Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Will Microsoft finally release decent version of Internet explorer?

Web developers knows how difficult is to make functional page in IE6 due to it's bugs and non standard behavior. It takes a lot of skills and quirks to make IE6 users happy.

Even regular Internet users know how bad IE6 is. Many of them got some kind of malicious software due to poor security.

Many of IE6 users are corporate users (Google was for example, but many banks are still stuck with IE6) and they just can't choose what browser will they use (as it's corporate policy). Only recently they've upgraded IE to version 7 or 8.

But are IE 7 & 8 good browsers? They are better than IE6, but they are still far behind Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome (to name some). As for web standards, IE7 sucks a lot. Many of IE6's bugs propagated to the IE7 and it's very slow. IE8 was (little) step forward. It's better in complying to the web standards, but it's also slow as IE 6 & 7. Still, there are some bugs from IE6 that haven't been fixed. So, Microsoft continued to release poor browser products.

This resulted in IE's percentage drop in browsers market. Microsoft didn't liked that and they've decided to make great browser. And here comes IE9. There was a lot of talking about IE9, but will it be good product or another poor product?

Let's see one of browser tests to see what IE9 have to offer. Acid3 test is next version of browser's compliance test to the web standards. Browsers has to score 100 from 100 to pass the test.

Let's see results (I'm using Windows 7):

Firefox 3.6.8 & 4.0beta1 - 92/100
Safari 5 (7533.16) - 92/100
Opera 10.60 - 98/100
Chrome 6.0.472.0 - 100/100
IE9 preview 7874.6000 - 79/100


As we can see, all browsers score high on this test except IE9. IE8 scores 20/100 what is very poor result. So, IE9 is far better browser from IE8, but it's still behind other mayor browsers. It's still in early development stage, so we can expect better results in the future.

What future holds?
IE9 is still in development phase. Microsoft will release good product because they don't want to loose any more at browser's market. But others aren't resting still. Microsoft will have to put much more effort to stop current trend of loosing at browsers market. They'll have to release better and better versions of IE - and much often than before.

At the end, that's a good thing for web developers and web users.

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