Windows 10 update could solve Chrome RAM tie-ups

Microsoft Edge Principal Product Manager Kim Denny announced this week that Windows 10 memory management procedures have been modernized and that browser users should see improved browsing immediately. Google Chrome browsers, in particular, are notorious RAM hogs.

Microsoft introduced SegmentHeap, an improved management system that handles allocation of memory space. Its efficiency means lower memory usage and faster browsing results.

Microsoft tests show RAM usage under the new segment heap system can be reduced up to 27 percent.

Microsoft plans to update its new Chromium-based Edge browser to accommodate the new memory system and will build the revised browser into Windows 10 later this year.

Google Chrome is also expected to see similar boosts. Google announced it has been testing Chrome with SegmentHeap. Test results show several hundred megabytes of memory can be freed with the new implementation.

Researchers caution, however, that results may vary widely. They explain that systems benefiting the most from the new memory-allocation system will be those with multiple-core processors.

Chrome is by far the most popular browser in use today, with roughly seven out of 10 people using it for daily surfing activity. Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox are far behind, each capturing only about 7 percent of users.

Despite its popularity, a common complaint for years about Google Chrome is its tendency to hog memory assets. This is especially so for users who maintain several active browser tabs and visit sites with increasingly heavy RAM demands.

Bruce Dawson, a Google Chrome programmer, says an updated version of Chrome is expected soon. But he noted that "mysterious" bugs have pushed back plans for release.

"We could enable it now but that would cause build warnings," a Google post said. "Therefore enabling it is blocked on a switch to the Windows 10.0.19041.0 software development kit, which is currently blocked on some mysterious build failures."

Microsoft's web browser for years relied on its own engine, EdgeHTML, and the Chakra JavaScript engine, but redesigned the browser in 2019 using the Google Chromium system. The first public release was this January.

Google Chromium is a free and open source project. In addition to Microsoft Edge, Google's own Chrome browser, as well as Opera, are based on Chromium infrastructure.

The Windows 10 May 2020 update containing the new memory management system update is the operating system's first major upgrade this year. It is already appearing on some new PCs.

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