Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Internet Explorer Microsoft The Internet

Microsoft Aims To Close Performance Gap With Internet Explorer 9 477

Posted by Soulskill
from the roll-up-your-sleeves dept.
Barence writes "Microsoft has unveiled the first details of Internet Explorer 9, promising that it will close the performance gap on rival browsers. The major newcomer is a revamped rendering engine that will tap the power of the PC's graphics card to accelerate text and graphics performance. 'We're changing IE to use the DirectX family of Windows APIs to enable many advances for web developers,' explains Internet Explorer's general manager, Dean Hachamovitch. As well as improving performance, Microsoft claims the hardware acceleration will enhance the appearance and readability of fonts on the web, with sub-pixel positioning that eradicates the jagged edges on large typefaces."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Aims To Close Performance Gap With Internet Explorer 9

Comments Filter:
  • by jkrise (535370) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:11AM (#30156528) Journal

    The ACID conformance is still at a dismal 30% compared to 90% of chrome, Safari and Opera.

    The internet willstill be divided into 2 - the Microsoft world and the Real, Normal world.

    Shame, really. So many years, and the leopard has yet to change its spots.

    • by TrancePhreak (576593) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:16AM (#30156628)
      Why is the real/normal world so much smaller than the MS world?
      • by Bottles (1672000) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:20AM (#30156726)
        Because it's more efficiently coded.
    • by Corbets (169101) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:24AM (#30156780) Homepage

      The ACID conformance is still at a dismal 30% compared to 90% of chrome, Safari and Opera.

      The internet willstill be divided into 2 - the Microsoft world and the Real, Normal world.

      Shame, really. So many years, and the leopard has yet to change its spots.

      So buy a snow leopard instead....

    • Please correct me if I'm wrong or fill me in on what I'm missing but the thing that's always bugged me about web standards is when they started MS had just about 100% of the market share. When the standards were ratified that put MS' compliance at about 10% or whatever. Why were the standards targeted to a non-existent browser?

      Don't get me wrong standards are important and MS needs to get in line with them; I just don't understand why the standards are what they are
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by characterZer0 (138196)

        The standards were an attempt to provide a clear sensible path going forward, not to codify the garbage as it was.

      • by Sockatume (732728)

        Presumably the standards were written with comprehensibility in mind: that HTML, CSS and so on would be easy to write and interpret.

      • Re:Help with history (Score:4, Informative)

        by hoggoth (414195) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:52AM (#30157372) Journal

        Because Microsoft didn't invent the Internet. As a matter of fact they were very late to the game.
        MOSAIC was first, then Mozilla/Netscape. Microsoft realized very late that the Internet was going to be important and threw something together.
        The standards had already been well under way by the time Microsoft got into the game.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Bigbutt (65939)

          Technically they did what they always do. Microsoft bought out another company's browser (spyglass I think it was) and redbadged as their own.

          [John]

          • Re:Help with history (Score:5, Informative)

            by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @01:07PM (#30158884) Journal

            Microsoft licensed the NCSA/spyglass MOSAIC which was the dominant browser at that time (1993-94).

            Then Microsoft got sued for giving-away the browser for free and thus not making royalty payments to NCSA/Spyglass (no sales==no profit sharing). Microsoft used its economic muscle to force Spyglass to accept 8 million dollars in one-time payment, and kept the code for themselves.

            Embrace. Extend. Extinguish. "Business is war." - Jack Tramel

      • Re:Help with history (Score:5, Informative)

        by Chris Mattern (191822) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:55AM (#30157428)

        Please correct me if I'm wrong or fill me in on what I'm missing but the thing that's always bugged me about web standards is when they started MS had just about 100% of the market share.

        You're wrong. When web standards started, MS had 0% of the market share. Internet Explorer did not yet exist. The standards were there first; MS decided not to support them.

        • Re:Help with history (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @12:27PM (#30158064)

          Actually, the W3C and IE appeared almost contemporeously with each other, so there wasn't much in the way of actual web (as opposed to network) standardisation at the time. In fact, the W3C was created to combat the existing standards-free mess. Microsoft's disregard for the growing standardisation of the web over the coming years was a serious issue, and a disincentive for other browsers to standardise, but it's not like they blundered into a divine and well-defined web and made a mess of it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            >>>Actually, the W3C and IE appeared almost contemporaneously with each other

            False. W3C == 1994. IE == 1995. There were standards put forth by the W3C, but both Microsoft and Netscape were ignoring them (and being criticized as well). I remember it well.

