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What browser is the best? We have the information you need to decide

Last week Opera 10.0 was released in its final form.  DailyTechhad covered the development process of the browser exhaustively, so some may have been surprised not to see a piece on the browser.  That's because we were working on something, special -- a complete review of not just Opera 10.0, but all next generation browsers.

We have extensively benchmarked all of the next generation browsers -- Safari 4, Opera 10.0, Firefox 3.6 alpha 1, Internet Explorer 8, and Google Chrome 3 and 4.  In this first segment we will look at basic features, install time, and browser launch times of these next gen browsers, in comparison to previous editions.  In the second segment, we will look at CPU and memory usage, and briefly look at browser security.  And in the third and final segment, we'll look at performance in CSS and Javascript benchmarks, as well as a basic rendering benchmark.

1.  User Interface and Basic Features

Let's first look at browser features:

Browser License Prompts to Make
Default

on Install
Prompts to Make Default on Open Uninstall Shortcut Uninstall Option to Delete Personal Data Spell Checking Colorized Tabs Favorites Tiled Homepage Built In Mail Client Compression Boost
Option
Opera 9.6 Proprietary No Yes, popup No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Opera 10.0 (same) Yes, Unchecked Yes, popup No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Firefox 3.5 MPL, MPL/GPL/
LGPL tri-license, Mozilla EUL
Yes, Unchecked Yes, popup Wizard Via Control Panel Yes Yes Via add-on only Via add-on only Via add-on only No
Firefox 3.6 (same) Yes, Unchecked Yes, popup Wizard Via Control Panel Yes Yes Via add-on only Via add-on only Via add-on only No
Chrome 2 source-
BSD Executable – Google Terms of Service
Yes, Prechecked Yes, in frame Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No
Chrome 3 (same) Yes, Prechecked Yes, in frame Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No
Chrome 4 (same) Yes, Prechecked Yes, in frame Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No
IE 8 Proprietary Yes, Unchecked Yes, popup No, and harder to reach in Control Panel No Add-On (IE-Spell) only Yes No No No
Safari 3 Engine – GNU LGPL Everything Else - Proprietary No Yes, popup No No Yes No No No No
Safari 4 (same) No Yes, popup No No Yes No Yes No No


As you can see, when it comes to the user interface, Opera arguably leads the pack, with the most built-in interface features (favorites tiled homepage, built in mail client, server-side compression, etc.).  Firefox is a close second, with the most features supported, if you install add-ons (though add-ons decrease performance and can cause compatibility issues).  This assessment does not include security, which we'll look at in a later piece.

2. Installation

Google's Chrome is the easiest to install.  Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8, on the other hand, is the hardest to install, by far, requiring a full system reset. In retrospect, the controversy over IE 8 asking at installation if you want to make it your default browser, seems rather silly.  In fact, all the browsers ask you this on startup, and Google even goes so far as to pre-check an option during the install to make Chrome the default browser. We do like how Google's post-install browser check is incorporate as a less obtrusive browser window frame, rather than the popup that the others used (all the browser allow users to permanently dismiss these inquiries).


In our first benchmark, we did a clean install of each browser and measured the time the install took, using a lightweight, hotkey-driven timer for time measurement.  As you can see from the chart to the right, Internet Explorer (as with the uninstall) was the worst, taking the most time (by-far) and requiring a full system restart. Chrome 4 was the best, taking a mere 11.4 seconds to install after double clicking the installer package (Note: Time to import bookmarks, etc. was not included in this time, just the time to complete the actual install).

3.  Application Launch Speed

Our second benchmark looks at browser launch times.  We again used the hotkey timer and this time measured the time it took for the browser window to appear after double clicking.  Page-load was not necessary, the times measured indicated the time to get the address bar to a responsive state.


In our first run, we launched the browser "cold" after a full system restart.  Averaged over three trials, Chrome by-far launched the fastest, with Chrome 4 being the fastest of the Google browsers.  In close second was Opera 10.0.  Firefox 3.5 was strangely slow, taking 10+ seconds in more than one trial, so we launched it five times (stock install, no add-ons).  We finally concluded, that this was expected and not an error.  In the end Firefox 3.5 was the slowest to launch, but Namaroka (Firefox 3.6 alpha 1) launches much faster.  IE 8 was the second slowest in the cold launch trial.


In our second run we launched the browser "warm" after having already launched it once.  As can be expected, due to caching, the browsers launched significantly faster this way.  For warm starts, Chrome was yet again the fastest, while Opera and Safari came in second, though both of these browsers curiously showed slower start times in their latest versions (Opera 10.0 and Safari 4) than in their previous versions (Opera 9.6 and Safari 3).

