IE8 may launch on March 19, outrun other browsers

The completed version of Microsoft’s next major web browser could come out on March 19, according to Neowin. The site points to a report by Taipei Times, which says IE8 will debut in Taiwan on March 20. Extrapolating from that, Neowin believes the browser may launch a day earlier at MIX09—a Microsoft conference taking place in Las Vegas.

Either way, IE8 should definitely be out next week, which is pretty close to the anniversary of the first public beta. The new, more standards-compliant rendering engine left much to be desired in that version, but Microsoft has made considerable progress since then. The RC1 build that hit the web in January looked quite polished, in fact. The code many web designers use to circumvent IE6 and IE7 bugs can break rendering in IE8, however, so early adopters may still face problems on some sites.

Speaking of rendering, Ars Technica notes that Microsoft has published some performance tests that show the new browser in a favorable light compared to Firefox 3 and Google Chrome. Instead of running synthetic JavaScript and HTML benchmarks, Microsoft simply recorded loading times in comScore’s list of the world’s top 25 websites. The company shows some of the testing in a promotional video that, amusingly, uses google.com as the first test case.

Comments closed
    • Crayon Shin Chan
    • 11 years ago

    Get out of here, Internet Exploder. At this point, I couldn’t care if any browser was slower than the other – I’d be happy to use anything other than IE.

      • Crayon Shin Chan
      • 11 years ago

      Dillo included.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    heh, my brotherg{<:<}g "who cares if your car is fast if the exhaust vents to the inside?"

    • stmok
    • 11 years ago

    Did anyone go to Ars Technica’s site and READ their chart?

    Just look at the numbers of the three browsers! The differences are less than 2 seconds!

    LOL!

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      What is so funny, that they didn’t test FF with adblock/noscript, or that 2 seconds is a small number or largeg{

    • danny e.
    • 11 years ago

    anyone who uses IE is dumb.

    • danny e.
    • 11 years ago

    anyone who uses Opera is dumb

      • 5150
      • 11 years ago

      You forgot the period, and Safari.

        • danny e.
        • 11 years ago

        the post limiter got me. I think it was invented for such people as I.
        .. also Chrome.

          • grantmeaname
          • 11 years ago

          Me is an object, I is a subject.

          If we want to get grammatically technical, that is.

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            I think you didn’t make it clear enough which one he should use.

    • danny e.
    • 11 years ago

    anyone who uses firefox is dumb.

    • designerfx
    • 11 years ago

    wasn’t there a problem with IE8 lock-in that you couldn’t go back to old versions or something?

      • Skyline57GTR
      • 11 years ago

      IE7 and IE8 locked up and you were not able to back old versions IF you installed Windows XP SP3. Remove SP3. You will back to old version.

    • beetlebud
    • 11 years ago

    Yay get it out first so more vulnerabilities can be found!

    • maroon1
    • 11 years ago

    Did anyone notice that the speed comparison is made by Microsoft ?

    So, it is biased comparison

    I’m also surprised that microsoft didn’t use FF3.1 in the comparison ! FF3.1 is going to be out soon

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Did anyone notice that a lot of comparisons intel or nVidia make also include their own victory?

      At least Microsoft don’t do it consistently and always “in your face” which gives them a little more authority. Also, their testing methods were disclosed as far as I know.

        • poulpy
        • 11 years ago

        Captain obvious is that you?
        Yes thank you we noticed that’s the point of the OP: independent testing is no luxury it’s a must before passing any judgement.

        Besides IMO you forgot the worst offender in the “pimp up your own product” category which is Apple!

        • maroon1
        • 11 years ago

        ” Did anyone notice that a lot of comparisons intel or nVidia make also include their own victory?”

        You forgot to mention AMD. All the comparisons made by AMD also include their own victory

        Your post is irrelevant anyway. I never said that comparisons made by Intel or Nvidia are reliable comparisons

    • PeterD
    • 11 years ago

    I’m very satisfied about Firefox. I have all the functionality I need, and I use browsers professionally, I don’t need it to visit YouTube or fancy but all in all useless stuf like that.
    Mind you, I also visit YouTube, and it does work.

    • prashu
    • 11 years ago

    If only Opera is somehow made to support Firefox plugins support!!!
    the rest will bite the dust…

      • no51
      • 11 years ago

      So you like redundancy?

