Tag Archives: ie9

Cut Short

Alright, I lied. I said in my last post I would give IE9 a fair shake for a week. I only lasted two days. The relationship started going sour the first day when I tried viewing the ExtJS API documentation and samples. None of them would render. I had to drop in to “compatibility mode” to get things to show up. Now maybe this was the fault of ExtJS, but I’ve never had to do this in a prior version of IE, so I’m blaming Microsoft.

My second annoyance is the IE9 notification system with dialogs popping up from the bottom of the screen. It is counter-intuitive and my eye does not naturally get pulled in that direction. This is a major usability failure for the IE9 team.

The final straw is that IE9 feels exactly the same as IE8, which I hate everything about. The “workflow” of web browsing is pretty much perfect in Chrome and Firefox 4, while IE9 still feels a decade old.

So the default browser setting got changed back to Chrome 9 48-hours later. I’ll keep the icon on the desktop for testing, but I’m disappointed this was the best Microsoft could do.

The Contender

I got around to installing the IE9 RC this weekend. Kudos to Microsoft. At SenchCon, Ed Spencer commented that IE9 was “just like a modern browser”. Since JavaScript performance has been one if IE’s greatest weaknesses, I ran it against a couple benchmarks to see how it compared to the reigning champion, Google Chrome.

First, I triedSunSpider. To my total amazement, IE9 actually bested Chrome on the SunSpider benchmark.

Next, I tried Google’s V8 Benchmark Suite. On this suite, I saw the results I have typically seen before. Chrome posted these results:

And IE9 RC came in with these:

So on V8, Chrome destroys IE9, but on SunSpider, IE9 eeks out a slight lead. I could go in to endless speculation about benchmark optimization and validity, but real world results are what matter. So I’ll give IE9 a fair try as my primary browser for a week and see what happens.

Browser Brawl

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:

Chrome 7 Benchmark Results

And the beta for Internet Explorer 9 came up with these results:

IE9 Benchmark 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.