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  • opalfroot - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    I find it hard to get excited about something like this - I mean since ie6 MS has been the cause of most web developer's headaches. I mean this should have been ie7 - now we all have to wait for ie6, 7 and 8 to die before we can utilise these 'new' capabilities on a global scale.

    Its no wonder people lose faith in companies like MS - for years they have failed to deliver anything close to a good browser and now all of a sudden they expect us to whoop over what the open source community gave is 5+ years ago .

    Performance might be something but so too is backwards compatability - everything upto windows 7 (default browser) will not be able to take advantage of the new capabilities and as MS knows the majority of people dont go looking for an alternative .

    Being sinical - this is nothing short of a PR stunt to in the wake of being forced to openly advertise alternatives.
  • opalfroot - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    Great all the features developers wanted ...5 years ago.

    If we want to take advantage of these already supported features in FF, Chrome, Opera etc we have to wait for ie7 and 8 to die ...great
  • bobbozzo - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    If MS were actually serious about migrating everyone off of IE6, they'd release a new IE for Windows 2000.
  • piasabird - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    Every time Microsoft releases a browser more programs fail to work. They just dont get it. People want stability and backwards compatability. We dont need a new browser every 5 minutes that doesnt work with standard code.

    I wait with baited breath.
  • AssBall - Saturday, March 20, 2010 - link

    Do you use worms or lures?

  • minime - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    It's that simple. Doesn't matter how fast IE9 is going to be. Reply
  • ashtonmartin - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    The Acid test is stupid and I wonder why review sites even bother with it. Just because you get a higher score on the test doesn't mean you can render webpages better. IE which scores lowest on the test will render more pages correctly than either firefox or chrome, especially pages that use aspx. Reply
  • Stas - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    I've been using Opera for the past 4 years, and always felt like it was a superior browser (smaller, faster, more options, tweaks, settings, features out of the box). Good to see how my assumptions are backed by the test results :)

    P.S. At work I use FF with about 7 extensions because of my coworker that refuses to use anything else. It's always up-to-date and tweaked. My home backup browser is Chrome - very fast (on par with Opera 10.5), but lucks in interface and functionality for me personally (plus it seems to have MORE issues with displaying websites correctly than other browsers). And I always user IE 7/8 on clients' machines. So I'm not prejudice, and I know and actively use other browsers. The only one I stay away from is Safari. It's huge, it's slow, it breaks pages all the time. Apple is Apple, and I know better than to use their products :)

    Thanks for the article!
  • vailr - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    Wonder if Microsoft might also consider making an IE9 version for OSX 10.6, as well as for Windows 7 & Vista?
    Maybe even get over their longtime disagreement with Sun (now owned by Oracle) and include the latest Java version within Windows 7?
  • Xenoterranos - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    That bare bones shot looks exactly like my stripped down version of FF at work :) Reply
  • hakime - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    "For quite some time, the bar has been steadily raised in the JavaScript engine domain by continual competing releases of Chrome, Firefox, and Opera."

    This is a huge distortion of the reality for not mentioning Safari. Safari was the first in the javascript performance race, Firefox is still well behind Safari and Opera came back to the game just recently with version 10.5.

    "Next up is Safari 4.0.4. Image quality of the scaled logos in the extreme back and far front is likewise very good, however Safari too struggles to render more than 2-3 FPS.......

    "but unsurprising given the poor performance of its WebKit brethren, Safari."

    Well I have to put some precessions in this. Webkit (hence Safari for windows) for some reason or another does not support GPU acceleration on windows. It does on Mac OS X. I am running the exact same demo with 36 images on my macbook pro with a GeForce 8600M GT and I am getting something 59-60 fps with minimum load on my cpu cores. And the image quality is very good, I think well better than IE9. So what I want to say is that IE9 is not the only browser capable of achieving this level of performance in the market, Safari on mac does, it does it for already quite a while. The difference is that Safari on mac is a available today and IE9 is not and won't be for months. In other words, IE9 is catching up with the state of the art available today.

    "In addition, they showcased the subpixel-rendering capabilities that they can leverage that other browsers still lack."

    And what? The test "Text Size Animated" from the IE9 test drive runs very nicely on with Safari on mac. Again, doing GPU powered smooth animation of text with sub-pixel positioning is not a new thing.
  • nerdtalker - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    I think there were two reasons that I treated Safari the way I did; primarily because IE 9 is Windows-only at this point, and it's difficult to compare validly across operating systems. It's completely obvious that we need to a longer, even more comprehensive comparison of the state of browsers. Just bear in mind that this article was prepared with an angle in mind of it being more of a validation of claims than a comprehensive roundup. My resources were limited (only had my Latitude XT) and the time constraint was virtually hours.