      • vikramsbox
      • 11 years ago

      I agree. FF has lost its way. Now there is less focus on functionality and more on bug fixes and security, at a growing size. FF can’t even force sites to open in tabs. Many side step and open in separate windows!
      Opera is by far, and I mean, by far, the best that I have seen. Its incredibly fast, very robust and stable. And every new release does have some distinctive improvement, unlike FF- which seems to carry never ending bug fixes- like patching up dents in cars and showing them as new models! Same for TBird too- not even a decent mail download dialog box after 2 generations.

        • adisor19
        • 11 years ago

        Tab Mix Plus. It makes FF do what YOU want.

        Adi

    • jackaroon
    • 11 years ago

    Is there an HTML/DOM/XHTML/Xforms standard for a combo-box yet? By pretty much random coincidence, I think that’s the next thing that’s going to make me cheer for a browser.

    • swaaye
    • 11 years ago

    Hmmmm. Well, I’ll use any browser that comes along and is more flexible than Firefox. I like the plugins, primarily. That’s the main reason I don’t use Opera, IE7 or Chrome. Firefox has the most amazing user community there is for a browser. A new browser will have to prove its worth and get those folks excited to develop for it.

    An IE that is more compliant with standards is only a good thing though. Well, unless it buries the competition and allows MS to do their own thing yet again like with IE6.

    • Tumbleweed
    • 11 years ago

    #25 – it’s NOT ‘standards compliant’ – it’s _more_ standards compliant. Huge difference. FF/Safari/Opera/Chrome are all miles ahead of even IE8. IE8 is just now catching up to FF 1.5’s levels of standards compliance.

    • xii
    • 11 years ago

    Does anybody really choose a browser based on loading times (unless they’d be outlandishly out of range)? I’m happy about the standards compliance, though… about time.

    • dustyjamessutton
    • 11 years ago

    I’ll have to go with any browser that uses WebKit. Proprietary rendering engines just seem unpolished to me.

    • Tumbleweed
    • 11 years ago

    IE8’s standards support competes well with Firefox. Firefox 1.5, that is. It’s a very shiny piece of obsolete technology. *whatever*

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 11 years ago

    I’ve become a fan of Safari 4—everything about it has been crisp in my experience.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 11 years ago

    speed vs. functionality.
    FF is fast enough and is capable of doing more than any other browser.

    Unless IE can use FF plugins, there is no reason to go back.

      • dmitriylm
      • 11 years ago

      I don’t care much for FF plugins so your statement doesn’t apply to me (and millions of other people).

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 11 years ago

        Therefore, you are right, and the other people (still millions of them) using Firefox because of personal preference are all uninformed, backwards idiots, for not using the less compliant, generic browser that is occasionally fractions of a second faster.

        Let’s be realistic here. That chart doesn’t really show IE8 having an advantage. It’s a virtually unnoticeable amount faster in 12 of them, and slower in 13…and still less compliant and featured than just about any competitor.

          • dmitriylm
          • 11 years ago

          I’m not against using IE alternatives. I do believe however that these alternatives have nothing to offer me to have me choose it over IE. I’ve used FF extensively (under Ubuntu and Vista) and have IE as my primary browser on all of my machines. I could care less about plugins as well as the minimal difference in speed and I think it’s a safe assumption that millions of other people feel the same way. I don’t know how you took a statement I specifically applied towards myself (and others like me) to mean something completely different. Reading comprehension appears to be an issue for you but things are sure to get better with time.

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          I wouldn’t say it’s less featured than Firefox, and I can’t vouch for compliance yet either. I think you’re basing too much on IE 6/7.

        • albundy
        • 11 years ago

        you must really love pop ups. that and active-x for others to gain backdoors to you machine. yay!

          • dmitriylm
          • 11 years ago

          You’re right, I do love popups but IE 7 has a built in pop up blocker that prevents me from viewing them. In fact its been running flawless from the day it was installed. How’s that for reliable operation.

            • indeego
            • 11 years ago

            I’ve also used IE7 (typically on a friend’s system) and the popup/popunder blocker is broken. I see them.

            Firefox I never see them. I don’t mean once in a while one or two get through. Neverg{<.<}g

      • Zymergy
      • 11 years ago

      I completely agree. Speed is not as important as QUALITY!
      (ask any woman!)
      The variety of useful plugins FF accepts demodes IE to only be used for certain poorly-coded sites as they force IE use for ‘compatibility’…

      • rohith10
      • 11 years ago

      Got to agree. I used Windows Internet Explorer 7 exclusively in the past, but one fine morning Firefox’s extensions got me. Been using it ever since.

