Jason Weber, lead program manager for IE performance.

Jason Weber’s office boasts a fantastic view, a gigantic monitor — and some of the least-impressive machines you’ll find on the Microsoft campus. His 4-year-old PC runs an early Intel Core 2 Duo processor. On his Tablet PC, the processor is mere 1 GHz.

And that’s precisely the way he likes it. Weber is Internet Explorer’s lead program manager for performance, and his team’s work has been a key part of overhauling Internet Explorer 9, the new version of the browser set for public release tonight.

“If I can make IE9 fast here, I can make it fast anywhere,” Weber explains, noting with almost a hint of pride that the graphics scores of his various machines are all in the bottom 20 percent of PCs run by everyday computer users. If the browser is running smoothly and quickly on his setup, he says, “a high-end machine is just going to scream.”

[Follow-up: Internet Explorer 9: Windows XP users, you’re out of luck]

Those performance improvements will be critical to Microsoft’s efforts to regain traction in the browser market, in the face of tough competition from Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and others.

Microsoft also still needs to overcome lingering negativity about its browser, resulting in part from years of neglect in which little to no work took place on Internet Explorer — creating a five-year gap between major versions, between 2001 and 2006.

Internet Explorer 9 RC. (Click for larger version.)

Internet Explorer 9, in contrast, will be the third release in less than five years. The IE9 beta and release candidate have drawn a combined 40 million downloads, reflecting strong interest in the new browser. The on-screen interface has been retooled, with a streamlined approach and integration with the Windows 7 taskbar, among other new features.

But the under-the-hood changes are the most radical.

“If you look at the code path from when the user loads the web page in IE8 and when they load a page in IE9, it’s almost exclusively brand-new code,” Weber says. “We are a very different browser.”

Here’s how he describes the major changes …

JAVASCRIPT: “The web platform has traditionally executed JavaScript in an interpreter. There are some benefits to interpreters — they’re very easy to write, and they’re easy to port cross-platform, but they’re slow. With Chakra (the code name for the IE9 Javascript engine) we enabled native code generation. Inside Internet Explorer 9, we take the Javascript, and we compile that using background processing on the machine. Our compilation process doesn’t interfere with loading the web page or interacting with the web page. But we take advantage of all these extra resources that the machine has had, that the web platform has never really utilized, to compile that JavaScript down to native machine code — zeros and ones — on the CPU. The same compliation process that occurs with native C++ code, native applications. Now your Javascript applications are just as fast as native-compiled applications. You can see this in some benchmarks, like the WebKit Sunspider benchmark, where Internet Explorer 9 is now 10 to 20 times faster, depending on your hardware, than Internet Explorer 8, which is just using an interpreter.

GRAPHICS: “Graphics on the web have traditionally occurred on the CPU, the central processing unit. That’s unfortunate for two reasons. The first is, when you’re doing all that computing on the CPU, it takes away from the CPU doing other things, like executing JavaScript, or loading your page, or letting you interact with the page. The second reason is that every Windows machine that has shipped over the last 11 years has a GPU built in, a graphics processing unit. GPUs are massively scalable, they’re designed for graphics. They can perform graphical computation hundreds if not thousands of times faster than the CPU in many cases. As we looked at how we make this (graphics-related processing on the CPU) decrease, the GPU was the natural way to do that. Not only did we make this decrease, we’ve largely made this piece of the pie go away because this computation now happens in massively parallel ways on the GPU. … There’s a lot of ways to take advantage of the GPU, and different browser manufacturers are using different approaches. The approach that we took inside IE9 was to fully hardware-accelerate the browser. There’s all different types of things that can appear on the screen, graphically. Everything from images, to text, to video, to SVG, the HTML 5 Canvas capabilities. All of these capabilities, we now directly compose on the GPU. We don’t pass anything through the CPU and down to the GPU. Even some of our competitors, which are doing hardware acceleration, they’re still going through the CPU first, passing it over to the GPU. You can see some of the performance differences.”

