recommendations to browser vendors about how they should parse it is a step to standardization that will have a significant impact on client browser power consumption (on a global scale)

  140. meni says:

    "PS: I can not post my comment without javascript, shame."

    Power, it's called an super ASP.NET site made with the best IDE in the world, Visual Studio. It's so advanced, you don't need to know anything about the web. I mean who needs to know about form being submitted? With about only 6 clicks you can make a high-tech post-back shi—y site like this…..

    Microsoft and it's zombie army of developers: Do something, i don't think its working.

  141. Jerry says:

    I think its all thaks to lack of advanced features in this browser. My toaster does not support OGG , does it mean its more energy saving?

  142. Steve says:

    That last graph is very misleading. Starting at 2 and going up to 4 with a  midway point of 3 allows you to make it look like the performance of IE is at least double that of Opera when it actually isn't.

    I expected hype and distorted truths from Microsoft but that is just so blatant….

  143. SharePoint Consulting says:

    I always like your blog post because you always comes with different ideas and information. I always shared your site post with my friends. Keep posting and i will follow you..

  144. I'ts all MAGIC says:

    Apple must be doing something magic for an iPad to get over 8 hours of browsing with Safari!

    Funny there is no base-level system hardware spec mention in this post so the experiments could be interdependently verified? I'd also imagine the size of the browser window being rendered would effect power consumption as well? Which consumes more power a large window, or a small one that a user needs to scroll about a lot?

  145. Jay says:

    System spec doesn't matter as long as you use the same one. (Learn anything from high school labs about controlling variables?)

    Size of the browser window probably doesn't matter much either, nor was scrolling ever mentioned (and reasonably presumed not done) in this experiment.

  146. Daniel says:

    For all of you bawwing at the graph stuff, it's a perfectly valid way of expressing relative information. In fact, you see more of it for products that you have to pay for. Go complain there or something.

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