    • Tumbleweed
    • 11 years ago

    “Quite polished”? Cyril, you’re not a web developer, are you? I guess you can polish even a ball of mud to appear shiny, though.

      • firestorm02
      • 11 years ago

      In fact you can!

      “You can’t polish poop”
      §[<http://mythbustersresults.com/episode-113-end-with-a-bang<]§

      • 5150
      • 11 years ago

      Cyril isn’t a web developer, he developed the web.

        • xii
        • 11 years ago

        Oh come on… We all know Al Gore did.

          • 5150
          • 11 years ago

          Like Al Gore, I prefer to live in my own reality.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 11 years ago

        the web developed him.

          • Palek
          • 11 years ago

          You are treading dangerously close to making a Soviet Russia joke.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 years ago

            In Soviet Russia, web develops you!

            It’s bad form to point out a joke but not actually make it.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 11 years ago

    Why does google.cn take longer to render than google.com (and like 5x as long)?

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 11 years ago

      Well, through some total fluke, it turns out that China, the 51st state, is on the other side of the planet!

        • dmitriylm
        • 11 years ago

        lol, good one.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    When can I finally have this? I’ve been dying to retire my would-be alternative browsers. A week can’t be soon enough.

      • adisor19
      • 11 years ago

      Was that sarcasm ? Or are you really serious ?

      Adi

        • cygnus1
        • 11 years ago

        is signing your posts here really necessary? really?

          • adisor19
          • 11 years ago

          It’s my way of protesting the removal of anonymous posts.

          Adi

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            So instead of being anonymous (for whatever reason you’d like to be that), you sign each of your posts twice. Very effective protest, we see the progress it’s making by the day.

            • adisor19
            • 11 years ago

            Got a better idea ?

            Adi

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            Yes, give up.

            • adisor19
            • 11 years ago

            Ya, but where is the fun in that ? 🙂

            Adi

        • derFunkenstein
        • 11 years ago

        he’s serious. Like the internets.

        I just hope they release it for Win7 public beta alongside Vista and XP.

          • cygnus1
          • 11 years ago

          Since you mentioned the Win7 Beta, if i could get a copy of 64 bit 7048, i’d probly switch to that. I understand a lot of the issues I had with 7000 have been resolved.

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            Why don’t you torrent it? I’ve tried it already, it’s significantly better than the public beta. I’ve even given feedback, although unsure as to whether Microsoft employees will look at my data cock-eyed, since I’m not a closed tester or trusted reviewer.

    • Philldoe
    • 11 years ago

    Oh, that’s nice. Yet some how Opera is still better than all of them <3 </operafanboy>

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    #3, Selecting the top 25 sites from analysis via a third-party research outfit constitutes handpicking sites?

    Please.

      • bittermann
      • 11 years ago

      Yes it does when sites like google, etc. are highly optimized already and load fast on everything since they are simple clean webpages. Try picking the top 100 and see what happens.

      And faster than Chrome…please don’t even go there. I’ve tried all the browsers over multiple weeks and the only thing that comes close is Opera. Firefox 3.1 beta is even faster.

      I prefer real world testing other than relying on biased tests. Don’t get me wrong I think IE8 is much better and faster. I just take any tests like that with a grain of salt.

        • dmitriylm
        • 11 years ago

        That’s funny, I didn’t know you had the final copy of IE8 with which you could make those claims.

          • bittermann
          • 11 years ago

          Isn’t that pretty much what a release candidate is? jeezzz…..the MS lovers are out in force today!

    • bittermann
    • 11 years ago

    *[

      • ImSpartacus
      • 11 years ago

      There’s a reply button for a reason…

        • bittermann
        • 11 years ago

        Does this make you happy?

          • TheEmrys
          • 11 years ago

          Context makes me happy…..

      • dmitriylm
      • 11 years ago

      Hand picking would be taking the Top 100 and selecting the ten that happen to run faster on a particular browser. Taking the first 25 is a very fair approach. It’s also indicative of what a good portion of the market will be using the browser for.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      They didn’t cherry-pick them, they were the 25 most popular sites in the world – and Microsoft admit defeat at several sites, ironically their own, too.

        • bittermann
        • 11 years ago

        Umm…Ok then why not a bigger test selection than the top 25 sites that are probably the best optimized ones to run on any browser, especially IE!

