• 201008 Jun

    They may have arrived late to the party, but Microsoft are keen to make their presence known, and in an effort to show just how engaged with the web standards community they are, or perhaps more a chance to try and gain one up on the competition, have published a set of results (on the 5th may) outlining not only how great IE9’s performance in a number of test cases is, but also just how badly the competition compare.

    The results, summarised above, show how the IE9 preview performed in a series of test cases for various web standards, including CSS3 and HTML5. As you may expect, as the test cases were developed and released by Microsoft, IE9 passed with flying colours scoring 100% across the range of tests.

    Unfortunately a number of blogs / websites have miss-quoted these results, claiming that IE9, at least according to Microsoft, has 100% HTML5 and CSS3 compliance, and perhaps, dare I say it, this is exactly the kind of publicity the Microsoft marketing team were hoping for. Needless to say, these articles have caused a fair amount of controversy, and in some cases backlash against Microsoft, with one particular article (which has since been edited) attracting over 100 comments and even The Inquirer joining the fray, branding the results as “dodgy.”

    The truth of the matter is that whilst IE9 does score 100% in each of the test cases shown by the table, these test cases only test a tiny subset of HTML5 / CSS3 features and there are countless other scenarios and test cases where the other browsers out-perform IE9. Whilst the way the results are presented may be somewhat misleading, nowhere in the publication of the results do Microsoft actually claim 100% compliance with CSS3 or HTML5, and it is not unusual practice for browser vendors to list their results in a manner that show them in a better light than their competitors. After all, you’d hardly expect Microsoft to publish a table showing a long list of failures for IE9.

    So, whilst these results may not be quite as exciting as some would have you believe, it is worth noting that this is still a vast turnaround from Microsoft’s previous position on CSS3, and web standards in general. This may only be a small step, compared to those taken by other browser vendors (namely Opera, Mozilla, Webkit), but is a step in the right direction and good news for CSS3 fans that Microsoft is finally taking web standards seriously.

    What’s that on the horizon? Is it truly a world of cross-browser CSS3 compatibility? Perhaps, but it’s still a long way off yet, and anything could happen before we get there.

    Update:It appears that this article, or rather my overuse of the word “whilst” in the article, has also caused some controversy over on reddit.

    You can skip to the end and leave a response.

  • Comments

    • 01.

      This is kind of old news, but people are still getting it wrong, to this day.

      What people don’t seem to realize is that this is a list of test cases. They found what all the other browsers were doing wrong, fixed that in IE9, and then released the results. IE9 will always have 100% on this chart.

      That page is intended for browser developers, and has little meaning for the average designer.

      The results are a bit tactless, but they wrote a big bunch of text explaining what it is and what it’s for.
      In general, this is all just a big media hype.

    • 02.

       I don’t know why they want to spend more time for IE . The browsers like Mozilla firefox, Chrome , Opera etc are all updating sooner and quicker . I may have even thought if IE have died :) #lol .. Good luck microsoft if you can maintain it . Else leave it for others :) .

    • 03.

      Microsoft’s IE 9 Tests are extremely misleading and again show the extent to which Microsoft is willing to go to fabricate their new “truth” – the “truth” that IE 9 is incredible, while Google Chrome and Firefox are weak. This, my fellow web developer, is a lot of bullshit, as I hope you know.

      A word of advice: Never, ever, believe in Microsoft.

    • 04.

       Once again, this is where you see the duality of Microsoft. When the development team said they had certain test cases where they were out-performing other browsers, the marketing team heard the above info-graphic. (That’s what I’m thinking, anyhow).

    • 05.

      When will Microsoft learn that the truth always prevails on the Internet? Why distort it again and again?
      Microsoft, expand the IE team, focus on improving your browser tremendously and then, in 1-2 years, when it’s comparable to Firefox and Google Chrome, speak about the good that you have, *then*.
      Microsoft, please, stop with all your arrogance and misleading info, be *humble* and *sincere*.
      Is this too much to ask?

    • 06.

      I’m wondering if the commenters even read anything.

      Actually, every browser overhypes themselves. Safari 5 is claiming to be the only browser that passes Acid 3. (What?)

