Feeds

Microsoft's JavaScript strategy hurting IE 8?

A total-package decision

The essential guide to IT transformation

Microsoft's focus on selected improvements in Internet Explorer's handling of Javascript has cost its latest browser in the race against competitors.

Internet Explorer 8 is ninth in a list of 10 browsers that have been tested for speed, with the previous version of Microsoft's browser - IE 7 - coming last. This list arrives from 3D-graphics specialist Futuremark.

The duo went up against a familiar field that included the latest available editions (some still in beta) of Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

Top of the table was Safari 4.0, with the Chrome 2.0.172.23 beta and Chrome 1.0.154.65 coming second and third respectively. The closest Firefox, which has been growing steadily and taking market share from IE, came to the top was version 3.5b4 beta.

The figures follow Microsoft's own attempts to sell the recently released IE 8 on the basis of its speed. A company video released in March claimed IE8 was three times as fast as Firefox when it came to loading web pages and one third quicker than Chrome.

Microsoft's competitors have been slowly cranking the performance of Javascript in their browsers. Safari 4.0 is expected to include the SquirrelFish Extreme Javascript engine. Chrome features Google's V8 open-source engine written in C++. And Firefox employs TraceMonkey, which uses tracing optimization and Adobe Systems' nanojit to boost SpiderMonkey.

But Microsoft has taken a different route on Javascript, arguing this is responsible for just 20 per cent of a web page's load time. So, instead of boosting IE 8's Javascript engine to keep up, Microsoft has optimized the browser as a whole for the most common user scenarios.

According to the IE 8 team that involved tuning JScript - Microsoft's implementation of the ECMAscript language - for faster string, array, and lookups. Also, there were changes to the core architecture to reduce the cost of functions calls, the creation of objects, and lookup patterns.

Microsoft has explained the changes in terms of making the user more productive.

Futuremark results are based on 400,000 users of its new Peacekeeper service designed to measure a browser's JavaScript performance. Peacekeeper bases its scores on operations per second or rendered frames per second depending on the test, the company said. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?