If everybody switched from Chrome and Firefox to Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8, we could save enough energy to power 10,000 U.S. households, a new study (PDF) commissioned by Microsoft says. The reason for this, Microsoft says, is its focus on making IE fast and the fact that IE taps into modern PC hardware like native graphics cards to speed up its rendering performance.
Let’s face it, when you think about browsers, the last thing you think about is how much power they consume. Indeed, this sounds like a pretty unusual question to ask, but given that we probably spend more time browsing the web than doing anything else on our laptops, using about 18 percent less energy, as the study claims IE does, could make a difference.
Overall, Microsoft says, switching to IE would save 120 million kWh in electricity and remove as much carbon dioxide as growing 2.2 million tree seedlings for 10 years.
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has commissioned this kind of study. In 2011, IE9 also bested Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera in a similar study. In today’s test, the researchers focused on a set of popular websites and benchmarks. They also played a number of Flash and HTML5 videos.
Overall, the study’s results look legit, but I doubt it will make many Chrome and Firefox users switch browsers just for this reason. Still, as Microsoft tries to change the public’s perception of IE and maybe win some market share back from Chrome and Firefox, this will give it a little bit more ammunition in its marketing campaigns.