LAYOUT ENGINE: “The layout engine inside Internet Explorer 8 was really designed for this traditional, static web page, and not these rich, interactive web pages. With IE9, we rewrote our layout engine from scratch, to be designed for rich, interactive sites. We have a team that spent many months decomposing the existing layout engine. In fact, it was the team that worked on the IE8 layout engine. So they had a lot of domain knowledge. They really spent several months decomposing the layout engine to understand how it worked, and really understanding standards, starting with CSS1 and CSS2 and CSS3, and understanding how web pages are written using layout standards today, and also looking at how CSS3, which is emerging, is going to change those patterns. We designed a very efficient layout engine, from scratch. Layout is a very algorithmically, computationally intensive process. Lots of little boxes and layouts and z-ordering. It’s about algorithms. A few members of that team are just algorithmic experts across Microsoft. And so we’ve spent the past close to 18 months now rewriting it from scratch. That’s actually one of the things that I’m most proud of — if you look at where we rewrote from scratch, that’s where we had the highest chance of compatibility issues (problems displaying existing pages). But with IE9, we have higher compatibility rates than any other previous version of Internet Explorer. It was certainly a risk, but it’s really paid off.”

The finished version of Internet Explorer 9 is expected to be available for download starting tonight, launching in conjunction with a Microsoft event at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas.

[Follow-up: IE9 hits 2.3M: Firefox 4 set for March 22]

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  • http://twitter.com/pdileepa Dileepa Prabhakar

    All of that’s great, but how about speeding up the crappy-slow UI? Tab operations still “feel” slower than Chrome or Firefox. Closing IE9 can take time if you’ve been navigating around a large, dynamic page (like your twitter page, scrolling down infinitely).

    And then there is this strange disconnect between opening a tab and the contents of the address bar, as if they are overwriting something in the address bar every time a new tab is opened.

    The UI was slow in IE7, was slow in IE8 and continues to be slow in IE9.

    • Anonymous

      And yet, for the rest of the world, it’s blazingly fast. but for you, it’s slow? Ok.

      • Laz001

        Infact…he’s not the only one. I have a dual core 2Ghz 3GB dell laptop with a clean W7 installaion, and I find that tabs are unresponsive and slow sometimes as well. Tabs do not respond to clicks 100% of the time, sometimes requiring multiple clicks, or you to click elsewhere and then click on the tab before they open. IE9 is brilliant, but that is a pretty annoying ‘feature’.

        • slmaluwa

          I don’t see any issue with tab. Mine is a quad core with 8GB x64 Win7 with lot of other programs installed. Still no issue. I like it.

          • Anonymous

            So you need 8 cores in order to run IE9 smoothly?

          • Anonymous

            Quad core = four cores, not eight. But for the record, I’m running IE9 on a dual-core machine and it’s blazing fast.

          • Mac001

            Actually it is easy to repro on my machine: start loading a page and try to open a new tab… click “new tab” a few times… still no effect.

      • Tim

         Yeah, no. For the rest of the world it’s slow. For MS bootlickers it’s fast. The debate is over. MS blows ass at browsers.

    • Mason

      Quite. The slowness of the UI is my biggest complaint. This has been a problem for me since IE7.

    • IP2W_Paris

      I second that … it is indeed pretty slow compared to FF or Chrome :|

  • Karsten

    Congratulations to the IE team. Can’t wait to get my hands on final product tonight. The RC is amazingly fast and destroys Firefox4 and Chrome10 on HTML5 stuff. NEVER count Redmond out.

  • Anonymous

    Notice they compare IE9 to IE but dare not compare to any other browser. IE9 continues Microsoft’s legacy of producing the worst browser on the planet. Inept at best, IE9 won’t be able to compete against any of the other browsers which are, technically, far more advanced today than IE9 was hoped to be.

    • Anonymous

      Just to correct one aspect of what you’re saying, Microsoft is very open and actually pretty aggressive about comparing IE9 to Chrome, Firefox and others, particularly in terms of performance on the IE9 test drive demos. http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/

      • Anonymous

        Yes. Microsoft is good about showing you what it can do well while ignoring the other 50% of what it can’t do at all. Do they show you web workers? File API? Flexbox? CSS3 gradients? Text shadows?…and on and on…No cause all the modern browsers can handle those but IE9 can’t!

