Most of us probably don’t consider the energy footprint of our web browser, however Microsoft recently announced that its new Internet Explorer 9 has a leg up on the competition in regards to energy efficiency. Microsoft took the top five most popular browsers (Chrome 10, Firefox 4, Safari 5, Opera 11 and Internet Explorer 9) and ran them through several test to see how they measured up. They found that IE9 was the fastest and consumed the least amount of energy, resulting in longer laptop battery life and lower electricity costs.
Using an Intel laptop running Windows 7, Microsoft observed the performance of each browser in 5 scenarios. First they measured the amount of power that was consumed with no browser running. Next they measured the power used on an about:blank page and then the power used while running a typical news-based site. For scenario 4 and 5 they measured the browser’s energy consumption while running them on two performance test sites – Galactic and FishIE Tank.
As for the results… according to their data, Opera 11 is by far the least efficient, followed (almost neck in neck) by Safari 5 and Chrome 10, with Firefox 4 trailing in second (but not by much).