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Internet Explorer 9: Microsoft catches up

Internet Explorer 9: Microsoft catches up

03 May | Posted by @Marc-André Lamothe

For a month now, the new version of Microsoft’s browser is available for download on Windows Vista, 7 and 2008. After its installation, our first impression is that it visually resembles Google Chrome a lot more than the previous versions of Internet Explorer (so does version 4 of FireFox).


The differences go well beyond appearances. Indeed, this new version of the popular browser offers several functionalities that were first introduced by Google, such as a search system integrated to the address bar and the use of a single process for each opened page (or tab). The advantages that these features offer are well known now, and it is refreshing to see that Microsoft follows the trend instead of going in an opposite direction.


Underneath the surface, improvements are obvious; firstly, the Javascript engine is clearly more efficient than it was in any previous version. For its part, Internet Explorer 9 scored 2 841 in the V8 benchmark test (similar to what Firefox 4 got) while Internet Explorer 8 did not even reach 1 000. However, Google Chrome’s Javascript engine is still in the lead with its score of 8 491 points.


HTML 4 and CSS 2 support standards have also been greatly improved. Internet Explorer 9 successfully passed the Acid 1 and 2 tests and obtained a score of 95 on 100 in the Acid 3 test, a result that exceeds any other one than previous IE versions. IE 9 also supports several HTML 5 and CSS 3 tags and properties including videos, rounded corners and shadows.


All in all, we would like to salute Microsoft for their new browser version. We hope to see more improvement that moves in the same direction, regarding future versions, and that they will one day be sufficient enough to make us forget the disaster that was Internet Explorer 6. We also wish to congratulate Google for having revolutionized browsing systems, several years ago, by launching its own browser.


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