        • john

          OMG they dont support flexbox? Wow, what a bunch of losers……..

          I love how you pick out all these stupid little things, some valid, others completely pointless.

          • Anonymous

            Obviously you haven’t a clue what you’re talking about since you call them that. I’m sure you consider pretty blinking lights far more important but you don’t consider the hoops developers go through to get IE there.

        • http://twitter.com/dylanw Dylan Wilbanks

          Text shadows are current NOT part of CSS3, and if/when they go back in they’ll probably be radically different. So I would seriously not compare on that. Ditto web workers, which are only passingly supported in FF (and honestly scare the crap out of a few security people.)

          Flexbox it would be really nice to have, true. But that’s only a W3C draft.

          Complaining IE9 doesn’t fully support draft CSS3 standards is like complaining that a car isn’t as experimental as it should be. MSFT has set out to fully support CSS 2.1 with IE9. They set out to support as much of CSS3 as was stable. And they pretty much pulled it off. It’s not Chrome, but it’s at least brought us up to Firefox 3.5-ish.

          You want your bells and whistles super-browser? Then start yelling at the W3C to finish CSS 2.1 and CSS3 already. Stop blaming Microsoft for being the good, albeit late, player they are.

          • Anonymous


            CSS 2.1 is still in draft. Are you avoiding that, too?

            Who complained that IE9 doesn’t fully support CSS3? Now you’re making stuff up.

            How can you be good but late as you so state and still not cover half of what ALL other browsers do? Have you seen caniuse.com as I’ve linked to? Or do you only read Microsoft PR releases?

            For a summary, go to the bottom of caniuse.com. My Gosh! IE9 finally covers XHTML! After a decade of waiting!!

          • http://twitter.com/dylanw Dylan Wilbanks

            “You want your bells and whistles super-browser? Then start yelling at the W3C to finish CSS 2.1 and CSS3 already.”

            It’s right there. So why are you avoiding what I said?

            And XHTML is dead. Hixie killed it. It’s totally Microsoft to finally serve it with the correct MIME-type once everyone went home. But XHTML support is moot at this point.

            But try this some time — write a pure HTML5 page with header and footer tags. Load it in FF3.6. You’ll discover what I did this week — they’re all inline because FF3.6 doesn’t recognize them as block elements. IE8 has even less an idea what to do with them, but people screaming how FF supports so much of CSS3 aren’t talking about the browser on 40% of the world’s computers. They’re talking about the one dropping Tuesday.

            Of course, you can close the gap on most all the IE/FF/WebKit gaps with a library like jQuery. But I guess using a library is beneath you.

    • Anonymous

      Haven’t even tried it, have you? They didn’t compare IE9 because the whole POINT of the story was to show what an improvement it is over previous versions of IE.

      But do go on trolling.

      • Anonymous

        I’m a web developer. I’ve been running the betas since they first came out. I have multiple browsers on my machine. I test web sites against all of them. IE holds both hands behind a web developers back.

        • Adrian

          i second that. and EI crashes all the time, unlike FF or opera, regardless of the number of cores, GHz, GBs…

          • Anonymous

            I’m sorry, but I think something is wrong with your computer. I run IE9 on multiple computers, and it has crashed maybe twice in the last six months (despite being in beta for much of that time).

    • SoManyIDIOTS!!!

      Last time I checked, IE had TWICE as many users as every other browsers combined. WTF are you talking about?

      • Anonymous

        Like you? You think because the average Windows user gets IE force installed on them makes IE a better browser? Or are you totally ignorant of the technical issues all web developers have to work around to get anything to work in IE? I’m positive you aren’t.

