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Microsoft: IE10 beats Chrome and Firefox for energy-efficiency

Microsoft thinks it has a solution to help manage your power bills: Use Internet Explorer.

The tech giant has published a study it commissioned, which tips IE as the most energy-efficient browser on Windows 8.

Internet Explorer uses up to 18 per cent less energy than Google Chrome (version 26) and Mozilla Firefox (version 21), according to the study, conducted by the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems at Fraunhofer USA.

Still, the differences between all three browsers are small: Average power draw measurements for notebooks and desktops vary by no more than five points. Really, it's the use of Flash for video that provides the most pronounced results — that 18.6 per cent less energy Microsoft boasted about.

Rendering a site coded in HTML5, meanwhile, also fires off more power than that of a normal website, according to Fraunhofer.

"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 per cent."

The Center for Sustainable Energy Systems researchers tested each browser on desktop and laptop computers, in several common settings, like browsing the most popular websites in the country and playing video through both Adobe Flash and HTML5 video.

In each of the instances, IE10 produced the lowest energy consumption, according to Roger Capriotti, director of marketing for Windows Internet Explorer.

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