I actually installed the beta version of Internet Explorer 9 on my Windows 7 box. My first reaction was “hey, this looks a lot like Chrome”. Even Firefox 4 steals heavily from Chrome, so it is pretty clear where the thought leadership on browsers sits.
I will give Microsoft some credit. IE9 is a lot snappier than all its predecessors. It only has two major annoyances. First, the URL box is way too small. Second, I don’t like the notification popups in the bottom center of the screen. If something needs my attention, don’t bury it at the bottom of the screen.
Rendering is pretty good. ExtJS 3.3 looks good in it, unlike Firefox 4 which had a few CSS issues. Google recently updated their V8 Benchmark Suite, so I ran Chrome 7 versus IE9 just to see how they compared.
Chrome 7 gave me these results on my silly-fast 6-core AMD beast of a desktop:
And the beta for Internet Explorer 9 came up with these results:
I won’t rule out Google tweaking their benchmark to make Internet Explorer 9 and the rest of the competition look bad, but based on this benchmark, IE9 doesn’t hold a candle to Chrome 7. I’m going to have to go fishing for some more vendor-neutral benchmarks to try out.