      Microsoft wasn’t lying. The tests aren’t misleading (if you read the text), and it’s certainly a competitive browser. Keep in mind that IE9 isn’t even in beta, yet, and it’s already almost doubled its score on When Can I Use.

      It’s honestly surprising how few web professionals understand the history and the breadth of these topics. Honestly, Apple’s Safari is acting far worse, lately. (Have you seen that ‘HTML5’ demo?)

      The test cases the IE team released are incredibly important. We need these cases, if we’re going to be able to render our code the exact same way in all browsers.
      I’d love to see every other vendor produce similar tables.

    • 07.

       i would encourage all tests that cast light on inadequacies for any browser. surely, microsoft isn’t the only party that should be trounced for being a bloated inefficient browser which is falling behind the times, ESPECIALLY when their new browser complies with standards in a way that unbreaks a majority of web development AND speeds up rendering through hardware acceleration which is the next step all browser vendors will need to take into consideration. Be unbiased.

    • 08.

      It’s great that Microsoft is publishing tests and contributing tests to W3C test suites (which other browser vendors have been doing as well).

      However, I agree that these results are misleading, because (1) these tests are testing very small areas of the spec, (2) it’s misleading to compare Microsoft’s platform preview to other browsers’ shipping releases, and (3) some of the tests are wrong, and Microsoft is not particularly quick to respond when errors are pointed out. For info on some of the errors, see:

    • 09.

      IE 9 is “certainly a competitive browser”?! I don’t think so:

      Google Chrome 5 has ALL these – IE 9 NONE of them:
      – Canvas
      – CSS3 2D Transformations
      – CSS3 Transitions
      – ECMAScript 5 Functions (only 3 missing)
      – HTML5 Forms (pretty much only specific input types’ UIs missing)
      – SVG Filters (NONE planned for IE 9)
      – SVG Fonts
      – File Drag and Drop
      – Web Workers
      – Web Sockets
      – Web Notifications
      – CSS3 Gradients
      – HSL Colors
      – CSS3 Flexible Box Layout
      – CSS3 Multi-Column Layout

    • 10.

      The fact that Apple distorts the truth, doesn’t mean that Microsoft doesn’t. What kind of logic is that?!

      Mozilla and Google are the most honest companies regarding their browsers.

    • 11.

      Michael Kozakewich:
      My first comment didn’t refer solely to Microsoft’s tests, but to the whole IE Blog tone and information.

      …It is annoying to hear Microsoft pretending that they have a very modern browser that is better than all the others.

    • 12.

      And, BTW, the whole Microsoft “same markup” talk is misleading too – IMO, part of their strategy to keep the web from evolving faster.

      Vendor-specific prefixes exist for a reason: allow browser makers to innovate faster while keeping websites compatible with current browsers.

    • 13.

      That said, those kind of tests are important, but Microsoft shouldn’t “sell” them the way they’ve been doing on the IE Blog. And most web developers’ reactions show that they’ve been, in fact, misleading.

      Ok. This is my last post for today. :)

    • 14.

      @Andy L: “When will Microsoft learn that the truth always prevails on the Internet?”
      When it actually happens. You and I aren’t representative of the vast majority of people…

    • 15.

      Thanks for the post. To remind folk of the context, these tests are engineering spec tests for us as we work on IE9, to ensure that we deliver on our commitment to implement various standards in a consistent and interoperable manner. The fact that we pass 100% of them shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone – of course, you’d expect us to fix errors that we uncover in our own testing process.

      This is a genuine commitment on our part to invest in professional-grade tests for web standards; an attempt to thoroughly and accurately reflect the specifications in test cases that can then be used to validate that our browser (and others) are faithful representations of the standards.

      I don’t think we’ve “sold” this inaccurately on the IE blog – here are two blog articles we’ve posted:

      We also routinely test IE9 against other exhaustive tests. We love the CSS3 selectors test on this site, for instance, and link to it prominently from our IE9 Test Drive site at http://ietestdrive.com.

      I’m really glad to see that the original article notes that we’re not claiming “100% HTML5 and CSS3 compliance” (as if that were even remotely possible). But we’re innovating quickly and IE9 is no slouch, as this TechCrunch article notes: http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/08/ie9-safari-5

      Thanks for listening – we’re listening too!

      Tim Sneath | Microsoft

    • 16.