    That said, I'm very interested in investigating both WebGL, acceleration between Windows and OS X, and finally some of the later development builds of each browser. There's some ambiguity in the GPU requirements thus far for IE 9 hardware acceleration that I'm trying to clear up. Furthermore, I'd like to try all the latest nightly builds or whatever is suitable; it's only fair to compare bleeding edge against bleeding edge.

    I really really appreciate the feedback though, I'm getting some awesome ideas for a comprehensive roundup do-over. ;) It's definitely coming.

    Brian Klug
  • hakime - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    "primarily because IE 9 is Windows-only at this point, and it's difficult to compare validly across operating systems."

    Yes sure, I am ok with that. But this does not mean that one can't say that other platforms have already advanced the state of the art in GPU accelerated web moden content and that IE is following the trend. In our days, windows/IE/Microsoft, and you surely agree, are not the center of the world when it comes to web/web browser innovations.
  • taltamir - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    when other platforms get double digit market share then we will talk, until then "everyone" [sic] uses windows. Reply
  • nerdtalker - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    I totally agree; GPU acceleration isn't entirely IE 9 centric in this circumstance, nor is the innovation entirely from IE 9. That said, they've acknowledged the huge performance gap between IE 8 and other modern browsers (WebKit and Gecko based) and are promising to do something about it. Illustrating that was my primary focus here, even if it did come off sounding a bit to IE-fanboyish.

    Rest assured we're definitely putting something together that's comprehensive comparing WebGL, WDDM (IE 9) and OS X (Quartz Compositing). The big problem was that I was on my relatively underpowered tablet (with an obsolete integrated ATI GPU) and couldn't really get the full gamut of GPU acceleration working.

    Seriously though, I really appreciate the tips and suggestions. This is still extremely valuable for discovering what you all would like tested (so I don't forget anything ;) )

    Brian Klug
  • mechBgon - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    "This is still extremely valuable for discovering what you all would like tested (so I don't forget anything ;) )"

    I don't know if you have any experience as a sysadmin, but central manageability is a biggie, and often forgotten by the home/SOHO press. Preconfigure, deploy, audit, update, reconfigure, enforce and lock down any number of browser installations, over the network, from your own office, whether the users want to cooperate or not? Yeah, IE can do that, since IE 5.01. Anyone else...?

  • hakime - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    Fair enough!

    My concern is that the way it is presented in your text makes somehow believe that IE9 is the best performer in GPU acceleration out there or even that it is the only one that does GPU acceleration. It is not the case at all, you agree I presume.

    By the way there is one little mistake in your text

    "Next, Firefox 3.6. Performance here is dramatically better than Safari or IE 6"

    IE 6 -> IE 8.
  • AnandThenMan - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link needs to consider cleaning up their own code before they start testing new browsers for page rendering. Not defending IE in anyway it will always be a scourge on the Internet IMO, but 124+ errors on the homepage is not exactly a good showing. Reply
  • ncage - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    I'll take usability over these performance zealots any day. While i don't use ie8 a lot i found it to be acceptable in most cases. The reason i don't use ie is two fold:
    1) its the biggest target for malware writers.
    2) (again usability) Firefox Add-On libraries.

    Firefox isn't that fastest but its has the greatest functionality because of the extensive add-ons. I'll tell you on all my computers Chrome is by fast the fastest and yes they have addons now but the community is not nearly as mature right now. I think what IE team should work on along with performance would be to add a .Net library that would make developing quality add-ins for IE easy. Until they do that i will stick with firefox (its fast enough).
  • deeceefar2 - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    Notably absent is any mention of webgl. Though I didn't expect to see them mention it. I think it is important to note they are the only browser with no announced support of webgl. The standard is still in flux, but with no announced support and at least a 1 year lead time on a newer version of internet explorer, and who knows how long on the actual adoption curve. It just pushes web standards evolution back further.

    Webgl being based on open gl es 2.0 should make it possible to write a game or 3d browser app that works the same on all web platforms from all browsers except IE and all phones. Would be a shame to lose such an advancement because of IE.
  • Sahrin - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    Why would MS announce their colossal failure on Acid3 and then tweak to optimize for the GPU accelerated animation test? Reply
  • JonnyDough - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    Dear Microsoft:

    We don't want you to control our computers. We want STANDARDS to control how our computers operate. STANDARDS that make things flow well and work together. Stop re-writing your crappy browser the way you know how and LEARN how to write it CORRECTLY, according to the standards that the industry has put in place. Error loading webpage alerts are not fun. K? Thnx. Bye bye.
  • DominionSeraph - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    Yes, Microsoft; take your DirectX and shove it.
    And your .avi container? What a colossal failure that has been. I'd much rather have the industry standard .mp4, because it's not like that's just Apple's .mov or anything. Or as if .mkv is superior.

