The browser wars are over, folks, and Microsoft Edge is the victor. So says Microsoft, anyway, which decreed Edge 91, due to release before the end of the week, is the king of browsers in Windows 10.
Microsoft made the claim in a blog post (opens in new tab) aimed at developers (and, let's be honest, non-developers as well), saying its retooled browser "takes performance to the next level" due to some key upgrades.
"You care about the developer tools, but we also know that you want great experiences when people use your website or application—and browser performance is essential to that. Since last Build, we’ve added new features to boost browser performance and because of this Microsoft Edge will be the best performing browser on Windows 10 when Microsoft Edge version 91 releases later this week!," Microsoft states.
Microsoft's bold claim (see what I did there?) is rooted in part on a feature called Startup boost. What this does is load certain browser processes in the background so that Edge fires up its engine a little bit quicker, and according to Microsoft, this does not come the expense of being a resource hog when Edge browser windows are open.
Microsoft also pointed to Edge's sleeping tabs feature. This frees up resources from inactive tabs—those which are not in the forefront—to boost performance when wielding multiple tabbed sites during a browsing session.
Sleeping tabs is not a new feature. However, Microsoft continues to tweak the underlying code, and claims Edge 91 offers the best version yet, with data collected from its preview builds showing up to an 82% memory savings.
"It does so by immediately putting ads to sleep when you put tabs in the background for instant resource savings. Sleeping tabs also now has additional improvements to save system resources on Windows," Microsoft explains.
That's a huge deal if true, especially with Chrome having a reputation as being a memory hog. Chrome, by the way, is also pushing out a version 91 release this week, though it mostly seems focused on security fixes (Google paid out tens of thousands of dollars to bug hunters for a series of security fixes implemented in Chrome 91).
Edge is actually a very good browser these days, since the overhaul. Is it the best? That is perhaps something we will have to examine further, as our money is still on Firefox as the best browser for PC gamers (opens in new tab). What we can say is, Edge is the fastest growing browser, in terms of market share, going from around 0.6% to 8% in the course of 12 months. There's still a wide gap between it and Chrome, though the lead no longer seems insurmountable.