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Can IE9 regain the lost market share?

Jul 23, 2010 by Andreea

With the release of the newest versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Safari forcing the boundaries of the web, Internet Explorer has lost plenty of market share. At the last counting, for the first time in its modern history, IE was under 60% market share. Having this number in mind, Microsoft decided that it's high time it upgraded its web browser, so it started the work on Internet Explorer 9. Until now we don't have an official release, but we do have three Preview versions to talk about.

From Preview no.1 up to Preview no.3, IE9 showed that it's prepared to face competition. The first two Previews of IE9 came with hardware acceleration for texts, images and vector graphic, but the real improvement was brought about by no.3 (and maybe the last one before the beta release).

The third Preview brings in the most wanted features: video and audio tag support for HTML 5 and 2D vector graphics - which use the canvas tag and support embedded fonts that use the WOFF standard. What's neat is that the video tags allow sites to view YouTube-like videos without depending on plugins such as Adobe Flash or even Microsoft's own Silverlight, while the canvas tag lets designers to insert dynamic 2D graphics.

On top off all these, IE9 brings a new JavaScript engine to support the new ECMAScript 5 specification. If Chrome has V8, Opera 10.5 has Carakan, Safari has Nitro and Firefox has the new JaegerMonkey, it was about time that Internet Explorer had its own name for the engine which helps run web-based programs. So here it is: the new...Chakra JavaScript!

Being only a Preview of the IE9, Microsoft is heavily testing version No.3, and here we have some results that sound pretty good. Let's start with the results of the test for the above mentioned JavaScript engine, Chakra. At the test run by Microsoft on the SunSpider JavaSCript benchmark, the IE9 Platform Preview was a bit faster than Firefox (which used the TradeMonkey engine, and not the new JaegerMonkey), and just little bit slower than Safari, Chrome and Opera. Also, it scored 47% improvement over the former Platform Preview, and according to Microsoft's representatives, it's 10 time faster at  executing JavaScript than IE8.

On the Acid3 benchmark, which tests how accurately a browser respects certain Web standards, IE9 Preview No.3 performed a 83 out of 100 points, a noticeable improvement from Platform Preview No.2, which scored only 68.

On The Webkit Sunspider benchmark test, the IE9 Platform Preview No. 3 is on the third place, after Chrome 6 Beta and Opera 10.6 Beta. Even if this doesn't sound pretty good, third place is a huge improvement from previous versions.

As a conclusion, the third Platform Preview is better and faster, but you can see it for yourself by downloading and testing it at: http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/

P.S. By the way, you should also know that this version will not work if you have installed Windows XP, because it relies on APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), which are built-in Windows 7 and added to Vista and Server 2008 R2.
 
Update: According to netmarketshare.com in the last two months, June and July, IE has had a timid, yet steadily growth in market share. It has reached 60.74% of the market share in July from 60.32% in June, and gained almost a percentage point in June in comparison to May.


Tags: Business  Future  Microsoft 


Comments


nuzayaz commented on 8/18/2010 1:29:18 PM

I hope not! 90%+ market share for IE = IE6 forever
     

ale commented on 10/11/2010 5:43:37 PM

long live IE6


Pro Web developer
     

Oana commented on 5/3/2011 6:54:31 AM

Now, that Firefox 4 has been launched all the attention is on Mozilla. I feel kind of sorry for IE9, which is a pretty good browser.
     

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