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Microsoft Says IE Faster Than Chrome and Firefox 532

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-we-all-have-to-design-for-the-broken-thing dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to its own speed tests, Microsoft's Internet Explorer loads most websites faster than both Chrome and Firefox when looking at the top 25 websites on the Internet. 'As you can see, IE8 outperforms Firefox 3.05 and Chrome 1.0 in loading 12 websites, Chrome 1.0 places second by loading nine sites first, and Firefox brings up the rear by loading four sites faster than the other two browsers. Also, in case you missed it, IE loads faster than Firefox, and Firefox loads faster than IE, just for kicks.'"
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Microsoft Says IE Faster Than Chrome and Firefox

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  • (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bert64 (520050) <bert@slash d o t . f i> on Thursday March 12, 2009 @08:59AM (#27165245) Homepage

    Ofcourse IE loads faster, that's the only site you'd ever need to open with IE...

  • by hatchet (528688) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @08:59AM (#27165251) Homepage
    I don't care if page loads faster if it doesn' show correctly. I bet lynx can load it faster than IE, but that doesn't make it the best browser.

    IE8 doesn't even have full CSS3 support. No corner-radius? What the heck is MS thinking?
    • by Spazztastic (814296) <> on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:03AM (#27165313)

      Speed is everything, which is why I don't use it. Maybe if it didn't take more than 2 seconds to open a new tab (CTRL+T), I would be able to give IE7 some credit.

      Guess how long it takes on Firefox? Instant! No "Connecting..." or locking up!

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        >> Speed is everything,


    • by Max Romantschuk (132276) <> on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:09AM (#27165405) Homepage

      IE8 doesn't even have full CSS3 support. No corner-radius? What the heck is MS thinking?

      And you Sir, are clueless as to the current state of CSS3.

      Huge parts of the standard are still in the working draft stage. []

      Supporting a subset of CSS2 or CSS3 correctly is much more important. Bugs are far worse problems than omissions.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      Much as I loathe it (as a small web designer myself), the reality is that MS *IS* the standard right now. Anyone using markup not supported by IE is basically doing a disservice to their clients (unless they can find a way to at least mask it for IE). I know a lot of you would respond with some noble "Screw MS! If they're not going to adhere to the standards, we should ignore them!" sentiment. But the reality is that, until they can be driven to under 50% of the browser market share, they pretty much get to
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by spearway (169040)

        You may want to keep up with the stats IE is fast becoming irrelevant for some segment of the Web and is down to 67% globally. []

      • by pbhj (607776) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:35AM (#27165755) Homepage Journal

        But the reality is that, until they can be driven to under 50% of the browser market share, they pretty much get to set the standard.

        They, Microsoft, get to set the lowest common denominator, the truth is though that most designers will be using progressive enhancement meaning that Saf, FF, Op, Konq are getting a nicer overall look with slicker running features whilst MSIE is getting either a "degraded" view or a separately developed page (I'm considering MS targetted CSS to be separately developed).

        Basically, as a web designer since 1996-ish (and commercially for the last 5 years or so) I consider that MSIE has been holding things back all along. Less so now, but they're still not leading the way.

        As for CSS3. If MS had included some basics, like rounded corners and columns, then we could have started making some headway with a less hacked together internet. Moz and Webkit have these things already waiting for the spec to be finished. []

      • Hmm, so GM, Ford and Chrysler set the standard for cars in North America?

        Preponderance alone does not set the standard. If it did, what exactly would that standard be today?

        MS IE 5 or 6?

        • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday March 12, 2009 @10:05AM (#27166199)

          If they were one big company, and controlled 75% of the market share, of course they would. Let's say this super car company existed. And all the cars they built were tall and so required 7' of clearance. Now some worldwide body comes along and says the real "standard" for cars is that they should require no more than 5' of clearance. And a few smaller startup car companies embrace that 5' standard and start building shorter cars (and they capture about 20-25% of the market).

          Now, you're building a fast-food business in the U.S. and your building the cover for the drive-thru. Do you build it to 5' just because some international body said that was the "standard" or do you recognize the REAL standard and build it to at least 7'?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by PitaBred (632671)
            Too bad that doesn't really work. Because 5' is a subset of 7'. With browsers, you CAN'T build it one way and have everything work with it. You have to make special concessions for IE, and build things differently for every browser EXCEPT IE. And one for older versions of IE.

