Sharovatov’s Weblog

IE9 – sucks much less than other browsers

Posted in browsers, IE9, web-development by sharovatov on 16 March 2010

I won’t repeat everything that’s been said on Mix now, you should read this article and this IEBlog entry and get the IE platform preview. Don’t be afraid that IE9 will spoil your IE8 – IE9 preview doesn’t replace IE8 or anything, it’s got new jscript engine (called “Chakra”), new Trident layout engine version and wininet bundled in one package (31 megabytes installed size!) – first time when Microsoft does it this way – very impressive!

This preview will be updated each few weeks – the work isn’t finished, UI is still in a very “beta” mode:

ie9

Most important changes IE9 has from IE8:

  • JIT-powered js optimisation in jscript engine (Sunspider reports speed faster than Firefox 3.7 alpha2) – looks similar to Apple’s Nitro JIT.
  • new Trident with more CSS3 support – CSS3 Selectors module, CSS3 Borders and Backgrounds module (passes CSS Selectors tests)
  • DOM2 Styles support
  • SVG 1.1 2nd ed support (plus hardware acceleration)
  • XHTML support (with proper namespaces support)
  • complete hardware acceleration support for graphics and text rendering, which makes any animation in IE9 WAY much faster than in other browsers – you should look at videos
  • HTML5 video support with h264 codec with proper hardware acceleration support (kicks Chrome’s ass, allows 2 simultaneous HD 720p video playbacks via HTML5 video on a cheap netbook). Another nail in the OGG coffin :)
  • DOM Events support

And IE9 is ridiculously fast. That’s partly due to the fact that “Chakra” jscript compiles javascript in a separate CPU core in parallel to IE (natural improvement to LCIE), and partly because of hardware optimisation for all rendering and animations.

Unfortunately, IE9 is not available for Windows XP (and it won’t be), the main reason is the security model – basically, XP security model just doesn’t suit for IE9. Quite right, XP is nearly 10 years old! Another reason is that graphical core on Windows XP works in a different way, so IE9 hardware acceleration just cannot work there.

Of course, IE9 follows the same logics IE8 has in terms of backwards compatibility – rules that I described here apply to IE9 – if X-UA-Compatible header/meta is set to Edge, IE9 new engine will run. Of course, it will render sites with correct doctype (but withouth X-UA-Compatible) in IE9 standards mode, and it will continue support for compatibility view lists feature. So old crappy sites designed for IE6 will still work in compatibility mode, and new sites will work in awesome IE9 in the standards mode without any problems. Read the abovementioned post for more details.

Improvements that will be done later:

  • better Ecma262 conformance and as a result, better ACID3 scores (current score is 55), IE team promises to improve this significantly, I think it will pass the test by the time RC ships
  • support for other CSS3 standard modules
  • canvas support – wasn’t announced, but I think this is a natural move when SVG is already done and done properly!

But anyway, the whole feeling after watching IE9 keynote session is IT’S AWESOME!

We’re entering the new era when Microsoft browser is faster than others, more secure (it’s been more secure than others since IE8b1) and provides better level of standards support.

P.S. To see the real speed just run these test on IE9 platform preview  and on any other browser and feel the difference :)

Some links:


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11 Responses

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  1. bob said, on 2 August 2010 at 11:32 pm

    I hope your right it would be nice if Microsoft would finally embrace the standards so web developers can create better sites. Since people will always use internet explorer it would be nice to see Microsoft finally get off it’s but.

  2. chester said, on 7 September 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Who cares what IE9 can supposedly do?

    5 years from now, only 25% of IE users will actually be using it and 10% will still be on IE6 with the remaining 65% still using IE7 and 8 for whatever retarded reasoning they decide justifies making developer’s jobs harder.

    Congratulations Internet Explorer 9… 5 years ago called and they asked where you’ve been. This is like congratulating a steaming turd for managing to not smell so bad.

  3. richphitzwell said, on 23 September 2010 at 10:13 pm

    In my experience with ie9 beta, it has been horrible from the start. First, I still cant get the 32b version to load properly and it continues to go into a infinite crash restart loop.

    As for the 64b, im not sure if its their js engine or the current common js code out there but I have found that it breaks many sites js.

    CSS3 is not implemented well where all other browsers are current ie fails and still has to resort to exceptions to trick ie9 into working.

    In the 64b version I have had it crash on multiple slights after getting a very bad lag where ie8 and under work as fine as those browsers are known for.

    All I can say at this time is ie9 beta has a bit to go to even catch up to ff4 beta. At least with ff4 beta, most bugs that are reported are fixed within a very short time period.

    Shame, I was excited to have IE finally catch up to all other class a browsers. We will have to see how far they improve by GA

  4. dwarg said, on 29 September 2010 at 5:40 pm

    CSS3 Backgrounds?!?

    Will IE finally support multiple background images on block elements? Like Safari, Firefox and Chrome.

    Again, not that it matters because in 5 years time IE9 isn’t likely to break 50% of overall IE usage because most corporate intranets were designed for IE6 by people that didn’t know anything about web standards, so they think they can’t upgrade. Leaving IE stuck in the puddle of filth it created.

  5. lui said, on 30 September 2010 at 12:45 am

    IE9 just doesn’t work on WinXP? F Microsoft

  6. Hater said, on 7 October 2010 at 5:43 pm

    It crashes every 5 minutes. It has a huge waste of space at the top! I doesn’t let you move taskbars where you want them. Mostly it sucks because it is always crashing. But there are other reasons almost as annoying and time-consuming. I have one taskbar that takes a whole row 1/4″ in space (about 5% of the toal browser window, because I used to be able to share this row with the command bar) now I can’t. Do the people at Microsoft even use the thing before releasing the Beta?!! I mean it just shows how stupid American’s have become that the schools can’t even teach these arses any common sense. Like, why not add a few widgets for that command bar anyway, like one to directly print to the printer without having another window come up like they have done with Office 2007 and 2010. Just lazy and stupid people at Microsoft. For years we have always known that any decent programmer would never work there! Please! I’d rather work for Symantec or HP than them (AND That is a joke for those of you that don’t get it!).

  7. yoonsik said, on 13 December 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Somehow i think that the internet exlorer engine is geared and built upon the html5 tests they built on their website. :)

  8. jasom said, on 8 March 2011 at 2:44 pm

    quick and easy solution is to install linux, ie9 runs better on my linux in wine than it does in win7, go figure, but chrome and ff are always much faster even in linux compared to winslow

  9. harrare said, on 23 March 2011 at 3:11 pm

    IE9 sucks sooooo bad… it is like MS is trying to promote the other browsers.

    Why don´t they simply use Mozilla or WebKit engine and change the logo? It would be less embarassing… please admit defeat and let users move on!

  10. geee said, on 26 May 2011 at 4:50 pm

    IE9 is useless. I am about to unistall it. As a test, go to a post in Silverlight Forums : http://forums.silverlight.net/forums/t/229558.aspx – then try and reply to a post and click on the Add Code icon – a window opens and IE9 crashes. Back to FF for me.

  11. Muneer said, on 19 September 2011 at 7:06 am

    Microsoft is useless and they do not know how to make there software work in there OS.
    All new browsers (FF, Chrome, safari) are working in windows xp. But not IE9. It is very funny. Microsoft does not konw how to make it work.


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