    And Phil Katz's .zip? No! STANDARDS I say! LEARN how to write it CORRECTLY, according to the standards that the industry has put in place. That standard being.... uhhhhh.... never mind. Everyone just uses .zip as laid out in PKWARE's appnote.txt.

    And filename extensions? GTFO. Because it's not like you just read this post.
  • Nataku - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    what in the h*** is the wrong with you... you didn't read the article did you?

    I wonder if this new browser will use dual gpu configurations well.
  • lotharamious - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    I think that ball's is in Nvidia's and ATI's court. Reply
  • pvdw - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    It's been years since I've used IE as my main browser, but whether or not I choose to change, competition is great news for us - the users!

    This reminds me of Netscape's heyday, before MS killed them and progress stagnated till Opera/FF/Safari.
  • qwertymac93 - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    i ran the flying images test and i got 16fps on opera 10.5 with 256 images, chrome could barely manage 2 fps with 64. firefox managed 6fps with 256 images, but apparently wasn't applying the gaussian blur filter it was supposed to, leading to jagged edges, this is probably why it performs so well...
    screens of opera, ff, and chrome(in that order)">">">

    chrome had the best quality, opera lower quality but much better speed(chrome was actually lower then 1fps), and firefox had the worst of both worlds, even worse quality then opera and one third the speed.
  • qwertymac93 - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    i forgot to mention, opera had a weird flickering issue that turned half the screen dark gray every now and then. you can clearly see it in the screen. Reply
  • SpeedMan88 - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    I played around with this test and, as suspected, found that my graphics card driver settings such as anti aliasing, anisotropic filtering, and mipmap quality levels affected the quality of the rendered images. You should be able to get near perfect image quality by cranking up the quality in your graphics card drivers. Forcing 16x AF seemed to make the biggest difference for me. Reply
  • Lazlo Panaflex - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    "and claims it's at party with Firefox 3.6"

    Yeah baby. Like it's 1999.

  • phuzi0n - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    Firefox already has support for this in the 3.7 prerelease builds. All of the IE9 tests that showcase the benefits of these two API's worked amazingly on my D2D+DW enabled Firefox, while Chrome fell flat. If you're interested in enabling it then see this:"> Reply
  • nerdtalker - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    Ooh, I did not know about this. I will definitely investigate and run a more comprehensive set of tests, including some of Opera later today or tomorrow.

    I'm still at MIX, so it's hectic and I won't have a chance, but getting GPU accelerated firefox in the mix is most interesting. Awesome tip!

    Brian Klug
  • jrocks84 - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    Just a note: you have to manually enable Direct 2D in the Firefox nightlies. There's instructions at">;sid=87.... Reply
  • chaudx - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    Yep, would be nice to see results of GPU alphas of both IE9 and the FF 3.7a3 builds. Reply
  • Spivonious - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    Your guess is correct. IE9 uses the Direct2D API, which was released with Windows 7 and backported to Vista. I don't know if it requires WDDM, but backporting it to a 10 year-old OS doesn't make much sense. Reply
  • haplo602 - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    hmm I fired opera 10.50 on the logos test and I got 54-58fps ... however I cannot judge the quality.

    anyway it amazes me why MS used opera 10.10 for their charts ... given the date of the presentation, opera 10.50 was already released for cca 2 weeks. I guess it would show that they are only beating older IE versions and firefox.
  • BelardA - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    But Opera 10.50 is on the chart as well... many are still using 10.1x

    Opera 10.5 fixes pretty much every problem I ever had with 10.0~10.10.

    So, guess we'll see IE9 in about 1-2 years, by then Opera 11 and Google 10 will be out.

    So far, not impressed with IE9... nor IE8 of course. If IE9 is going to be an improvement, it needs a total interface change, IE7~IE8 are the worst design ever.
  • taltamir - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    you mean google 100 :P Reply
  • overzealot - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    You'd think that software developers would be smart enough to NOT REMOVE trailing 0's, especially from version numbers.
  • erple2 - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    Wait... That trailing 0 is important. We've released version 5.9, then 5.10 and then 5.11 of our software. Reply
  • overzealot - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Definitely skip 9.11 though. It crashes.
    Is it too soon still?
  • DominionSeraph - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    Opera 10.50 fixes every problem you had? Mine craps itself on webpages all the time. Some pages just won't finish loading; sometimes I'll lose the ability to interact with the page -- can't select text, and mouseovers on hyperlinks don't show the hand icon. It just locked up on me clicking on page 3 of these comments.
    When this happens, the program is still responsive, but the page is useless until refreshed.
    I'm still using it. I like the screen real estate and I'm addicted to Speed Dial. But it's certainly not at an IE8 level of compatibility.
  • CptTripps - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    It amazes me how often people don't really look at the article and make stupid comments hoping everyone will hate MS as much as they do. Reply
  • haplo602 - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    omg owned ... I could not clearly read the last one in the chart, I guessed it's again some Chrome version (since they have 2 in there).

