Why it makes sense sometimes to run different programs

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Windows users have quite the options when it comes to programs for tasks they run on their devices.

If you look at web browsers for instance, there is Internet Explorer / Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, and a truckload of others.

Most users probably stick to one program that they favor for one reason or the other, and use it exclusively or nearly exclusively.

Why use Microsoft Edge if you prefer Chrome or Firefox, right? The same scenario is true for other types of applications: media players, screenshot taking tools, email clients, backup programs you name it.

There is nothing wrong with picking a favorite and sticking with it. However, being a bit more flexible when it comes to the choice of programs you run on your system may be beneficial in certain situations.

Let’s take a look at some scenarios.

Netflix

Everybody’s favorite TV and movie streaming service. If you want to play Netflix in 1080p on the desktop or on mobile devices on Windows, you either have to use the Netflix application if available, or use Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge for that.

Chrome, Firefox and other non-system browsers support up to 720p only currently. Now, this may not be a problem for all users. If the screen is small or low-res for instance, it won’t make a difference. Also, if your Internet connection is unreliable or outright slow, watching in 720p may improve your experience.

Still, if you want 1080p on Windows, you need to use one of Microsoft’s browsers for that.

Performance

twitch-stream Why it makes sense sometimes to run different programs

Performance may differ widely across different applications. If you stream Twitch.tv using a browser for instance, you may notice a huge jump in resource usage while the stream is active.

The same cannot be said if you load the stream in your favorite video player, say VLC Media Player. If you do so, resource usage is significantly lower as compared to streaming Twitch in a web browser.

Adobe Flash

Most modern browsers support Adobe Flash. Some ship with it included — Chrome and Microsoft Edge / Internet Explorer 10+ — while others support Flash when it is installed on the system.

While you can install Flash on the system if you want to use it in Firefox, you could alternatively use a third-party browser like Chrome to access Flash content.

This may be beneficial to system security as you may benefit from faster updating times, and limit access to Flash at the same time.

Battery life

opera-40-battery-saver Why it makes sense sometimes to run different programs

Microsoft and Opera ran battery performance tests recently that showed that the browser’s were less memory hungry than others.

Microsoft claims that Edge does better battery-wise than any other browser on Windows, Opera that the browser’s Battery Saver mode improves battery significantly.

If you are using browser’s on a mobile device, battery live may be important especially if you are on the go or at a location where you cannot connect the device to a power outlet.

Battery life is not limited to browsers though. PC World ran a comparison back in February 2016 that pitted several media players against each other in a 4K run down test.

The surprising result? Microsoft Movies & TV, the default video player on Windows 10 beat third-party media players such as VLC, Media Player Classic or PotPlayer by a very large margin.

In fact, it managed to run the 4K video more than twice as long on a laptop than any of the other players.

Downloads

All browsers support the downloading of files. However, if you want to download files in bulk, say a full gallery on an image hosting site, videos, or large files, you may benefit from using specialized tools for that.

When I tried to download a new ROM file from a Chinese server this year, I noticed that downloads started in browsers were terribly slow. I switched to a download manager instead, and download speed improved almost immediately.

Downloading one or two images displayed on a page or pages is fine, but what if you want to download hundreds? Yes, you may download them one by one using the web browser of choice, but will spend considerable time doing so.

A program like Bulk Image Downloader, or a browser extension like Down Them All, may speed up the downloading considerable.

Now You: Have other examples where switching programs is beneficial?

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