       Does anybody know if IE9 will contain the compatibility mode like IE8 did? Would this then include IE8 as a choice as well?

      I feel that ACID3 contains some obscure test cases much like IE9’s example here. ACID2 contain a lot more real world test cases imo.

      What we really need is a chart of commonly used test cases. A way to find some of this out might be to use Opera’s MAMA stats – http://dev.opera.com/articles/view/mama-css-syntax/

    • 17.

      Safari 5 (WebKit 533) now does not need the prefix for border-radius, so most of those tests pass by virtue of that.

      Still, I agree about the prefix issue. Vendors use prefixes for features that are experimental or when the specification is immature.

    • 18.

       Sorry, couldn’t resist:

      “Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview 2 scores a meagre 32 points.”
      -HTML5 Test blog


    • 19.

       Thats all well and great for the designer and computer savvy community, however there are A LOT of people STILL using IE6 and IE7! So in 10 years time when ie6 and ie7 are extinct ie9 what?

    • 20.
    • 21.

      your browser scores
      out of a total of 300 points

      I’m running Safari 5.0 (6533.16) on MacOS 10.6.3, do i need to say something else ?

    • 22.

       It doesn’t really matter how good Microsoft claim their latest browser offering is when they have stated that they will continue to support IE6 until at least 2014. That means that many large corp’s see no business case to upgrade their systems internally away from IE6.

      So Microsft may claim all they like that their browser is better than everybody elses but until they kill off IE6 once and for all then ultimately they will be judged by it and not by IE9 or IE10 or whatever other browsers they bring out by the time thet get round to shooting a lame horse.

      At the end of the day don’t believe the hype wait for it to be released and then see if it matched up. Remember Microsoft claimed that IE6 was CSS compliant and anyone who has built a website in the past 10 years knows differently.

    • 23.

      Weirdly enough, Chrome does all the tests on IE’s site perfectly…

      And it’s even faster then IE.


      (Whenever IE does adds something simple and smart to their site, Chrome adds those functions in a second. IDK, maybe that’s WebKit…) 

    • 24.

      It appears that this article, or rather my overuse of the word “whilst” in the article, has also caused some controversy over on reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/ccwnu/ie9_html5_and_css3_those_100_numbers_are_real_but/c0rowhm

    • 25.

      No machine is 100% efficient.
      Neither is any browser made by Microsoft.
      Too little, too late.

      …how’s THAT for haiku!? (I know, I know, too many syllables)

    • 26.

      Microsoft is lame. (5)
      Google Chrome all the way, yeah! (7)
      I spilled my coffee. (5)

      Pretty bad haiku here too, but seriously, I laugh at how the results are all 100%. I’m wondering, could it be true that they have a working browser that gets 100% on all those tests, are they somehow cheating, or is that their goal by the year 2025 with the release of Internet Explorer 19?

    • 27.

      Right now, the score is not 100% anymore for CSS3 selectors or HTML 5 on the IE Test Drive website. It is 88% on CSS3 selectors and 78% on HTML 5. In addition, the score on http://html5test.com/ will increase by at 11 points by the third platform preview.

    • 28.

      Damage has been done long ago for MS. As a developer programming virtually an entire separate website just to get it to work in IE6, and sightly better in IE7 and 8. Forget it.
      Let MS die a slow agonizing death.

    • 29.

      Damage has been done long ago for MS. As a developer programming virtually an entire separate website just to get it to work in IE6, and sightly better in IE7 and 8. Forget it.
      Let MS die a slow agonizing death.

    • 30.

      Interestingly, we’ve seen a number of TV commercials for IE. MS has long held a history of promoting its products with wads of cash and marketing “creativity”, notwithstanding said products’ actual merit.

      Inspite of this, IE has been loosing market share very rapidly. It’s well know how slow, unpredictable, insecure, and inconsistent IE is compared to the other browsers. It is unlikely that the general public will be fooled again.

    • 31.

      The thing about Microsoft is they lie out of their arse all the time (well bends the truth). Every new version of IE is supposed to be the ants pants but always fails, I’m hoping IE9 will play nice but ultimately I no longer care and don’t think IE or Microsoft is relevant in the modern web. It would be good to see some independent tests that don’t just test the stuff that Microsoft know the other browsers lack to make it look better as mentioned in the 1st few posts – the kind of test that isn’t kind on any browser, all have their probs but we all know IE has all ways fallen way to far from the bench marks.

