Web browsers have been known to be rather greedy with their memory usage, and that’s especially problematic as we all open more tabs. However, Microsoft has managed to significantly reduce the memory usage of its Edge browser thanks to a new Windows 10 feature.
In a Windows Blog post yesterday, Kim Denny, principal project manager on the Microsoft Edge team, details how the Windows 10 May 2020 Update (build 19041) has allowed the browser to take advantage of “Windows segment heap memory improvements now available for Win32 applications to manage memory more efficiently.” In real terms, it means Edge can show a memory usage reduction of up to 27 percent.
The Microsoft documentation website includes details of the segment heap Denny mentions, describing it as “a modern heap implementation that will generally reduce your overall memory usage.” Although Denny places the focus on memory usage improvements for Edge, this is a more general Windows 10 improvement, meaning it should lower the memory demand of any application that decides to take advantage of it. Does that mean other browsers such as Chrome and Firefox could also see a memory usage reduction? Probably.
Microsoft is increasingly turning its focus to the Chromium version of the Edge browser, which is set to become the default for Windows 10 with the 20H2 update later this year. Being able to advertise a huge memory saving by choosing to use it certainly helps when attempting to convince users to make the switch.