        • Xeev

          I am sorry but its not IE only issue, you can get very same issues between any number of browsers. Right now I’m trying to figure why web works in IE, Opera, Chrome but is totally broken in Firefox 3,4 …

          • Anonymous

            Your reply doesn’t make any sense at all. The whole web is broken? No. If you want to talk about how technically proficient browsers are, IE9 is the worst of them all. Hands down. And you will not and cannot find any non-Microsoft web site that will show you differently. It’s impossible because to do so is a lie.

          • http://webwindow.markagius.co.uk Mark A.

            “Your reply doesn’t make any sense at all. The whole web is broken?”

            I think you mean that some pages work with one browser but not another browser.
            I can understand why a browser using Trident is different from one using Mozilla,
            but still wonder why different Mozilla browsers are not all compatible with the same web page.
            If you load a page with IE, AOL, Neo Planet, 32bit Web Browser, Avant browser, FlashPeak SlimBrowser, …. they all display the same way.
            If you load a page with Safari, Flock, Chrome, K-Meleon, Firefox, Opera, SeaMonkey, …. none of them treat the page the same.

            It’s not too hard to get a page to work with IE and one of the Mozilla browsers.
            Try and get the page to work with IE and two Mozilla browsers, or even just two Mozilla browsers and by the time I’ve got it working
            the next browser version will be out.

            So there are more Trident browsers compatable with other Trident browsers than Mozilla browsers with Mozilla browsers.

            “IE9 is the worst of them all. Hands down.” No, but Mozilla is.

          • Anonymous

            Comparing IE to Firefox is like comparing a broken calculator to one that works. Of course you get different answers. If you think you understand the technicals, read this: http://goo.gl/5nxYQ

          • Rick

            Except Firefox is broken from an engineering perspective. So many geeks have moved on to Chrome – hence the slide in Firefox’s market numbers.

            Let’s hope better for Firefox 4.0 or we’ll once again see another Netscape situations.

          • http://webwindow.markagius.co.uk Mark A.

            Comparing IE to Firefox is like comparing a broken calculator to one that works.

            True, so why don’t they fix Firefox?
            Its less compatable than Chrome. (I must emit that I haven’t used Firefox since version 3.6, or Chrome since 9.0)

            http://goo.gl/5nxYQ displays the results of its tests.
            Different tests perduce different results.

          • Bob

            Yeh, right, we can all make stuff up when we invent our own criteria. Whats the meaning of CSS3 compatability when you write your own descriptors.

            In the last year I’ve experienced something that I had never experienced in the previous 15. Browsers crashing when loading popular pages. Usually Firefox sometimes IE (not 9 yet), amazingly Chrome has proved most robust. HTML5, CSS3 and all the rest is nonsense. More importantly, its all draft specification.

            Web developer who bitch about IE support are just lazy. Trying to use unsupported features to ‘jazz up’ there crap or create functionality that can be achieved by other means. IF you know what you’re doing.

          • Anonymous

            IF you knew what you were talking about, you’d realize that CSS2.1 is still not final. You’d also know that standards are based on implementations, not invention, and HTML5 and CSS3 will not be finalized until there are two complete implementations. Oh and btw, Microsoft helped write those drafts they don’t support.

            And it’s obvious that you think we should continue to write workarounds for IE’s shortcomings. Why don’t we continue to dumb down the web for IE’s benefit rather than support far more modern browsers that are up to the task at hand.

            Perhaps you would be wiser to support those that move the web forward rather than sit on their hands with buggy whip in hand fearing the new fangled contraptions that make our jobs easier.

          • Adrian

            I haven’t even heard of the browsers you listed as “working as IE”, but all the browsers you said treat websites differently are major and are the ones developers use to test for functionality. You either work for microsoft, you’re 60 years old or you have a microsoft tatoo, otherwise i cannot find the reason for your enthusiast.

            Stop cursing at mozilla, it’s just as free as IE is, but nobody is forcing you to use it when buying a computer.

          • http://webwindow.markagius.co.uk Mark A.

            The first list was Trident / Microsoft.
            The second list was Mozilla.
            I’m not 60 years old. What’s wrong in being 60?
            I don’t have any tattoos. Their for the under 60’s.
            I don’t work for Microsoft, but I’m sure they know more about browsers than Joe public.
            But I have developed a browser.