            Car analogies are rarely accurate.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hurricane78 (562437)

        And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason that everybody is still using the IE.

        Because they CAN

        It's always the lame excuse of "But we lose clients!".
        Then a leading company comes along, and changes the game.
        Now everybody else jumps to that train too. Suddenly it's OK.
        So the client is forced to update.

        And if you were not the leading company, that's why you will always be playing catch-up, until you're bankrupt.

        I worked for too long in that business to have any doubt about how this works.
        You always get the

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by elrous0 (869638) *

          Losing clients is hardly just a "lame excuse." I've seen it actually happen. I have, in fact, taken over website projects in the past for clients whose previous developer got canned after delivering a bland site that didn't look particularly professional in IE (because the developer focused so much on making the site's CSS bulletproof). These sites passed W3C validation with flying colors, but they looked like weak tea and cost the developer a client.

          But you are right about the possibility of a major comp

    • by Chabil Ha' (875116) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:33AM (#27165735)

      You bring up an interesting point. It seems that we're approaching territory where the marginal increase in speed really isn't that significant. At this point the need for the greater marginal increase in accuracy would be much more appreciated than speed.

      That's why I have a hard time taking *any* of these software companies seriously when the only thing they can brag about is how incremental their speed increases are.

    • by EatHam (597465) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:38AM (#27165803)
      It's just like I say with sex...

      I may not be good, but at least I'm fast.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kae_verens (523642)

      /nothing/ has full CSS3 support.

      even those browsers that do have corner-radius support don't do it the way the W3C described (with separate x and y radii).

  • Oh well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arndawg (1468629) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @08:59AM (#27165253)
    A more useful test would perhaps be testing firefox 3.5 vs ie8 and chrome 2.0? Firefox 3 is already getting "old".
  • by forand (530402) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @08:59AM (#27165255) Homepage
    How is this "good" they test 25 sites (who only views 25 sites?) and IE is faster 12/25. This doesn't seem very compelling at all. They don't even have a simple majority on their side.
    • (who only views 25 sites?)

      Your typical user, maybe. Off the top of my head I can guess: Online banking, ebay, e-mail, Reuters, and a search engine. I don't think my mother or father use more than 25 websites on a regular basis. Not even I do on a daily basis unless if I am looking into a specific topic.

    • by zappepcs (820751)

      If you are old enough to remember families having a set of encyclopedias, try to remember anyone using the X volume. I never did, after finding out XXX wasn't in there. There is probably a lot of people that don't use more than 25 sites.

      Besides, if they tested on 2500 they would lose. PR is PR dude.

  • by AltGrendel (175092) <> on Thursday March 12, 2009 @08:59AM (#27165257) Homepage
    To Microsoft:

    I believe you.

    Honest! I do!

    Yea, right

  • Fair comparison... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by master_p (608214) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @08:59AM (#27165261)

    ...Microsoft tests its own release candidate software on its release candidate operating system and finds it faster than existing tried-and-tested software.

    Very fair.

  • by christurkel (520220) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @08:59AM (#27165267) Homepage Journal
    This doesn't mean a thing because while IE7 is fast; I use it at work everyday, it also breaks many web standards and does things in non standard ways. Speed isn't the issue here.
    • The article is talking about IE8, which is much more compliant.

      Besides, I don't see how your comment can apply to an end user. IE7 is the standard that the web is coded to. Sure, I complain about it, but only when I'm doing web development. For surfing the web, IE7 is fine because everything is made to work with it.
  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mdm-adph (1030332) <mdmadph&gmail,com> on Thursday March 12, 2009 @08:59AM (#27165269) Homepage's faster than the soon-to-be-old version of Firefox, and the soon-to-be-old version of Chrome. Way to stay ahead of the pack, there.

    Though, to be honest, that's actually not to bad for IE.

  • by wooferhound (546132) <> on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:01AM (#27165277) Homepage
    Sure it loads up sites faster, that's because microsoft left out all the code that renders the web pages properly . . .
    • by lhoguin (1422973) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @10:05AM (#27166209) Homepage

      It is indeed funny but that's quite possibly one of the reasons that makes it be faster. The more you support, the slower it gets and the more you have to optimize to get the same speed as a less complete implementation.

      Their claims won't have much value until they get to the same level of standard support as the other browsers.

