Microsoft (s msft) today launched the beta of Internet Explorer 9, the latest version of its venerable browser. Over the years, IE has fallen behind its competitors in terms of raw speed and standards compliance. So has the new version done anything to make up that lost ground? I ran it through some benchmarking tools to find out.
In order to test the browsers’ standards compliance, I used Acid3, which checks a browser’s ability with certain aspects of the web standards. The Acid3 test returns a score out of 100.
For a More Beautiful Web?
Microsoft’s tagline for the release of this new browser is, “Unleash a more beautiful web.” That might sound a bit overblown, but when you consider that IE’s market share is still hovering somewhere around 50 percent, the fact that the new release has much greater support for the newer web standards like HTML5 is significant.
While it would be very hard to argue that IE9 is superior to any of its competitors, it’s now in the same ballpark, at least. Microsoft has now joined the new browser wars: wars that are being fought on speed and capability with the newer web standards. That’s good news for everyone.
You can download the beta of IE9 from microsoft.com; it’s currently only available for Windows 7 and Vista.
Let us know what you think of IE9 in the comments.
Related GigaOM Pro content (sub req’d): HTML5’s a Game-Changer for Web Apps