In the next segment we'll look at memory and CPU usage.  We'll also examine how the browsers stack up in security.

Note: Note: All benchmarks were performed in 32-bit Vista on a Sony VAIO laptop with 3 GB of RAM, a T8100 Intel Processor (2.1 GHz), and a NVIDIA 8400 GT mobile graphics chip. The number of processes was kept consistent and at a minimum to reflect stock performance.


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Acid3 & HTML5 Comparison
By forever4now on 9/8/2009 9:08:32 AM , Rating: 2
One topic that is often overlooked, when comparing browsers, is conformance to web standards.

It would be great, if you could provide a summary of Acid3 test results, for each browser. The Acid3 test is here:

http://acid3.acidtests.org/

It would also be useful, if you could provide a summary of key HTML5 functionality supported by each browser.

For example, try viewing the following HTML5 video, with IE 8 (or earlier). You CANNOT!

http://demo.sproutcore.com/video/

Try viewing this same video with Chrome or Safari. You CAN! And, it looks AWESOME!




RE: Acid3 & HTML5 Comparison
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/8/2009 9:32:08 AM , Rating: 3
Hi,
In the (upcoming) third segment I include some information on standards not supported in each of the browsers.

Acid 3 results will be included.

Also the Peacekeeper synthetic benchmark performance will be discussed -- Peacekeeper looks at CSS, Javascript, rendering and more, and that score also reflects the level of standards support.

Stay tuned for the next two sections, but feel free to let me know if you think there's something missing/something you want to see!

-Jason


RE: Acid3 & HTML5 Comparison
By Cypherdude1 on 9/9/2009 6:51:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Firefox 3.5 was strangely slow, taking 10+ seconds in more than one trial, so we launched it five times (stock install, no add-ons). We finally concluded, that this was expected and not an error.

My "cold" starts for FireFox 3.5.2 is faster than what you report. "Cold" starts from a fresh boot is 7 seconds, not 10. "Warm" starts for me are in line with what you report, 3.0 secs. Aside from a number of small bugs, FF 3.5.2 gives satisfactory performance, no crashes or blue screens.

The only TSR's I have in RAM from boot are the bloatware Norton Anti-Virus 2006 (from SystemWorks 2006 with all other TSR features disabled), ATI Radeon Taskbar Tray icon, and 3 other smaller unrelated RAM TSR Tray icons.

The interesting part is that I have an 8 year old system running WinXP SP3: AMD 1400 T-Bird (single core), 1 GB DDR1 PC2100 RAM, ATI AGP 8x (running @4x because of mobo) Radeon video card, PCI Hercules sound card. The only part of my system which is not (much) slower than modern systems is my hard drive: Seagate 7200 RPM Ultra100 250 GB's PATA HDD. I have tweaked WinXP SP3 as much as possible. While I don't play games on it anymore, it runs fine for all other apps, even playing video.

I say bloatware Norton SystemWorks 2006 (many bugs included for free), because before I installed SW2006 my boot time was 90 secs. Now it's 140 secs , a 50 second bonus. All these extra features are given by Symantec to their customers because they appreciate our business so much. B^D


RE: Acid3 & HTML5 Comparison
By Fanon on 9/8/2009 10:30:51 AM , Rating: 3
Acid is the 3DMark of the web. Is it really the all important test its made out to be? No.

And what's so important about HTML5 features? It's not even close to being a final spec. Hell, they just changed the footer element. Any HTML5 feature added by any browser is fair game to be changed, and then you'll cry foul when a browser's implementation differs from the non-existent spec.


RE: Acid3 & HTML5 Comparison
By forever4now on 9/8/2009 11:34:51 AM , Rating: 1
Acid3 tests standards conformance so YES, that DOES make it important. You can read about Acid3 in Wikipedia.

Re. HTML5: Most of the major browsers have already rolled out HTML5 features, so it would be worthwhile to have a table to see who supports what. Many of the features will probably reach de facto standard status, before the spec is fully approved.


RE: Acid3 & HTML5 Comparison
By Fanon on 9/8/2009 12:17:02 PM , Rating: 3
I know what Acid tests. The problem with Acid is it only tests certain selected features/spec support. It's 3DMark for web browsers. Whooop dee dooo.

Indeed, most browsers have implemented some HTML5 features, but my point still stands. HTML5 is only important to a select group of people. That group will undoubtedly grow as HTML5 nears completion in 4497 days, but the "spec" isn't even close to being finished, and fundamental aspects change frequently. It's far too early to clamor for HTML5 features yet.