    • 32.

      I like how MS is comparing current releases of other browsers against a not yet released IE9. The other browsers may have solved these “fails” already, but like IE9 haven’t released them yet. MS is counting it’s chickens before they’ve hatched.

      I also wonder if they are labeling IE quirks as features that other browsers “fail”. Eg. only IE passes “Different variations on the value of ‘f'”. Bummer I can’t believe other browsers haven’t allowed for this.

    • 33.

      Back a few tens of years ago, when the elections were organized by the communist party, the dictator always scored 99.99%. This is the case here with IE9, they will always score 100% but will always be a lie…

    • 34.

      Andy L – “Mozilla and Google are the most honest companies regarding their browsers???” Didn’t google have to take a clause out of the terms & conditions because they forgot to mention to people that they were agreeing that Google could collect data concerning browsing activities etc….

    • 35.

      This makes me wonder what IE6, IE7 & IE8 would score on that chart. It would probably show that Microsoft is now finally taking up it’s responsability after not doing so for way too long.

    • 36.

      That issue you’ve mentioned was a mistake on Google’s part, not “fabrication of truth” ala Microsoft.

      Google has made a couple of privacy blunders in the past, but they’ve been very quick to fix them (sometimes in 1 day).

      If you’re concerned about privacy in Google Chrome, check out this page:

      Seems pretty reasonable to me, what Google Chrome does and the way I can turn stuff off.

      Furthermore, the biggest attacks on your privacy on the Web actually come from websites exploiting security holes in the browser. In this area, according to unbiased security tests, Google Chrome has consistently kept its reputation as the most secure web browser.

    • 37.

      A post I made here got caught up in the spam filters, so here is the gist of it:

      HTML5 Test actually tests features, unlike When Can I Use. And it was updated today:

      -June 9th, 2010

    • 38.

      Microsoft, just give it up already please. In addition to IE6, IE7 and IE8 I also have to make hacks and workarounds for IE9 after you screw that up and abandon it for another version?


    • 39.

      I’m impressed that today Microsoft announced Canvas support as well!

      Well, that Google Chrome 5 Features List I posted is now one item shorter. Still a long way to go though, IE Team…

      Most of all, I hope the FileReader and FileWriter APIs will be included in IE9.

    • 40.

      To be fair, from my Google Chrome 5 Features List, I should remove “SVG Fonts” as WOFF will be adopted instead. Firefox 3.6 has WOFF already, and this IE 9 preview implements it too.

      Also, I need to mention that I didn’t include the FileReader and FileWriter APIs in that Features list I posted, as these APIs aren’t implemented in Google Chrome 5…

      …Although FileReader and FileWriter will be supported within the next 2 months, when Google Chrome 6 ships.

    • 41.

       ie is certainly a bad browser ………
      but chrome is the worst browser in the history of computers and internet……….
      and those who uses it are king of idiots………….
      i can hack chrome in less than 1 minute……….
      its very easy to send viruses and malware via chrome to computer

    • 42.

      Actually, my list is now 2 items shorter:
      “ECMAScript 5 Functions” are implemented in the latest IE 9 preview.

      Keep up the good work, IE Team!

    • 43.

      @justin lucas tine: all talk, I say. If you weren’t, I don’t see why you wouldn’t have participated in Google’s competition to find security flaws in Chrome, and get money for it.

    • 44.

       Oh… I think Microsoft just wants to fool those who wants to be fooled. :D Haha.

    • 45.

      I’ve been testing the IE9 beta’s since they came out. I have to say the canvas support with hardware acceleration is great. And the JavaScript DOM and events update to actually work the way other browser do is great. That said, except for opacity and rounded corners, there’s nothing else from CSS3 that I can detect. I would like to see: CSS3 columns, CSS3 flexible box model, display: box, text shadow, text stroke, box shadow, border images, CSS3 gradients, 2D transforms, transitions. Otherwise, when people start deploying CSS3 sites because IE9 is 100% compatible with it and things don’t look right, somebody’s going to lose market share.  

    • 46.

