IE8 beats Chrome and Firefox, says Microsoft

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Redmond (WA) – Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer has looked rather underwhelming in the way it aligns itself with common web standards and how fast it can load web pages. But Microsoft has released a quiet surprise document that claims IE8 is much faster in real life than it is in benchmarks indicate – and will beat Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox.

Benchmarks are only one side of the performance capability of hardware and software, as they tend to explore only specifics and are often skewed towards a certain set of features. That was especially the case with recent browser benchmarks — which are anyway a rather questionable way to measure browser performance, as the speed a browser loads web pages will be different for every user. But, we have to admit that the latest round of JavaScript benchmarks was fairly convincing — as it they were in line with subjective speed improvements demonstrated by Chrome and Firefox and left the subjectively slower IE8 Beta somewhat in the dust.

The guys over at Ars Technica have now discovered a document published by Microsoft that claims the opposite. According to Microsoft, IE8 will beat its rivals in real world performance in actual web page loading and not just JavaScripts. If Microsoft’s test is correct, then IE8 will load twelve of the 25 largest websites faster than Chrome or Firefox, while Chrome wins in nine and Firefox in four. The comparison, however, did not include Firefox 3.1 Beta, but rather the upcoming 3.05, which does not yet include the much faster TraceMonkey engine.

It is not only surprising that IE comes out on top in this test, but we also noticed that IE is fastest in loading the web pages of its rivals – google.com and mozilla.com – while Firefox leads in loading microsoft.com.

The report is available for download here.

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