    /me hides in shame
  • teohhanhui - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    Opera 10.50 is rightfully no. 1 (lower=better) in MS's chart. Reply
  • bobjones32 - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    erm, yeah. What's he going on about? Opera 10.1 is in the chart. So is Opera 10.5. Microsoft isn't hiding or deliberately avoiding showing anything here. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    Presentations are probably planned and SHOULD be planned, especially if you're MS. Think about it... Reply
  • Griswold - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    Aye, pretty pathetic on MS' part. But hey, most people using IE arent even aware that there are alternatives, especially not the in every way superior opera. Reply
  • INeedCache - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    I am well aware of the available browsers out there. IE8 works for me and I like it. Tell me, does the car you drive offer the best performance in it's price range? If not, why are you driving it? Not everyone is worried about squeezing the every drop of performance from every program on their computer. Reply
  • B3an - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    You guys are pathetic, not MS. So quick to bash MS you fail to see that Opera 10.5 IS there, and it's no.1 Reply
  • vol7ron - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    Thank you for posting this, all of it. I was going to say something, but I thought, "why?" Some people are incorrigible. Reply
  • Omega215D - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    these Acid3 tests are pretty useless at gauging anything. Reply
  • kb9fcc - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    Yeah, especially when your browsers come in dead last all the time...

    I saw an article yesterday at Redmond Channel Partners Online about how badly IE8 does up against a JavaScript test suite Google has called Sputnik. Unlike Acid3 which only has 100 tests, Sputnik has over 5000, all based on the standards. It would be interesting to see how IE9 does against Sputnik.

    Oh, and no, Chrome didn't do the best. It places third with 218 errors. Opera did the best (78 errors) followed by Safari (159 errors), Firefox placed fourth (259 errors), and way out of the pack IE8 at 463.

    The original article is here:">

    Sputnik can be found here:">
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    The funny thing is that in general use, I've tried all of the major browsers (FF, IE8, Chrome, Opera, and Safari) and I always end up feeling Firefox does the best at consistently loading pages in a reasonably fast time. Opera and Chrome both feel sluggish on some of the Facebook pages (games) I visit, for example. That's the problem with benchmarks: companies optimize for benchmarks, but just because you're the fastest at, say, 3DMark doesn't make your hardware/software the fastest in real-world situations. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    Chrome feels sluggish ?

    I had to ditch Firefox, because it was *very* sluggish. I had been running Chrome for, oh, I do not know, about 8 months I guess, and was used to it's performance. Then, when I switched to Windows 7 Enterprise x64 ( Ultimate ), I had a problem with Chrome functioning properly. So, I did what I think any normal ( in the know ) user would do, and switched to Firefox. My god, was it terribly slow in rendering pages.

    SO, I tried the latest beta on the off chance that it would work ok with Windows 7 x64 . . . and man, I have to tell you. It spanks the crap out of Firefox. Not even a problem so far.

    Anyways, we all have our preferences, and no I am not trying to pander anything, but this has been my own experience. Personally, I am very glad Chrome is out there.

    Oh, and sure, the occasional web page will not load right( but in the last 3 months, this has only been once ), but I have yet to determine whether that is a standards issue, or if the given pages are at fault. Really, I do not care, my experience has been that good.
  • vol7ron - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    A few years ago I was IE-only.
    Then, around the era of tabbed browsing, I began using Firefox.

    With the bounty of add-ons that Firefox has, I've used it as my primary development browser, however Chrome is my new favorite for just viewing pages. Why? It's still a load-time issue. Firefox has so many useful add-ons that it takes forever to start up and load into memory; this undoubtedly will change once I get my hands on my first SSD, but until then, it takes too long to just "Google something real quick."

    Chrome is so lightweight (even with the few add-ons I've installed) and it loads pages like a breeze.
  • medi01 - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - link

    I've never cared about the speed, though it's pretty fast, but more about the features.
    Opera has far superior list out of the box features:

    mouse gestures,
    "undo" on closing pages (!!!)
    custom search angines
    storing favorites/custom search in opera repository (you make a bookmark at work and it shows up in all your opera's)
    built-in ad blocker

    As far as Firefox goes, it's the best one to use when developing web pages, or customizatin, but even it's tabs do not fully satisfy me, pages just keep poping up in a new browser window instead of tab, no matter what I do.
  • gavjof - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    CTRL Click. That will work ;) Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    Some of that must come down to individual installations, as open in new tab works fine for me. Also you can undo closing tabs in FF, not sure about whole windows.

    Nice to see Opera finally added a ad blocker
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    I like the mail client too. And emailing the page youre on with 2 clicks is useful also. But I really like being able to block ANY ad I see. And not just ads. I even block stuff like the Anandtech logo up at the top of the screen. lol. I dislike distractions. Reply

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