            • Re:Help with history (Score:4, Interesting)

              by IntlHarvester (11985) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @03:35PM (#30161690) Journal

              The W3C was almost irrelevant in the period when Netscape was the dominant browser. Netscape did whatever the hell it wanted (tables, frames), and the W3C was constantly playing catchup with them.

              The major break was when Netscape pushed "JavaScript Style Sheets" over CSS and "Layers" over the W3C DOM.

              Internet Explorer 4 contained preliminary versions of the W3C CSS and DOM standards. Yes they were incomplete and buggy and extended, but without them the W3C probably would have faded away completely.

              When Mozilla came out, it was far more compatible with IE than it was with previous versions of Netscape.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          +1 insightful. I went and looked it up on wikipedia.

          The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was founded in 1994. Microsoft's Internet Exploder was not released until a year later, and then it went hog-wild to ignore the W3C standards. (In fairness, so too did Netscape Navigator with adding new extensions to HTML.)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nine-times (778537)

          Even if web standards came along later, it still wouldn't be a good reason to ignore them. The standard electrical outlet was designed after someone discovered how to harness electricity, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't use them.

          Standards are good. If someone wants to argue that IE's version of HTML is better than W3C's and we should be using it as our standard instead, I'm all ears. Of course, for that to be a reasonable idea, we'd have to have a well documented explanation of what IE's "standard" i

      • by n0-0p (325773) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @12:39PM (#30158314)

        You're wrong. MS was a huge supporter of web standards back in the mid to late nineties, back when they were the underdog browser. They were extremely active in the development of XML, HTML4, DOM, and CSS. They proposed and implemented VML, which was combined with PGML to produce SVG. They were the first to begin implementations of numerous standards, including DOM, CSS and SMIL. That's a big part of why Microsoft won the first browser war; because they had a genuinely superior product to Netscape.

        In 1997 Netscape started development on Gecko, in an attempt to leapfrog Microsoft's Trident engine. The problem is that Netscape couldn't get a product to market in a reasonable amount of time. Without a competitor, Microsoft took over the market, peaking at 95% share in 2003. The die was cast in 2000, however, when Microsoft saw that they'd won browser war. That's when they started moving IE into maintenance, and migrating the top developers over to .NET. This left the web stagnating for years with partially implemented standards and no viable competitor to IE.

        Fast forward to late 2004, and Mozilla finally had a polished product built on Netscape's Gecko engine. Firefox emerged as a genuinely superior product to IE, and Mozilla relentlessly proclaimed the web standards mantra. They chipped away at Microsoft's market share until Firefox reached around 10% at the end of 2005. Meanwhile, companies like Google provided really compelling services based on the web standards supported by Firefox, and eventually other browsers. And of course, there were all the security fumbles with IE, while the competing browsers were (mostly undeservedly) considered safer. At that point, Microsoft finally got worried and pulled IE out of maintenance in early 2006.

        So, now IE is back in active development, and MS is returning to the features they started roughly a decade ago, which places them well behind competitors like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera. And Microsoft still doesn't consider IE to be a very important product, because the team today is just a shadow of what they were at their peak in the nineties. That's why the improvements are progressing so slowly, and they're continuing to lag even farther behind the competition. Meanwhile they're hemorrhaging market share at a rate of about 7% per year.

        TL;DR: MS cared about standards until they were on top; once they owned the browser market, they did nothing to improve it. Now that they're losing the market, they're making a half-hearted attempt to compete again.

        • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @01:25PM (#30159232) Journal

          >>>MS was a huge supporter of web standards back in the mid to late nineties, back when they were the underdog browser.

          Not true. W3C has been criticizing Microsoft since day 1 for not following their recommendations. (They also criticized Netscape.)
          .

          >>>That's a big part of why Microsoft won the first browser war; because they had a genuinely superior product to Netscape.

          I don't agree, but even if we assume IE was better, the MAIN reason it "won" was because IE was free and Netscape cost $30 at the time (I remember; I paid to get the shiny new Navigator 3 in a box). Free almost always wins in a battle.

    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      Real? They are still in business?

      I think I'd rather have MS based stuff than their garbage. *blech*

    • by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @12:04PM (#30157616)

      Why do people realise how stupid benchmarks are, yet parrot on about ACID all day?