            There are loads of free and non-free Mozilla browsers, but I have only tried some of the free ones.
            I will stop ‘cursing’ Mozilla browsers as soon as Mozilla become compatible with Mozilla.

            You need to first try the browsers you haven’t heard of before you can say if you like them or not.

          • Anonymous

            The percentage of web developers (content suppliers) to web consumers (content demanders) is much lower. So while you can argue that IE9 is inferior to suppliers, it’s IE9’s features and experience that appeal to more content demanders. Last I heard though, supply tends to cater to demand in the long run.

          • Anonymous

            While you want to use IE’s market share as a defense, that doesn’t change the fact that IE9 is an inept and incompetent browser, but IE has gone from 95% share to 57% in six years. The users are leaving IE and going elsewhere. Users are learning.

        • Ve9dwf

          or they are just an average computer user that are fine with a default browser and have a real life. They dont worry about special pointless features. If you have to “work around” to get it to work on IE , i suggest you go take some computer program course. IE has been around a lot longer then fryerfox or crime

          • Anonymous

            Obviously you have never coded a web page to realize there are tens, if not hundreds, of web sites dedicated to fixing the multitude of shortcomings of IE while there are NONE dedicated to fixing ANY other browser. Don’t make comments about things you know nothing about.

        • Theo

          Microsoft doesn’t force users to upgrade to IE9, as there were many still using IE6 when IE8 was released. In addition, IE9 is updated through WU which doesn’t force you to install unless you change the settings to Manuel update. Unlike Apple which forces it’s users to use this app or that without choice.

      • Xnuiem

        When was the last time you looked? I looked yesterday and Firefox has 45% market share compared to 25% for IE.

  • http://blog.sentientmonkey.com Scott Windsor

    Dear Jason (and other IE9 devs),
    You’ve added a number of ECMAScript 5 features except “strict mode”. Please add this as it’s one of biggest improvements to javascript to help out security with third-party code. If you don’t add it, it will be another missed opportunity and a “it works everywhere except IE…” issue.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YFTSLSAFZVLKRYWEF5KLJ5W3OE Wieslaw

    IE9 lasted a total of 10 minutes on my machine. Apparently ClearType cannot be turned off in it.

  • http://www.bernzilla.com/ Bernie Zimmermann

    Regarding “the approach that we took inside IE9 was to fully hardware-accelerate the browser:” the marketing claim was called out as “ridiculous” and “hypocritical” by one of the Firefox devs focusing on browser performance. You can read all the gory yet informative details here:


  • http://twitter.com/StijnClaessen Stijn Claessen

    Why is IE still interpreting the CSS stylesheets differently than other browsers? I think this is the biggest issue,… not speed.

  • Kowit

    I have tried the IE9, the speed is alright. How about the security!

  • Test

    Speed and security :)
    Normal user can not even download file without adding web page url to security area :(

  • Keith Badeau

    I use Chrome, Firefox, and IE9 as not one browser works properly on every single site. Chrome and Firefox display sites differently from one another and I noticed that even though IE9 doesn’t support many of the CSS3 features, it doesn’t break a site that uses them. It is fast. It has a lot of issues but so do Chrome and Firefox. It seems like everybody has to jump on the bandwagon and dog Microsoft. If you don’t like IE don’t use it–it is as simple as that.

  • Guest73

    Not a single word about security, in this article.
    That shows how M$ sets its focus. Scary!

  • robsoles

    And I still won’t use it.

  • http://twitter.com/ShawnRMclean Shawn Mclean

    Seems like I’m not the only one who only uses IE to download chrome on a new windows.

  • Markjohnson122987

    I proved it myself – a lot of anti IE9 is established before they get out of bed. They just plain hate MS and nothing is going to change that. I don’t know who they are or why, sometimes a person spews because they think it makes them seem smarter – they’re just repeating what someone else said. Sometimes the tiniest thing that can be seen in different ways is seized upon in the worst way imaginable, then run up the flagpole as another “example” of terrible MS blah blah blah. And sometimes they simply worship at the Google altar.

