Via its own research Microsoft has determined that its Internet Explorer 8 browser (expected to launch next week) is faster than both Google’s Chrome 1.0 and Firefox 3.0.
The company claims that under its own test suite, IE8 is capable of loading web pages three times faster than Firefox, and one third quicker than Chrome.
Microsoft has hit some rough spots since the release of Vista, and its once unassailable browser market share has been on a perpetual downward trajectory. In an attempt to win back both developers and users who have begun to stop focusing their development efforts on Internet Explorer users, the company has even produced a 14-page report
to prove their claim.
Lab tests are great, however typically their results are very difficult to reproduce in real life. In this particular test, conducted in January 2008, Microsoft loaded the 25 largest websites, at faster rates than other browsers.
The company also kept add-ons to a minimum: by running tests with no browser plugins, add-ons or third party toolbars, and a minimum of three in some instances, the browser was able to load faster. Under normal, everyday use this would be next to impossible.
The page load times were measured using “visual cues” or a combination of visual cues and the page interaction to be sure the page had actually loaded. The company felt relying on the done notification would have provided results that were inconsistent on some sites, such as those which contain AJAX.
Under normal circumstances this information really wouldn’t be news unless you were a developer, however in this instance the use of the browser has tanked dramatically, and Microsoft is grappling in effort to get the attention of both the industry and its customers.