IE8's JavaScript performance lags well behind Safari, Chrome

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
A release candidate of Microsoft's next-generation Internet Explorer browser made available this week has twice finished last in a five-browser benchmark competition.



Microsoft's overnight posting of the final Internet Explorer 8 pre-release build prompted ZDNet Australia to run it through some benchmark tests against its counterparts.



On the Sunspider JavaScript performance test, despite all the performance improvements Microsoft says it's making, IE8 finished last by roughly 3,000ms. Â*It was narrowly bested by Opera 10 alpha, while bunched at the top of the performance ranks and separated by slight margins were Google Chrome 2.0.158.0, WebKit r40220, and Firefox 3.1 beta 1. Â*WebKit serves as the foundation of Apple's Safari browser.



ZDNet was not surprised to find that Google's browser came in first on Google's own V8 JavaScript Benchmark, while WebKit finished a close second. Â*Opera and Firefox trailed well behind in third and fourth, while Internet Explorer was a distant last.



Sunspider test results (shorter bars are better) and Google V8 v2 test results (longer bars are better).



Although its appearance is mostly unchanged from IE7, IE8 has received some new features, including a private browsing mode Microsoft calls InPrivate, joining long-present similar features in Safari, Opera, and Chrome.



The new Internet Explorer also has automatic crash recovery, domain highlighting for spotting phishers, and a safety filter. Â*New plug-ins called Accelerators are designed to speed access to information. Â*Users can choose from about 80 currently available for download, while pre-installed Accelerators include Windows Live functions like blogging, e-mail, mapping, and translating.



Microsoft's IE8 webpage explains the new features | Photo Courtesy Microsoft.



The browser, according to Microsoft, is virtually feature-complete, and users should expect little change between the release candidate and the upcoming final version.



"The ecosystem should expect the final candidate to behave like the release candidate," said IE General Manager Dean Hachamovitch.



IE8 is compatible with Windows XP SP2 and Vista, but not the Windows 7 beta. Â*Microsoft says it will build a version of IE8 into the final release of Windows 7 with "unique features and functionality" exclusive to the company's new operating system that will eventually succeed Vista.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    You can expect more marketshare loss from IE in the coming years. Firefox, Safari, and Chrome are just more appealing.
  • Reply 2 of 50
    ivladivlad Posts: 739member
    I don't think Microsoft can get anything right these days. They just failing in almost everything. How is that GOOGLE is far advanced than Microsoft. That's just so ironic.
  • Reply 3 of 50
    <quote>IE8 is compatible with Windows XP SP2 and Vista, but not the Windows 7 beta. Microsoft says it will build a version of IE8 into the final release of Windows 7 with "unique features and functionality" exclusive to the company's new operating system that will eventually succeed Vista.</quote>



    Didn't MS already get in trouble for things like this with IE 5 and monopolistic things with the SEC? And embedding Windows 7 OS only features with the browser? Perhaps I'm wrong, but something screams ill about this.

    No IE for OS X or Linux (not that I'm sad about that fact). I wish they would give up on IE, and let Firefox/Chrome take over on their platform. Separating the Browser from the OS from a security point of view is much safer anyways.



    I'd also like to see Apple drop Safari (or sell it to someone else) and focus only on their OS and creativity software to make them more stable and release a little faster.
  • Reply 4 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post


    I'd also like to see Apple drop Safari (or sell it to someone else) and focus only on their OS and creativity software to make them more stable and release a little faster.



    That would be an awfully short sighted move.
  • Reply 5 of 50
    boogabooga Posts: 1,077member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    You can expect more marketshare loss from IE in the coming years. Firefox, Safari, and Chrome are just more appealing.



    We'll see. I suspect that Windows 7 will give IE8 a huge boost. Everyone is going to have to either re-download and/or re-install Firefox, while IE8 will just be there and probably be "good enough" for most.



    Microsoft is the master of the "get good-enough in people's faces" strategy.
  • Reply 6 of 50
    Chrome really is just such a better browser than anything out there. And is it just me or do all the little do-dads MS is throwing into IE8 just sound really clunky and awkward?
  • Reply 7 of 50
    lorrelorre Posts: 396member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post


    I wish they would give up on IE, and let Firefox/Chrome take over on their platform. Separating the Browser from the OS from a security point of view is much safer anyways.



    That seems awfull from a usability point of view. If MS ships an OS without a web browser, people can't go online unless they first install a seperate webbrowser from a USB stick or something like that. Who on earth would want that?
  • Reply 8 of 50
    is ANYONE surprised at this news?
  • Reply 9 of 50
    jlljll Posts: 2,709member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lorre View Post


    That seems awfull from a usability point of view. If MS ships an OS without a web browser, people can't go online unless they first install a seperate webbrowser from a USB stick or something like that. Who on earth would want that?



    MS not making a bowser != MS not bundling a browser.



    Mac OS had browser bundled before Safari.
  • Reply 10 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    I don't think Microsoft can get anything right these days. They just failing in almost everything. How is that GOOGLE is far advanced than Microsoft. That's just so ironic.