        Yeah MS has no reason to sway the tests at all in their favor…..

    • no51
    • 11 years ago

    Now if they only had some comparisons with IE6/7 included.

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    Frankly, I never thought Chrome was faster than IE8 beta myself so I didn’t get the hype.

    And benchmarking browsers against stupid Acid tests is retarded; I’m not running an Acid benchmark when I’m surfing the internet.

      • raddude9
      • 11 years ago

      Depends on what you mean by faster. Chrome and the latest Firefox betas are considerably faster at running javascript. Depending on the benchmark you choose they outpace the microsoft browser by between 4x and 20x.

      Microsoft of course do not want people to be able to run javascript quickly because they are afraid that more applications will move to the web and thus render windows irrelevant.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 11 years ago

        That’s a bit of a conspiracy, I think.

          • BenBasson
          • 11 years ago

          It’s not that much of a stretch.

          Microsoft could have improved their JavaScript support (and certainly performance) in a backwards compatible way if they had any intention of doing so. Other browsers have been moving forwards in this area for years and Microsoft have an unimaginably larger set of resources.

          Why would Microsoft not invest time in improvements to their browser that wouldn’t harm compatibility? Either they don’t see the future being the web, or hope that it isn’t, or don’t see the issues (of performance and compatibility) as important to their goals.

          In any case, their lack of interest in seriously addressing their web compatibility and performance is blindingly obvious and has been for over a decade. I’d certainly consider this to be a deliberate move, seeing as it’s pretty hard to draw any other conclusion.

            • WaltC
            • 11 years ago

            I sort of think that whether or not Microsoft follows the cookie-cutter crowd in this respect is missing the point. It’s likely that Microsoft isn’t so much interested in staying involved in a never ending horse race to squeeze ever more performance out of Java, but is concentrating its resources on doing things it considers more important over the long run, and offering more performance at the same time.

            Bottom line is that if people don’t like what Microsoft is doing with IE, then they’ll turn to something else, right? Seems to me the risk is all Microsoft’s, and I for one welcome anything that deviates from the oh-so-dull status quo.

            Variety is the spice of life, and I think people get too hung up on cookie-cutter browser philosophies, when instead they ought to be celebrating the differences all of the browsers bring to the party. Each of them has strengths the others don’t. The great thing about browsers is that unless you are a n00b, or you’re lazy, there is no reason you can’t run multiple browsers on the same system that can each be used for the individual strengths that each of them leverages.

            So often, people want to pretend that there’s some unwritten law mandating one system = one browser…;) In fact, as far as “conspiracy theories” go, this has got to be the biggest one going, since most browser articles I read always make the assumption that each user is running one browser, inferring that he’s forced into making an either-or choice about the browser he uses. He’s not, he can use them all, even run them simultaneously if he chooses.

            I don’t think that the you-can-only-run-one-browser mythology allows for a proper perspective on this issue, and that until that way of thinking is abandoned we’re continually doomed to inadequate and incomplete “this browser vs. that browser” typecasting.

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            Java isn’t my favourite anyway, it’s just a limited solution useful for no other than the web.
            If I recall my favourite advertisement correctly, “Java programmers can’t C#”. 😉

            I’d much rather see Adobe develop a semi-competent Flash version that doesn’t glitch on audio and video like v10 does (and how v9 strangely doesn’t), but then again, that won’t happen either, so uncle Web will remain slow as molasses, going uphill in January, with crutches, on life support.

            • BailoutBenny
            • 11 years ago

            Java and javascript/ecmascript are completely different creatures. A programmer well versed in Java will actually find it quite easy to migrate to C# since it was developed to address some of the weaknesses in the Java programming language.

            As for the whole browser debate, it’s really just a matter of personal preference. Lots of users find IE reliable enough, fast enough, and most importantly inuitive and well laid out. Plus, it runs just about everything except websites designed strictly to some web standard. Standards have some pluses and minuses. The plus is that you can write code and it would run anywhere. The big minus is that it crushes competition when everyone has to comply with the same set of rules. It was the lack of standards that brought about Flash and Silverlight. These are good things for delivering rich client experiences on very lean virtual machines. People should be thanking active x for some things while hating it for others.

      • asdsa
      • 11 years ago

      Benchmark your browser then against the “peacekeeper”: §[<http://service.futuremark.com/peacekeeper/<]§

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