Thursday, March 18, 2010

Microsoft says "We are proud of being stupid"

OK, quick rant here. Microsoft, in an attempt to finally have a modern browser is beginning to trumpet their IE9 version of the product. Reading about it yesterday, I was stunned to hear that they were not going to support running IE9 on Windows XP. And if you want to run it on Vista, you better be on the latest Service Pack 2.

I laughed, but figured maybe they were doing something unique that was going to let them leapfrog everyone else and really have a blisteringly fast browser. Then today, I found this site that lets you "test drive" IE9 and has links to all the tests. Being lazy, I just started clicking on the links without downloading and installing the IE Platform Preview. Being slightly dense (or just coming out of a Meatball Sub Food Coma), it took me a bit to realize that everything I was seeing was just running in my own browser. Which happens to be Google Chrome, and not IE. I had been mistakenly impressed with IE9 until I realized that I was just running the tests in Chrome. And Chrome was blowing the tests out of the water.There is a test called "Acid3" that identifies how compliant a browser is to Web Standards. Clicking on the link will open up a screenshot that shows that IE9 scores 55/100. They also give you a link so you can run the test live. Microsoft cautions you that There’s a pause when the score gets to 39 but the test will continue after a few seconds." However, when I click the link, Google Chrome takes all of 2 seconds to rack up a perfect 100/100.

So, I opened IE8 to see what the test drive site looked like there. IE8 can only run 8 of the 15 demos and takes 16 seconds to get a dismal 20/100 score. So, I suppose it is good that IE9 can run all 15 of the tests, when they finally button it up. But, wait! I can run all 15 of the tests right now in Google Chrome. And it doesn't crash. And I don't have to upgrade from XP.

Microsoft is already facing loss of browser share with all the woes that IE6 puts people through and the fact that website after website are declaring that they will no longer support IE6. And now they are making people jump through hoops for a not-yet-released IE9 to get functionality that is available today.

So, do yourself a favor, IE users. Upgrade today. Just not to a Microsoft product. Instead, try Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Safari. You'll be glad you did.


Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

Isn't 55 out of 100 an F? Or are MS grading on a curve?

Todmund said...

MS grades themselves on a curve. Unfortunately, everyone else is grading on the more traditional 55=F scale.

Unknown said...

My curiosity finally got the best of me...
Firefox 3.6 scores a 94 with a hiccup or two but none of those long IE pauses.
Safari on the iPhone scores a 100! It's a little slow but it gets there.