    It's not actually so much that Microsoft is failing, but that open source has succeeded.



    IE8 is better than IE7 and faster etc. The problem is open source has found a way to leapfrog all those performance increases.



    The core of any browser is the rendering engine, all those other "fast" browsers are using WebKit, whereas Microsoft is sticking to it's proprietary code (for now). A large part of the perceived speed of web page loading is javascript performance and again, open source tweaking of Javascript performance is now leaps and bounds ahead of Microsofts proprietary approach.



    It's not that MS is 'failing," just that they have made only the same small incremental improvements that used to be common in browser iterations, whereas the rest of the pack is moving forward much faster.
  • Reply 11 of 50
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,800member
    Makes you wonder if Microsoft is intentionally crippling JavaScript to push and promote SilverLight as a better development platform.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lorre View Post


    That seems awfull from a usability point of view. If MS ships an OS without a web browser, people can't go online unless they first install a seperate webbrowser from a USB stick or something like that. Who on earth would want that?



    You don't need a browser to get a browser. The internet was around for quite a while before HTML browsers came along.



    This will never happen, but ... if OS vendors wanted to be totally fair, they could just have a screen as part of the first time start-up proceedure that had links to the four most common browsers for the platform and a short paragraph on each. The user could then choose to install one or all of these and set whichever one they want as the default.



    It's not hard to do this at all, it just requires the OS vendor to be fair and open. No one wants to go first however, and each OS vendor is also a browser vendor, so there is a definite conflict of interest there. In the absence of being legally compelled to do this it probably won't happen ever.
  • Reply 13 of 50
    I'm a little disappointed that IE 7 wasn't included in the tests. I don't think IE 8 is going to steal many users away from the competition, but rather most IE 8 users will be upgrading from previous versions. It's easy to say that IE 8 is better and faster, but I'm still curious has to how much faster.



    Also, If IE were to be unbundled from Windows, computer makers would still be able to bundle any web browser they wanted. We could also see a return of ISPs offering a CD with a browser and other useful software on it, like they used to do before bundling with the OS was common.
  • Reply 14 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    You can expect more marketshare loss from IE in the coming years. Firefox, Safari, and Chrome are just more appealing.



    I would say Firefox and Chrome are more appealing. Chrome is a lot faster and simple. The tabbed browsing with chrome is far superior to any browser available. Fire Fox is also much more appealing because of the add on support from third parties. So many options and it seems no matter how much you add it doesn't slow down firefox. Safari on the other hand is a lag monster just like IE8, I heard rumors about the new Safari being much faster but as of today Safari is buggy and one of the worst I think. My vote goes to Chrome and to any who don't like Chrome my vote goes to Firefox. I would even say to go with Opera and/or Internet Explorer before Safari. Safari's UI is also the worst one of all. GO CHROME.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daniel0418 View Post


    I would say Firefox and Chrome are more appealing. Chrome is a lot faster and simple. The tabbed browsing with chrome is far superior to any browser available. Fire Fox is also much more appealing because of the add on support from third parties. So many options and it seems no matter how much you add it doesn't slow down firefox. Safari on the other hand is a lag monster just like IE8, I heard rumors about the new Safari being much faster but as of today Safari is buggy and one of the worst I think. My vote goes to Chrome and to any who don't like Chrome my vote goes to Firefox. I would even say to go with Opera and/or Internet Explorer before Safari. Safari's UI is also the worst one of all. GO CHROME.



    You know opinions like this are all well and good, but more interesting and more relevant would be some kind of argument as to why one of these is better than the others or why Safari is so "bad."



    It's nice to know that you "don't like Safari" (a lot it seems!), and that you really, really, really, like the Chrome beta (apparently), but a single person's opinion is rather meaningless in the big scheme of things and without being backed up by anything, kind of irrelevant.
  • Reply 16 of 50
    Google Chrome rocks!



    IE is dead!



    Safari is okey, I guess...
  • Reply 17 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    ... like the Chrome beta (apparently)...



    Google Chrome has left beta status in December 2008. And it's already in version 2.0.156.1



    I used Firefox, then Safari for windows came along, and there I went. I really enjoyed the design of Safari, it seemed leaps and bounds superior to Firefox. But when Chrome came along, I couldn't really look back. Every time I run Safari nowadays, it seems over-designed, ugly, dark and blurred. I have to agree with Daniel, Chrome is the best browser there is today. It's fast, streamlined, has a terrific design, simple, stylized and flexible, and yes, tabs are superior.



    Congrats, Google, for making such an excellent browser
  • Reply 18 of 50
    Just FYI to the author... Chrome is based on WebKit for the rendering engine (but uses its own V8 JavaScript engine)
  • Reply 19 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    WebKit serves as the foundation of Apple's Safari browser.



    WebKit is also the foundation of Google Chrome.
  • Reply 20 of 50
    hattighattig Posts: 830member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    Makes you wonder if Microsoft is intentionally crippling JavaScript to push and promote SilverLight as a better development platform.



    That sounds likely to me.



    Here's hoping that the standards win ultimately. We don't need a proprietary web like so many of us were worried could happen just a few years ago.
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