      I absolutely love all the MS hate. They didn’t lie about anything. They made themselves look better, sure, but that is what businesses do. It’s how they operate — always has been, always will be.

      Why would a company make a competing product look better than their own? Honesty is one thing, stupidity is another.

    • 47.

       “Mozilla and Google are the most honest companies regarding their browsers.”

      With all respect to the Microsoft IE team and the attempt to get a new “look”, I still think Google is the most trustworthy, MS the least. Actually not only with their browsers but with everything.

      Street Credibility you do not buy, you earn it.

      MS can for a start not wait 4-5 years between each browser update. This in my eyes shows clearly, they do not want the net to evolve.

    • 48.

      Some people complaining too much “bashing” against MS seems to forget, that IE is not a free browser. Everytime MS sells IE, they sell an operating system, not the browser it self. This makes it more suspicious (far more), when they bash other browser vendors in “tests”.

      So, FF for instance can be used in newest version on XP. IE9 can not. Just giving the facts, not MS-bashing.

    • 49.

      I absolutely agree with “Michael Kozakewich” and I think that some people comment only because they see “Microsoft” and they the need to comment saying bad things about the company probably not knowing what the tests are for. Now, I’m not a Microsoft fan or anything but the truth is that IE9 developers actually seem to have done a good work. And if they continue like that the release of IE9 could be a big success.
      @Rune Jensen If you just knew how much private data Google keeps “stealing” from you … well you wouldn’t leave that comment.
      BTW IE updates are hidden into windows updates but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist at all, it just seems that way and I think thats better because you don’t have to install a software every time there’s a new release or update.
      One other thing, when you buy an OS you buy an OS without the browser. IE is something more that you can choose to keep or not and it’s completely free. If it weren’t than one: everybody would be using it at least those that use Windows two: if you go to microsoft.com and download it they don’t ask for money do they? If IE checks for the system if it is genuine or not, well that’s a different story. You can’t blame them for checking if someone is stealing their primary product and/or isn’t paying for something they should (I’m talking about windows).

      Again I’m not a fan of Microsoft I just don’t see the point in criticizing it all the time. When I asked a friend once Why do you hate Microsoft so much? he didn’t say anything. Later I asked him Is it because of its success? then he said yes.

    • 50.

      “Again I’m not a fan of Microsoft I just don’t see the point in criticizing it all the time. When I asked a friend once Why do you hate Microsoft so much? he didn’t say anything. Later I asked him Is it because of its success? then he said yes.”

      I do not hate anyone because of success. And I do not hate MS for that, but because of their lies. They have surely made impressive things

      in the PAST.

      But they have deliberitely made it harder to evolve the web after IE6, and especially harder for web designers. In ten years from now we will we struggeling with IE8, because IE9 is not available for XP. The exact same thing as with IE6. MS do not give a flying f… about standards or the users themselves. They care about Microsoft, and that’s it.

      It is absolutely true, that they do not sell browsers. They sell operating systems. And that IS a reason to be extra carefull, when they say their browser is better. IE is NOT free. It costs money. Contrary to Mozilla and even Opera. And Chrome. Yes, Opera is closed source, but still FREE. Which makes a hell of a differense.

      MS did it when they launched IE8, claiming it to be the most secure(???) browser, even tried to “prove” it with a “test” they paid themselves. Later? IE was banned in Germany and France by the government. Because it is UNSECURE. The “tests” they made at MS, did NOT take in to account the security of the browser itself. And it was the security of the browser itself, that it was banned in those countries.

      I hate companies that lies and tries to cheat customers, not MS in particular, only because they lie like hell, because of their actions. And because they are proud about lying. This makes it even worse.

      I can mention that they have done this numerous of times. Think about Vista. Why do you think it is so damn slow? Think about it or search for intel microsoft vista. Else I can tell on my system now is Linux Mint with eveything from Compiz, 3D effects, all of it, running smoothly. And on the same system I have Vista, which for example uses 13 seconds to switch between two open programs. I had to turn everything 3D OFF, which left me with a Win98-look. GREAT. I am removing that system anyways (I am in the middle of a swith), but this is the main reason. They lie about everything.

      And since MS also hate open source very deeply (which they have also said very clearly numerous times), well, I guess it makes MS my enemy, because I like open source and I like when people are not lying about their product they want to SELL.


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