  • meeCnu

    Apart from the Technologies blabla.. but when compare to the other browser IE will be in the first row wich is consuming less memory. when you open FF or chrome they will consume around 30% to 40% of memory…. what you guys say?

  • Arnold

    Man… no wonder IE is slow.

    If I understood this correctly, the man at Microsoft responsibly for making IE go fast, sits on outdated HW.

    So… in effect IE is being optimized for old gear, is that something to be proud of.
    Is it even a smart strategy?!?

    In my world HW changes, the game changes. You need to stay tuned with new hardware, graphic accelerators, physics engines etc. and use it, not ignore it.

    I could go optimizing a bit of code on a ZX Spectrum or, I could just evolve with the hardware of today.

    Speed is not always raw speed, it’s about presentation as well… Presentation that may not be possible on old HW that a minority will own. (and no the majority will not buy W7 and install on an old machine and companies will lease HW, W7 comes with new HW.)

  • Kumarrahulbhadani

    yeah i understand it good from developers point of view,but newer version of IE in not better than previous one as far as front end is concerned…

  • Guest

    Well done and kudos from copying from Chrome. You losers have no innovative idea at all

    • Cuca

      You make absolutely no sense, honey. Do you say the same to VW for producing cars with 4 wheels, like ANYBODY ELSE ? Wow, what a lack of imagination ! They have no innovative ideas at all.

  • http://psychebubbles.blogspot.com/ Psyche(Sid)

    I am definitely looking forward to IE9. Firefox is a disaster these days, yesterday it crashed for the 5th time, and made me scream… Anyone have such problems lately? gosh there is no decent browser available…

    FF seems to be unable to hold its end when a lot of flash objects are run in it. Thank god for choices..

    • Moss

      Check out Chrome.

  • Himalaya Gupta

    Its nothing but the Ver2.0 of Google Chrome.. copy cat Microsoft…. :P

  • http://twitter.com/kyrie_mx Patricio

    piss off ie9. We people want a reliable web browser, not that buggie releases from m$. We users want freedom. Use mozilla firefox. I guarantee you will be more secure on the web.

  • MicroWHAT?

    Honestly this just sounds like work that should have been done years ago. Congrats Microsoft’s browser has now reached the others? If you are ever going to rip me from Chrome you need to have a CLEANER UI. Also some better development tools would help. Aim for FireBug; I personally think its better than Chrome’s.

  • Ve9dwf

    tried it but had issues with you tube screens showing no video

  • Moss

    It’s too late. I’m afraid I’ve crossed over to Chrome and I won’t be back. IE is for people like my wife who still types urls into the google search text box no matter how many time I try to explain it to her.

    • robsoles

      Internet Explorer has for a long time been for “less educated users” and Microsoft can do little wrong in their eyes because they don’t know any better.

      When I first started making websites the learning curve was big but it was shockingly exacerbated by the ‘hacks’ required to make a site render the same in Internet Explorer as it did in “Proper Browsers”.

      I switched to firefox while it was still a very ugly duckling and seemed less ‘supported’ and ‘powerful’ than MSIE – I switched because I was sick of cleaning up crap that ‘evil’ websites managed on my computer via the shambles that MSIE 5 (or 6?) was at the time; after switching I never had to restore even 1/100th of my settings and system that I had to previously.

      My EX wouldn’t quit MSIE while we were together and still calls me to restore her system when an MS update borks her connectivity or her browser is ‘too hijacked’ to use anymore – hasn’t called me for that since switching to Windows 7 on a brand new PC but it’s only been a week…

      Don’t get me wrong; in certain divisions Microsoft are nigh on untouchable BUT, they should stick to office type programs and leave operating systems and browsers to people who (a) understand and (b) actually give a damn.

      Admittedly their latest OS appears to be much better than any browser of theirs I have actually bothered testing since switching FF.

