Feeds

Microsoft claims Firefox- and Chrome-whopping IE8 speeds

Lies, damned lies and questionable lab tests

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Microsoft is touting its own research that claims Internet Explorer 8 - expected next week - is faster than Firefox 3.05 and Google's Chrome 1.0.

The company has produced a 14-page report (pdf) and supporting video that claim IE8 is three times as fast as Firefox when it comes to loading web pages and one third quicker than Chrome.

The report and video promise to be the first step in a campaign to win back users and developers who've drifted away to Firefox and Chrome. Opera, not mentioned in this report, has also claimed an uptick in its downloads off the back of publicity around IE8.

Typically such benchmarks are only of interest to others in the industry. Yet the type of sites tested and the language of the video suggest Microsoft is trying to reach out to ordinary customers.

The opening to its promotional video states, without any trace of irony, that: "Lots talk about lab testing that involves microbenchmarks that most consumers have never heard of."

Now Microsoft has joined their ranks.

As ever with such lab tests, though, things are never quite as they seem, and the results will prove extremely difficult to reproduce in the real world.

Microsoft's IE8 road test saw content from the 25 web sites it surfed cached, a fact that'll help speed loading for all browsers.

Also, add-ons were kept to a minimum: Microsoft ran some tests with no add-ins and as few as three in other cases - for Adobe Systems' Flash plus Microsoft's own Silverlight challenger and the older Windows Media Player (WMP).

Keeping IE8 that slim in the real world will be difficult, given the ecosystem of Microsoft partners and add-in providers swimming around Windows, IE and Microsoft in general.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has not indicated whether the final results combine both sets of add-in tests or whether its final reports draws on just the best stats. If Microsoft did combine results from both sets of test metrics, it's also not clear how the results in the report were calculated.

Finally, Microsoft said it measured page load times using "visual cues" or a combination of visual cues and the ability to interact with a page to determine if a page had completely loaded. Again, it's not clear where the results Microsoft has quoted combine these separate approaches or use them individually.

Microsoft said that relying on the "done" notification would have provided inconsistent results in some sites, particularly those that contain AJAX. Timing of the test started when the "Go" button was pressed, while the tests of 25 of the web's top sites were conducted in January this year. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Yes, Virginia, there IS a W3C HTML5 standard – as of now, that is
You asked for it! You begged for it! Then you gave up! And now it's HERE!
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.