Tag: acid2 test

Internet Explorer 8 (Beta) released

Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 Beta yesterday and, surprisingly, it seems to be quite a good browser! I say surprisingly because Microsoft don’t have a track record in the good browser market 😉

I wrote a post a few weeks back comparing the speeds of various browsers and Microsoft’s current browser, Internet Explorer 7, was the slowest browser by a long margin.

Opera’s CTO HÃ¥kon Wium Lie was quoted recently making some very valid criticisms of Internet Explorer 7.

However, Microsoft seem to have addressed many of those issues in Internet Explorer 8.

I downloaded and installed it on my Mac last night (in the Parallels partition with XP as the OS).

Internet Explorer 8 Beta on Mac

It seemed to work well enough so I loaded up the Acid2 test and was surprised to find that it rendered correctly! This was a good sign!
IE8 Beta passes Acid2

So then I tried running the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark tests on it and it completed the test in an extremely respectable 9.9 secs. For comparison, Firefox 3.0b3 took 16.9 seconds to complete the same test.

There is still a lot of work to be done on IE8. It crashed several times on me when I was using it and it fails the Acid3 test miserably (17/100 compared to Firefox 3.0b3’s 61/100 and Webkit’s thoroughly respectable 87/100!).

Still, this looks like Microsoft are finally taking a step in the right direction with IE8. I am looking forward to seeing the final release.

UPDATE – I installed Internet Explorer 8 on my Vista laptop this evening (the same one where Webkit runs the test in 9,094.2ms) and IE8 completed the test in 19,906.4ms. This is roughly the same as Firefox 3.0b3 and is a vast improvement on the 66,870.6ms which IE7 took.

Will 2008 be the year of the standards compliant browser?

Microsoft announced yesterday on the Internet Explorer blog that the next version of Internet Explorer (IE8) will correctly render the Acid2 test page. See the excellent Channel 9 video for more.

The Acid2 test is a test of a browser’s ability to properly render CSS and HTML. From the Acid2 Wikipedia page:

The Acid2 test should render correctly on any browser that follows the W3C HTML and CSS 2.0 specifications. Any browser which does not correctly and completely support all of the features which Acid2 uses will not render the page correctly.

Apple’s Safari passed the Acid2 test in October 2005!

Firefox 3 is expected to pass the Acid2 test as well when it is released (beta 2 already does). Internet Explorer 8 is due to ship in the first half of 2008, as is Firefox 3 so it looks as if 2008 will be the year of the standards compliant browser!

Ironically the official Acid2 web page is broken today (!) but it is mirrored on one of the developers sites so you can test your current browser there.