IE 8 Slower than Firefox, Safari, Chrome – Mossberg

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 IE8 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 in IE8 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).

6 Responses to "IE 8 Slower than Firefox, Safari, Chrome – Mossberg"

  1. Dr.UnkHaf D. Aktar   March 19, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Bloated M$ products are for novices with lot of time and money to spare. If you want to get the work done use free and open source softwares like Firefox and OpenOffice. Or better still ditch Windows and use GNU/Linux.

  2. SRINIVAS   March 20, 2009 at 2:34 am

    firefox is the best when it comes to speed …IE always had problems ….now it has been having this speed problem for such a long time ….dont know why Microsoft has not set this right ….

    One good thing about IE is that all types of video’s (diff formats) will play ….without any issues …..

    In FireFox …certain vidoes will not play ….it will ask you for a add on ….which will not be available or compatible with Firefox ….so that means you go back to IE ….even if its slow plays !! Responds:

    That’s true although you do get a whole host of plugins for Firefox.

  3.   March 20, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Comment actually from Kris (Since Kris’ comment got accidentally deleted, we retrieved it and are posting it here:

    This review entirely contradicts what mossberg says. Responds:

    Interesting link. Thanks.

    But Mossberg has greater credibility than Nick Mediati of PC World.

  4. SRINIVAS   March 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    just downloaded and installed IE 8 ..its defn better than IE 7 ….much faster than IE 7 …but that tendency to hang and close down still persists …not that stable Responds:

    How long did it take to download and install it?

    We just installed IE 8 on another PC this morning, probably at the same time as you were installing it on your PC/notebook. The whole process took us less than 5 minutes on a wireless network at 10.49Mbps (we ignored the download Windows Update/download Malicious Software detection tool option this time).

    We’ll play with IE 8 for some time and see how it works.

    So far, it has not crashed on the laptop.

  5. I. M. Legend   March 22, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    I thought you were apple-philes. Responds:

    We do love Apple…but Apple is still not for the mainstream because of high prices and limited software (there’s always some esoteric software you need that Apple won’t support).

    Of course, if you consider TCO (total cost of ownership) in terms of the viruses, crashes, security, time wasted et al on Windows, Apple might end up being cheaper in the long run.

  6. SRINIVAS   March 23, 2009 at 12:31 am

    the file is around 13 MB …so download took around 2 minutes

    Installation on a vista – desktop – took around 10 to 12 minutes …did not leave out anything …. Responds:


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