      • by flydpnkrtn (114575) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @12:31PM (#30158146)
        ACID isn't a benchmark, it's a web standards compliance test. It basically gives a glimpse of how much a browser conforms to the W3C standards. From the ACID3 site:

        "Acid3 [acidtests.org] is the third in a series of test pages written to help browser vendors ensure proper support for web standards in their products.

        Acid3 is primarily testing specifications for “Web 2.0 dynamic Web applications. Also there
        are some visual rendering tests, including webfonts. Here is the list of specifications tested:

        • DOM2 Core
        • DOM2 Events
        • DOM2 HTML
        • DOM2 Range
        • DOM2 Style (getComputedStyle, )
        • DOM2 Traversal (NodeIterator, TreeWalker)
        • DOM2 Views (defaultView)
        • ECMAScript
        • HTML4 (<object>, <iframe>, )
        • HTTP (Content-Type, 404, )
        • Media Queries
        • Selectors (:lang, :nth-child(), combinators, dynamic changes, )
        • XHTML 1.0
        • CSS2 (@font-face)
        • CSS2.1 (’inline-block’, ‘pre-wrap’, parsing)
        • CSS3 Color (rgba(), hsla(), )
        • CSS3 UI (’cursor’)
        • data: URIs
        • SVG (SVG Animation, SVG Fonts, )"
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Idiomatick (976696)
        That's silly. ACID shows if something works or not. Benchmarks are speed tests that can be wildly inaccurate compared to real world testing. I mean it isn't like browsers are faking it (btw this is my browser: http://i.zdnet.com/blogs/acid3-465.png [zdnet.com] .. unlike most browsers its not en executable, just open it in any image viewing app) as graphics card companies have.

        I don't think 100% is necessary mind you. I do think a passing grade is a good thing.
      • Why do people realise how stupid benchmarks are, yet parrot on about ACID all day?

        I don't like tomatoes, but I like unit testing. I thought I'd mention that as long as we're tossing out non-sequiturs.

  • Sweet! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus (799657) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:11AM (#30156540) Homepage Journal

    Sweet! I can't wait to replace Firefox on my MacBook Pro and my desktop Ubuntu box with this, it will run awesome on those! I wonder when I'll be able to get AdBlock for it?

  • JS performance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by orngjce223 (1505655) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:14AM (#30156602)

    Hardware acceleration of text and pictures is one thing. Javascript performance is quite another. What with all this AJAX and Javascript stuff out on the web these days, what IE badly needs is a really good Javascript engine. Two school computers, one running Chrome (out of my home directory - bad sysadmin!) and the other running IE8, have very obvious differences in their Javascript speed on a benchmarking test (Sunspider, FYI). (They're school computers, their hardware should be exactly the same, their uptime should be exactly the same, etc. etc.)

    So, where is Microsoft going in this category?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by csartanis (863147)

      These are the sunspider results. Link [winisp.net]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:14AM (#30156606)

    ...users will finally be able to browse the Crysis website with acceptable framerates.

  • Add-On System (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jgtg32a (1173373) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:15AM (#30156622)
    Firefox is my primary browser, but I'm not in love with it by any means. It just has so many integrated Add-On that I cannot live with out. Copy the Firefox Add-On system and I'll take a look at your browser.

    Oh yeah I also want working keyboard shortcuts.
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:17AM (#30156674) Homepage

    Which is another way of saying that IE9 will be such a resource hog that even the highly advanced eight core systems we'll be using in a few years will not be powerful enough to run it.

    • by Z34107 (925136)

      Which is another way of saying that IE9 will be such a resource hog that even the highly advanced eight core systems we'll be using in a few years will not be powerful enough to run it.

      Better performance == bloated?

      Your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsetter.

    • The highly advanced 8-core system I'm using now can't run it. Unless they've brought back IE support for Solaris/SPARC.
  • Awesome! (Score:5, Funny)

    by wandazulu (265281) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:22AM (#30156744)

    Now it will incorrectly render my pages twice as fast!

    Seriously, IE has become a verb with me and my web developer friends. We even use it in general conversation: "That guy cut me off and I told him to go IE himself."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jeff Carr (684298)
      Exactly. I, and I'm sure many others, spent countless hours studying web technologies in the late 90's. I was starting to become quite an expert in typography, accessibility, interface design, and the myriad of technologies necessary to create complete web applications. Then I started trying to develop standards based web pages that worked in IE.