  • by Maxim Kovalenko (764126) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:01AM (#27165289) Homepage
    "Loads most malware faster?" See, corrected it. It is IE after all ;)
    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      And first to crash, no doubt. I'll take the one that's more stable and standards compliant, even if it is slightly slower (not that I'm taking MS's word on this).
  • Dog bites man (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vivaoporto (1064484) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:02AM (#27165301)
    Upcoming version of browser outperforms current version of competitors is not remarkable. A most relevant comparison would include Firefox 3.1 (already in Beta) and Safari 4 (also in Beta).
  • I use IE 8. And it really is much better and right on par with Firefox ... EXCEPT I can't do online banking with Wachovia, and SLASHDOT corrcetly. I have to open a new tab to reply, or read a hidden comment.

    And to comment I have to use Firefox. Which is what I am using now.
  • What it shows (Score:5, Interesting)

    by William Robinson (875390) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:05AM (#27165347)
    that..Microsoft can no longer ignore Firefox, and has to come up with some such FUD. A healthy sign about status of Firefox.
    • by gazbo (517111)
      Do you actually know what FUD means, or have you just seen other posters using it and fancied a go yourself?
  • by (745855) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:06AM (#27165349) Homepage

    My [unreleased Microsoft software] runs [x] faster than your [available and fully released software].

    What B$ from M$.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rysc (136391) *

      More like:

      "My [unreleased Microsoft software] is [theoretically superior] to your [available and fully released software]."

      This covers all MS marketing from the dawn of time.

      "Don't buy our competitor, we're working on a product which will blow theirs away!"

      Every time, in every market, this is their script. When will people learn?

      In the case of IE8 performance, what they don't mention is that page render time is mostly irrelevant. The difference between the most performant and least performant browsers are n

  • No Opera? (Score:5, Informative)

    by krou (1027572) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:09AM (#27165393)

    I prefer Firefox, but even I know Opera is amazingly quick.

    Regardless, since when is the speed of loading a website the measure of a good browser?

    Also, it's worth pointing out that this test shows IE is faster at loading cached pages, not uncached websites. From their paper []:

    In the Internet Explorer lab: We visit each site prior to starting any site test. âoePreloadingâ the cache prior to a test helps ensure systems are at a known base before starting.

    • Re:No Opera? (Score:5, Informative)

      by sobachatina (635055) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:24AM (#27165601)

      That is actually a good idea.

      By loading cached pages they test the speed of the renderer and not the speed of the server or internet connection.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by beebware (149208)
        Yes, but then they could just have a local cache server running on the test machine... It could just be the case that IE is more aggresively cacheing (or even incorrectly cachine) content. IIRC the default install for IE is "Always use the cache" whereas Firefox et al, it's "Check with server". Internet Explorer users could be being served outdated content faster, but Firefox users be served newer content slightly slower.
  • More details.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bert64 (520050) <bert@slash d o t . f i> on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:10AM (#27165411) Homepage

    It would be interesting to know what exactly those sites send to the browsers (many sites check your user agent and serve up different files depending on your browser, mainly because of ie behaving differently to every other browser out there)...

    It would also make more sense to load local caches of the sites, or network conditions could affect things (especially things like dns caching etc)...

    IE is massively behind other browsers when it comes to things like CSS, so i would imagine it has a lot less processing to do (Seeing as it ignores big parts of the spec), lynx also ignores big parts of the html/css specs and it subsequently loads sites very quickly.

    Also, comparing IE8 (in beta) Chrome (in beta) against firefox 3.05 (production and fairly old) seems a rather unfair and pointless test... And where were Opera and Safari in these tests?

  • Seriously, these speed comparisons are getting stupid and pointless. The major delay in loading websites is waiting for the server to send it, and waiting for the thing to download. There aren't very many websites where the browser actually creates noticable delays on its own.

    Can we please have a browser vendor focus on usability and security over "hey I can display this page 0.1 seconds faster then you!"

  • Javascript ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eulernet (1132389) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:12AM (#27165449)

    And what about Javascript ?
    Frankly, GMail is super slow on IE7, not because of page loading, but because any Javascript in IE is super slow.
    In TFA, there is no site with Javascript !

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:16AM (#27165497)

    It's true that IE8 loads pages blindingly fast.

    What MS is missing, however, is that not all pages are supposed to be all blue background + some white text at the top.

  • are the benchmarks done on OS X, linux & Windows?
    I didn't RTFA, but it would be fair to run all applications on different platforms and see if it makes a difference. I bet they didn't do that.
  • You know why... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Hurricane78 (562437)

    ...IE loads some sites quicker?

