You’ll be surprised to see that Internet Explorer 8 Beta (8.0.6001.14184) does better on the Acid2 test than Firefox 2 (220.127.116.11) does:
Safari also passes the Acid2 test, but nobody uses it
The results are far worse on the Acid3 test, with IE8 scoring 17% and Firefox scoring 50%, but I believe they are intended. See, when Microsoft releases Beta 2 of their browser, it will definitely pass the Acid3 tests to give the community just that much more shock and awe:
Safari gets 39%, yay?
Ironically, the IE8 website throws an error when viewed with IE8. I guess that’s what they mean by improved standards compliance:
Worse, the Official Microsoft Site prompts to install some nasty, spyware-looking ActiveX control to view the IE8 site:
Congratulations Microsoft, on passing the Acid2, but unfortunately you have a laundry list of things to do, not limited to (a) make it faster and lighter than Firefox, (b) build in good developer tools, (c) get rid of ActiveX, (d) make a more usable UI, or (e) fix your own website to work in IE.
Today the IE blog made the most important announcement of its life with Microsoft’s Interoperability Principles and IE8, saying:
We’ve decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can. This decision is a change from what we’ve posted previously. Microsoft recently published a set of Interoperability Principles. Thinking about IE8’s behavior with these principles in mind, interpreting web content in the most standards compliant way possible is a better thing to do.
Already, web designers are calling this the “holy grail” of Internet Explorer web development, and possibly the best suggestion the Microsoft IE team has ever made. Here’s a choice quote from Eric Meyer:
I’m glad that IE will act as browsers have always done, and default to the latest and greatest in the absence of any explicit direction to the contrary. I’m doubly glad that the IE team is willing to do that, even knowing what they have to handle. And I’m triply glad that the proposal was made in public ahead of time, with plenty of opportunity for debate, so that we could have a chance to weigh in and affect the browser’s behavior.
Broken Links is saying “I am very pleasantly surprised; this is a very wise decision.” Robert McLaws thinks, “This is great news for the web standards community… but not-so-great news for the billions of web pages out there.”
We’ll combine the overall results from these benchmarks together:
We find that depending how you look at it, Safari can actually be considered 3x slower than IE7, or roughly of equal speed. Here is an overall performance chart, with two columns–one is the raw average score, the other averages the worst-test group (three results) into one result and averages it:
Safari doesn’t break much ground here
Here’s the per-test chart, which shows Safari kicking ass in the first test, losing the next three, tying the fourth with IE, and doing well again on the last test:
Interestingly, Apple tries to bundle Safari with not one, but three separate Apple products: Quicktime, Bonjour, and Apple Update. On top of that, they break the back-mousebutton click that I’ve become used to using in IE/FF, and use tons of my RAM main memory up. No one sums it up better than Dev Hints who notes that “Safari Isn’t the Beauty That Apple Likes To Claim.” It’s not bad, and it’s getting better, but there are still bugs to be worked out.