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Opera to Microsoft: Our browser is the best for extending battery life

In dueling blog posts this week, Opera and Microsoft each claim to offer consumers a browser that more than doubles the battery life of their laptops.

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The fight is on between Opera Software and Microsoft, each of which claims that its browser is the best at extending battery life for laptops.

In a blog post Wednesday, Opera fired back at Microsoft for a blog item posted Monday that claimed Microsoft's Edge browser delivers 36 percent to 53 percent more battery life to users of its Windows 10 operating system over competing browsers Chrome, Firefox or Opera.

Opera took these claims as fightin' words and ran its own test.

"Like most other engineering teams, we love it when someone picks a fight," the company said in its post announcing the test results.

Opera's testing showed that its browser with native ad blocker and power saver enabled was able to get 22 percent more battery life out of a laptop running Windows 10 than using the Microsoft Edge browser. And it was able to run the laptop 35 percent longer than when using the latest version of Google Chrome.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Opera admitted in its post that its test is not a direct apples-to-apples comparison to the test Microsoft ran, since Microsoft did not publish its testing methodology. By contrast, Opera described its methodology for testing.

Opera claims its test shows that its power-saving browser extends the battery life of a Windows 10 laptop by 22 percent over Microsoft's Edge browser.

Opera claims its test shows that its power-saving browser extends the battery life of a Windows 10 laptop by 22 percent over Microsoft's Edge browser.

Screenshot by Marguerite Reardon/CNET

These power-saving efforts are important for laptop users, since they could mean several more hours of browsing before a laptop needs to be charged. Opera introduced an experimental version of its power-saving browser in May. At the time, the company claimed that the dedicated power-saving mode could extend the life of a laptop by up to 50 percent compared with other browsers like Google Chrome.

Microsoft, which once ruled the browser market with Internet Explorer, has lost ground over the years to rivals Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. The Edge browser, available on the Windows 10 operating system, is the company's attempt to regain its technological footing in the browser market.

At its developer conference earlier this year, Microsoft outlined a number of improvements that are in the works for Edge. High on the list: technology that will let you customize the browser's behavior by, for example, installing ad-blocking extensions.

CNET is unable to verify the claims of either company since we haven't recently tested the effects of browser use on battery life. But in a hands-on evaluation last year, CNET's Sarah Mitroff preferred Edge to Internet Explorer, Microsoft's other browser. She still liked Chrome and Firefox better though.