      Sometime or another search in Google for ‘pwntoown’ (pwn to own) and see how many times anybody ‘owned’ the machine running Firefox (or Chrome) against how many time somebody ‘owned’ the machine running Internet Explorer – have a look at how many times a REAL (*this means nothing ‘Apple’) Linux operating system has been pwned against MS operating systems as well, very entertaining stuff!

  • http://openid.kularski.org/curtis Curtis

    No amount of rewriting code will ever fix the flawed ideologies that the developers are following to write it.

  • JGD

    Did Microsoft recently hire some software guys from Google? The UI looks a lot like Chrome. How original Microsoft…

  • http://www.facebook.com/darkyndy Comanici Paul

    Still a crappy browser.

  • http://www.facebook.com/darkyndy Comanici Paul

    Still a crappy browser.

  • https://profiles.google.com/muzkayise/about Muzi

    IE9 is getting better but they are still playing catch up… this is all great nice new browser for windows people but for developers this adds onto another IE browser that we have to cater for. Now i need to check that the WebApp works in IE6, IE7, IE8 and IE9. FF is great for developers, chrome is great for users and IE is bad for everyone, especially those users still stuck on legacy IE6 & IE7. At least most users are waking up and they can see that IE is not so good therefore they are switching over to FF and chrome. the problem now lies with large corps who still lag behind because their systems were created for IE6. therefore we have to down grade our WebApp to work in IE6, WTF these people in charge are crazy. This is all MS’s fault why did they allow such a huge gap to open up between IE and other browsers? Yeah kudos to IE dev team for getting IE9 out but its not good enough i’m afraid

  • Kristy Howard-Clark

    My issue is security. IE has always been easier for the hackers to get through. No thank you, Microsoft. I do not want IE9, especially after reading these other comments.

  • http://twitter.com/dylanw Dylan Wilbanks

    You mean the Firefox that I had to ditch for Chrome last year because I was tired of the memory leaks in 3.5 that consumed my CPU?

    That Firefox?

    As someone who’s been building websites since, well, Mosaic, I find Firefox 3 to be the nadir of standards-based browsers. Gecko served its role well (especially in finally getting the MSFT powers-that-be to back Chris Wilson on IE7), but it’s clearly past its prime.

    It says something that IE9 is better than FF3.6. FF4 pushes them ahead in CSS3 and HTML5, but it’s that same nasty Gecko bloatware.

    The future is Chrome. That should be obvious to any web developer by now.

  • Anonymous

    It never fails to astound me the number of people so willing to settle for IE9 when any other browser gave them those same features and technical advancements months and years ago. They excuse Microsoft because such things are “in draft” or “not stable” or a multitude of reasons why IE9 is OK even though it doesn’t support what every other browser supports. These same people don’t realize that standards are built on implementation and, web standards in particular, are not signed off on until there are at least two complete implementations. Thinking IE9 shouldn’t support something till it’s finalized is not promoting or supporting the modern web.

    Excusing IE9 for its late arrival does not make it right. Remember that you may have to wait 2-3 years for the next update. In the meantime, all the other far more advanced browsers are moving farther ahead. There is NO reason to be using IE9. It makes no sense.

    • http://twitter.com/dylanw Dylan Wilbanks

      It never fails to astound me how even the best web designers don’t get it.

      Microsoft lost 5 years between IE6 and 7. Now they’re on an 18 month release schedule with IE10 targeted for fall 2012 (with Win 8). They’re actually trying to respond to complaints. They’re actually TRYING.

      I mean, think about it — they’ve gained 8 years in less than 5 years of development time. I mean, hell, not just fast progress, but actual progress from a company that can barely figure out how to wipe its own rear anymore.

      But Microsoft will always be behind. They will remain the choice of business, which means they’ll be weighed down by a need to not piss off their enterprise customers. At the same time, none of the other three browser groups out there give a rip about the enterprise or about breaking legacy code.