      So, now I'm a database developer.
    • by shis-ka-bob (595298) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @12:54PM (#30158628)
      as in, "The web developer screamed 'IEEEEEEE!' as he lept to his death in frustration." This is known as an injection attack and is becoming increasingly common.
  • More Exploits (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheNinjaroach (878876) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:23AM (#30156768)
    More surface area for exploits, yeah!
  • Quote correction (Score:2, Insightful)

    by killmenow (184444)

    'We're changing IE to use the DirectX family of Windows APIs to enable many advances for Windows-only web developers,' explains Internet Explorer's general manager, Dean Hachamovitch.

    Welcome to the new IE. Same as the old IE.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by natehoy (1608657)

      That's an excellent point. I'm assuming the web developer, however, would not have access to the API directly.

      If they do, then, damn, talk about vendor lock-in. IE9 would become the new IE6, with anyone stupid enough to deploy its full feature set locked to only having customers who have IE9.

      But I have to assume that Redmond learned their lesson on this one, and has insulated the DirectX API calls to "stuff that happens in rendering standard HTML", and not "web developer can send DirectX commands straight

  • by Twinbee (767046) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:26AM (#30156806) Homepage

    I look forward more to resolution independence [wikipedia.org]. It would REALLY nice to express a picture or font's width in terms of screen (or table) proportion, instead of pixels (ugh).

    It would save everyone so much time. Let's hope super-super high resolution monitors (OLED anyone?) come shortly to make this more of a reality.

  • But then my iexplore.exe locked up with explorer.exe.
  • How about... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rshol (746340) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:26AM (#30156824)
    ...built in, in line spell check, now that every other frikin' browser on the planet has one. And how about the ability to make permanent exceptions for sites with mismatching SSL certs so I don't get a warning message every time I access webmin on my linux server on my home network? Seriously, most of the time I'm on the web I'm in Gmail or on a forum. Spell check is not a luxury, its a necessity. Speed and Acid 3 compliance do not keep me using Firefox, spell check, and adblock do.
  • If using direct-x, mean more direct access to the privileged code, for CSS/javascript bugs It looks like a good idea. A better javascript engine, or a better architecture, is a good idea, but giving more direct access to the hardware to something as "external" as third party javascript/css, seems a bad idea. Microsoft, don't do that, is a bad idea.
    IE is already very fast, faster than Firefox. Fix all the CSS bugs, make it a better supporting the standards browse, or start another browser from scratch if t

  • When I read the post the first image I got was John Hodgman [wikipedia.org] saying 'Trust me, this time it's going to be different'.

  • In addition to better performance, this technology shift also increases font quality and readability with sub-pixel positioning:

    they say "sub-pixel positioning", but the example shows aliased vs. anti-aliased font rendering.... *really*? that's their "closing the gap w/ rivals" strategy? WOW.

  • Out of curiosity, where does any one know where MS normally aims if not at improving performance?
    Reminds me of sales people who being their spiel with "Can I be honest with you?" I've always wondered what they were being before if they feel they need to ask permission to be honest.
  • from the look of it (I RTFA) I see progress. It's about time.
  • I find the choice of DirectX quite interesting, I've been looking recently at doing some basic game programming again just for a bit of fun and was rather shocked to find what an utter mess graphics programming has become on the Windows platform.

    Many years ago, when I last played around with graphics programming it was pretty straightforward, you used DirectX or OpenGL. For your game editors you'd use MFC or the Win32 API (or something 3rd party like SDL). It didn't really matter which you chose, but if you

  • "Our next version will be better than anything that is out there now." --- Microsoft has been saying that for years about all of their software.

    .
    Why does Microsoft think the rest of the software world will remain stationary while Microsoft lumbers forwards at its own bloated pace.

  • Please, Microsoft (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Trailer Trash (60756) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @12:19PM (#30157922) Homepage

    As a developer of web-based applications, I beg you to quit making new browsers. I am right now dealing with three of your browsers - one a complete nightmare and the others merely "bad". It's really obvious to even the casual observer that your company does not have the capability to make a decent web browser. You'll always be playing a really bad game of catch-up. You'll never be as good as Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Chrome. I can get *all* of those at no charge, same price as yours. But - and this is key here - those browsers work.

    I have begun showing my customers just how much money they're paying to make their applications work with IE after I write them. People are getting pissed, and rightly so. You're putting money in my pocket, but frankly I have better, much more fun ways to make money.

    Just. Give. It. Up. For the sake of all of us.

A holding company is a thing where you hand an accomplice the goods while the policeman searches you.

Working...