Internet Explorer 8, the new version of Microsoft’s web browser for Windows XP and Vista, is slower than the open source Firefox, Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome, according to the Wall Street Journal’s technology guru Walter Mossberg.
Here’s an excerpt from Mossberg’s review of IE8Â in today’s Wall Street Journal:
[I]n my tests, IE8 wasn’t as fast as Firefox, or two other notable browsers — the Windows version of Apple’s new Safari 4 and Google’s Chrome. IE8 loaded a variety of pages I tested more slowly than any of the other browsers, and it grew sluggish when juggling a large number of Web pages opened simultaneously in tabs.
For that reason, I can’t say that IE8 dethrones my previous browser champ, Firefox. If you’re a light-duty user and attracted to the new IE’s strong suite of fresh features, you might prefer it to Firefox. But if you would be bothered by the speed difference, or the slowdown I saw under a heavy load, Firefox would still be better.
…Microsoft claims IE8 is very fast, but in my tests, speed and performance were its worst attributes. Using two computers, one running Windows XP and one running Windows Vista, I timed the loading of a half-dozen popular Web sites, plus two folders containing numerous news and sports sites. I repeated the test in IE8, and in Firefox, Safari 4 and Chrome. In every case, IE8 loaded the pages and folders more slowly than most of the other browsers, and in most cases it came in dead last.
In some instances, the differences were tolerable — a few seconds. In others, primarily the folders containing nine or 21 sites, respectively, IE8 took two or three times as long as one or more of the other browsers to complete the task. Microsoft conducted its own tests, which show IE8 winning similar tests, but I rely on mine, which I also use when evaluating its competitors. You can judge for yourself.
Mossberg offers praise for some features inÂ IE8Â like improved stability, better compatibility with web standards, ease of use, navigation, search, privacy and security that you can read more about here.
Since we are no great fans of Internet Explorer, we will not recommend it. However, if you are a Microserf you may download IE8 for free here.
Don’t count on ditching Firefox anytime soon (though we may download IE8 later today out of curiosity and to check out its features).