Microsoft optimizes the chrome.exe process to reduce CPU usage
A patch submitted by Microsoft for Chromium can optimize the performance of checking whether “the browser is pinned to the taskbar”. According to Microsoft’s description in the patch, Chrome will use
The code checks if the currently running chrome.exe is pinned to the taskbar 45s after startup by
Enumerating all shortcuts in the pinned taskbar folder
Checking if they are shortcuts to the current exe
Enumerate all Shell verbs associated with the shortcut
Checking if a verb is “unpin”
This is expensive since there could be 1st or 3rd party shell extensions whose code will be executed to determine what verbs are available. In the case I looked at it is the call into shellext.dll (Microsoft anti malware windows component) which hits expensive cert checks.
Microsoft has optimized this process, and they believe that instead of enumerating verbs associated with the shortcut, other fixed state checks in the codebase are used instead. So the code to enumerate shell verbs was removed, and the code was run in the browser process instead of using a separate process because third-party code would no longer be loaded.
This change finally reduced the CPU usage of the browser when checking the status of the taskbar. This consumption may not be obvious for most configurations, but Microsoft engineer, Eric Lawrence believes that fixing minor problems can ultimately improve browser performance.