Google Chrome is the most popular desktop browser in the world, and it boasts a frankly staggering lead over its rivals such as Microsoft Edge and Firefox. According to the latest stats from NetMarketShare, Google Chrome currently holds a jaw-dropping 72.12 percent slice of the desktop browser marketplace. Not only that, but Chrome has a seemingly insurmountable lead over its rivals – with Edge and Mozilla’s Firefox having a 9.24 and 7.27 percent share of the desktop browser marketplace respectively.
There are many reasons Chrome has moved into such a leading position, such as its great feature set with the browser the place to find many innovative features first.
But arguably one of the biggest reasons Google Chrome is so popular is its speed and reliability.
Not ones to rest on its laurels though, the Mountain View firm has managed to expand upon one of Google Chrome’s strongest aspects with its latest update.
Chrome version 85, which was released on the stable channel this week, actually manages to make the market-leading browser even faster.
The latest Chrome update is able to deliver up to 10 percent faster page loads thanks to a technique known as Profile Guided Optimisation (PGO).
Outlining this feature in a blog post, Chrome’s Engineering Director Max Christoff said: “From the very beginning, we built Chrome to be the fastest browser possible. The faster Chrome is, the faster you find the information you want or finish the task you need to do. With M85, users will find a noticeably faster Chrome, thanks to our two latest improvements: Profile Guided Optimization, which delivers up to 10 percent faster page loads; and Tab Throttling, which helps reduce the impact of idle background tabs, coming to the Beta channel.”
Thanks to this feature, Mac users will see the browser load pages up to 7.7 percent faster while Windows users will see the browser speed up by up to 11.4 percent.
Browser responsiveness will also increase by 3.9 percent on Mac and 7.3 percent on Windows machines.
Christoff also said that Google will be adding a new feature known as Tab Throttling to the beta version of Chrome 86 in September.
Describing this other new addition, Christoff wrote: “We know you need a lot of tabs to do your work, and with tab throttling – now rolling out on Beta channel – Chrome will give more resources to the tabs you’re using by taking them back from tabs that have been in the background for a long time. We see improvements not only in loading speed but also battery and memory savings. Watch this space for more on that work when it is broadly available!”
The latest Google Chrome news comes after last month Google stopped testing a Windows 10 memory optimisation that had been developed by Microsoft.
The test for the SegmentHeap feature, which was aimed at reducing Chrome gobbling up RAM, was stopped after Google discovered it had the knock-on effect of increasing CPU usage.
Google engineer Bruce Dawson found that SegmentHeap was able to reduce Chrome’s memory usage by 30 percent – but the CPU trade-off was too great.
After weeks of testing Dawson explained: “The plan is to disable this for M85 (thus giving us another telemetry datapoint) and reconsider in the future.
“The CPU cost (10 percent slowdown on Speedometer 2.0, 13 percent increase in CPU/power consumption) is too great for us to keep.”