      But this is progress, and they’re desperately trying to catch up. At least we’re finally starting to see what’s supposed to happen with IE8 replacing IE7 rather than IE7 sticking around like IE6. (As someone who’s working with a company that serves their web content in Quirks mode… you know what hell is? Quirks mode.)

      But as for this whole “I’m more standards than you are” BS, seriously, get off your high horse already. A lot of us who’ve been doing this for a long time (and personally remember the horrors of trying to browser-sniff individual SUB-POINT versions of Netscape to deal with JS/CSS variances) are happy IE is onboard, even if they’re still catching up. The Apple/Adobe/Microsoft/Google/IBM mess that is the W3C is part of the problem, too, with two slow-as-molasses working groups in CSS and the total cluster that the HTML5 WG is turning into.

      I’ll say something you won’t get: Standards are dying, and in some ways they’re already dead. Innovation is found in browser-specific properties, not in the conference calls of working groups. It’s why Hixie broke out of the W3C, and it’s why CANVAS is pushing past SVG. When you understand that, then you can understand the real reason why standards exist — to give Microsoft (and IBM) a target they can aim for in order to keep up with everyone else. That’s all they’re there for anymore. Slapping MSFT around for not keeping up while most of the “advanced” things FF/Safari/Chrome/Opera do are in browser-specific properties… again, it seems like someone is losing the plot.

      • Anonymous

        Oh, the old “standards don’t mean anything” line while we sit conversing on the internet standard talking with web standards using standard computers and “Which side of the road do you drive on?” story. Until you realize that progress cannot be made without someone or something settling on a common base from which to grow on, you’ll be stuck for years as IE6 was and behind the curve in all areas like Microsoft is.

        It’s interesting your defense of standards dying is the standard being written for canvas over the SVG standard (not even related) by Hixie of the standards writing group.

        Why you insist on defending Microsoft’s inability to keep up, I don’t know, but I’m not aware of any company that is defended or praised for not leading and just following behind everyone else.

        Microsoft has lost nearly half its browser market share since you got into this business so the market is deciding for itself.

        • Anonymous

          I think you missed Dylan’s point and the point of the original article. Microsoft is trying to improve in an area that needs improvement because it is losing share. So in actuality your criticisms against IE and the company are being acknowledged through their efforts.

          Let’s establish you’re right on all counts – IE9 is inferior to its competitors. Does that mean Microsoft deserves critcism for trying to address their shortcomings? What do you suggest they do instead? How would you fix IE?

          I thought a part of leadership is also being able to recognize mistakes, then taking action to correct them and improve.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=619692999 Jason Thane

    My theory is that IE has always been inhibited – and will always be inhibited – by the egos of those who work on it, causing a basic refusal to understand real (non-MS) web development. The interview indicates that nothing may have changed…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=619692999 Jason Thane

      “If you don’t like IE, don’t use it” – if I wasn’t correct above, this probably would have been “if you don’t like IE, we’ll find out why and do something about it.”

      • Anonymous

        Did you just have an online conversation with yourself?

  • Rod

    ie is still the same slow, erratic and crash prone browser that it was decades ago when it was the only one in existence. As far as I’m concerned, it hasn’t changed. I’ll stick with Chrome thank you.

  • http://profiles.google.com/thebluesdog Joe McPlumber

    Meanwhile the browsing public moved from desktops to cell phones and their browsers went ten years back in functionality.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ANXSWQQPJ6VXERQCXIQOXN6RDU Fred Bartlett

    They would have done better to not support IE9 on Vista. Vista is exactly the reason so many stuck with XP. What were they thinking?

  • Mjannatulf

    This post is very in formative.
    IE is populer brower. This should be more upto date.
    In order to know more about this please 

  • Scott Fillmore

    Speed, Good.  BUT.. (I dont see a thread for exactly my issue.)  Where I work as part of a small IT department,  we have been having crazy troubles with IE9 and some IE8.  Firefox we only use as a last resort(but works flawlessly). IE9 hangs or pages, that is non-graphic SQL data .. have to move mouse before the page will contiune to next content.

    COME ON IE9   mouse command movement GLITCHES ????

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