    Because it does not even understand half of the features of the site (some CSS stuff, much DOM stuff), and just ignores them. ;)

    • ... it has not a single add-in running too...

      I stay with my AdBlock Plus, Firebug, BetterSearch,DownloadHelper, FireGestures, Greasmonkey/Greasefire, Venkman, Resurrect Pages, SmoothWheel, TabMix Plus, TagSifter, Web Developer bar, and clean interpretation of the standards. TYVM.

  • by PinkyDead (862370) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:30AM (#27165675) Journal

    This is a stupid thing for Microsoft to do, because:

    (a) if an independent source verifies the test, then nothing will be reported (because there is nothing to report)
    (b) if an independent source refutes the test, then Microsoft are liars.
    (c) if no independent source tests the test, then no one will believe Microsoft, except those that want justify their existing use of IE.

    The smart thing to do would have been to get a completely independent and respected source to run the original test - or to destroy the reputations of IE6 and IE7 by comparing them with a vastly improved IE8 (which would have been trusted results from Microsoft).

  • I don't use IE or Chrome or Opera or any other browser because Firefox is the only one that works the way I want to work. Remember the days when software worked for you instead of you working for it? FF lets me customize every last bit and piece and as long as it is comparable (ie 3 seconds instead of 1) then I am more than happy and will be unlikely to switch.

    I am sure there are plenty of users who take all the defaults and learn to work within the constraints of IE or etc. but I betcha a majority of \.

  • Since IE is the "Default" browser it is the most exploited, as such it costs any organization the most money to secure. (if you have 10K workstations and new IE bugs pop up all the time, your patch cycle becomes hell even if it's automated). If you want to save your company tons of money; switch to Fire Fox with NoScript and AdBlock+ Opera is still wikked fast; and chrome is pretty neat but I "Like" firefox because of the module, Stumble Upon alleviate soo much bordem that it's worth it's weight in gold.
  • by rhdv (748688) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:43AM (#27165879) Homepage
    After reading the original report I tried to reproduce a simple test for the adobe home page. I used Firefox 3.0.7 and pre-loaded the adobe home page (as suggested in the report), I closed the tab and opened a new one and reloaded the adobe home page. It loaded in 2 or 3 seconds instead of the 9 seconds in the report. I am not sure what to make of this report if a simple experiment to reproduce the measurements fails on the first try. I ran the test on Windows XP Professional SP3.
  • Meh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:47AM (#27165947)
    Companies have always made comparisons between their products and competitors' products. Sometimes they even skew the comparison so their product is shown as better. MS is no different. First they use their unreleased future product IE8 against their competitors' current products. Second they use a somewhat meaningless metric: Speed to load. The main complaints about IE in general is that is unwieldy, doesn't follow standards, and it is slow. Ironically this test only proves that. I'm not an expert in web browser engines but it seems to me that an engine performs faster when it does not have to render. Coming across a webpage with things it can't render, it will perform faster as it ignores those elements. is probably a lot more web standards compliant than So IE will load faster as it will ignore many things. The reverse is true for Firefox on as it will ignore all the nonstandard elements. In the end the comparison is rather meaningless until they change the conditions.
  • (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iniquitous (122242) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @10:05AM (#27166207)

    Notice that the number one website,, requires only about 0.2-0.3 of a second to load, which is significantly faster than most of the rest of the sites on the list. Seems reasonable that has something to do with it being number one., on the other hand, takes about 3.4 seconds to load. According to those numbers, I could pull up, enter a query, and get results before I could even load's home page.

  • by Jerry (6400) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @10:25AM (#27166487)

    they didn't stuff the ISO committees, or bribe Nigerian distributors, nor sabotage the OLPC, hide illegal agreements violating the GPL behind NDAs.... and the list goes on and on and on...

  • by bjdevil66 (583941) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @11:03AM (#27167137)

    Instead, if IE developers really wants my attention, they'll surpass Mozilla and Safari in proper CSS rendering. How fast browsers render pages is secondary to that standards support, especially when no one browser clearly and consistently blows away the competition in speed (as shown in this 25 browser test).

  • Well, Duh! (Score:3, Funny)

    by McGruber (1417641) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @11:10AM (#27167239)

    Fast, Good and Cheap: Pick any Two

    MS certainly didn't pick Good ! []

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