Microsoft says Edge is now the 'best performing' Windows 10 browser

New "sleeping tabs" free up resources from unused tabs.


The next release of Edge will be the "best performing" browser available on Windows 10 when it arrives later this week, Microsoft claimed at its Build 2021 event. It said that version 91 contains new features, specifically "startup boost and sleeping tabs" that will push it ahead of Chrome and all other browsers.

Startup boost was introduced in March and works by "running a core set of Microsoft Edge processes in the background," according to the post. At the same time, it supposedly won't use any additional resources when Microsoft Edge browser windows are open. That feature has boosted startup speeds by up to 41 percent, the company claims.

In the upcoming build, Microsoft will introduce a "sleeping tabs" feature that immediately puts ads to sleep when you switch to another tab, allowing for "instance resource savings." That promises to boost browser performance and free up memory for other apps, as ads can be highly memory- and processor-intensive.

Microsoft switched to the Chromium browser engine in early 2020 and automatically uninstalled the old EdgeHTML version from Windows 10 last month. Since the switch, Microsoft said it has submitted 5,300 commits to the Chromium project that benefit all Chromium-based browsers, including Chrome itself.

In March, Google released Chrome version 89 with a similar focus on memory savings and loading speeds. Browsers are notorious resource hogs — a quick check shows me Chrome is using 4.5GB of RAM with 25 tabs open. Hopefully, both Microsoft and Google will keep pushing each other to improve that situation.