RE: Acid3 & HTML5 Comparison
By forever4now on 9/8/2009 1:06:09 PM , Rating: 2
Standards conformance is a VERY important aspect of browsers. It affects how web developers build websites. Acid3 provides a measure of how well each browser conforms, so it is VERY appropriate to include, with a browser comparison.

Re. HTML5: I think it will be rolling out more quickly & more broadly than you are imagining, but that is not the point of the table. It's just to list the HTML5 features supported by each browser. Simple.

If you, personally, don't have an interest in these things, then you should ignore them, when they are published.


RE: Acid3 & HTML5 Comparison
By Fanon on 9/8/2009 3:18:28 PM , Rating: 2
I have an interest in these things; I have for 10+ years.

I never said, nor implied, standards aren't important. I criticized the importance of Acid3. Two completely different topics.

HTML5 isn't important or relevant today. The spec is always changing, and the worth of the features implemented is debatable as only the latest browsers implement them. As the spec changes, and thus changes to the implementation, you're going to end up with a fractured web. Implementing specs when they're barely in an embryonic stage hurts developers in the long run.

I think you're too optimistic in HTML5's release. Hell, even the author says no final spec until 2020-something.


RE: Acid3 & HTML5 Comparison
By forever4now on 9/8/2009 4:25:57 PM , Rating: 2
Considering all the effort Mozilla, Google, Apple & Opera put in to passing the Acid3 test, I would say it is probably important.

Considering that some of the major browsers are already shipping with HTML5 functionality built in, I would say it is probably important.

I agree that the entire HTML5 spec (which is quite complex) may take some time to ratify, but the fact is, many HTML5 features are already in production browsers (which is why I suspect that many HTML5 features will become de facto standards, before the spec is even ratified).

Anyway, what's the big deal?

If you search Wikipedia for "Acid3" and "HTML5", you could almost derive these tables from the information listed there. I'm just suggesting that a couple of simple summary tables be included, to make the browser comparison article complete.


RE: Acid3 & HTML5 Comparison
By neilrieck on 9/10/2009 7:01:12 AM , Rating: 2
IIRC, HTML5 is not much more than strict XHTML which can be enabled in today's compliant browsers just by inserting the correct DOCTYPE.


RE: Acid3 & HTML5 Comparison
By adiposity on 9/8/2009 2:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
Works with firefox...


RE: Acid3 & HTML5 Comparison
By Justin Time on 9/9/2009 10:31:10 AM , Rating: 2
>> One topic that is often overlooked, when comparing browsers, is conformance to web standards.

Standards are a good thing, but you can't have it both ways and say that standards includes non-standards.

>> It would be great, if you could provide a summary of Acid3 test results, for each browser.

One of the problem with Acid3 is that it tests for CSS3 properties, and CSS3 is not a w3c standard.

>> For example, try viewing the following HTML5 video, with IE 8 (or earlier). You CANNOT!

Again, html5 is NOT a web standard, it's still a working draft and subject to change.

MS was demonised in the past for implementing non-standard features, and was burned by implemented features that were in working draft status, only to have them pulled from the candidate standard.

They now seem to be taking the conservative approach that they will not implement features until they reach candidate status, and are being accused of dragging their feet by not implementing non-standard features.


RE: Acid3 & HTML5 Comparison
By forever4now on 9/10/2009 2:24:49 AM , Rating: 2
"CSS3 is not a w3c standard"
"html5 is NOT a web standard"

Isn't it a little strange that everyone, with the exception of Microsoft (i.e. Mozilla, Google, Apple & Opera) is deploying browsers that support this stuff?

Working implementations are VERY important to the standardization process. They help to validate/solidify the specifications. Tests, like Acid3, help to ensure the implementations are consistent.

Microsoft needs to stop making excuses and JOIN the international standards community, instead of FIGHTING it.


RE: Acid3 & HTML5 Comparison
By neilrieck on 9/10/2009 6:54:21 AM , Rating: 2
You are correct. When Microsoft defeated Netscape during the browser wars in the mid 1990s, they were only thinking about themselves. Then they didn't do very much with IE for the next 10 years.

Can you imagine the cross-browser testing that must go on each day at big sites like eBay and Amazon? Since the appearance of standards-compliant browsers, "test-fix" usually means adding special hooks to handle every version of IE. What a mess.


User Interface and Basic Features
By rpsgc on 9/8/2009 9:31:35 AM , Rating: 3
"Uninstall Option No"

What do you mean, no uninstall option?

"Uninstall Option to Delete Personal Data No"

You can do that from within the browser though.




RE: User Interface and Basic Features
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/8/09, Rating: -1
RE: User Interface and Basic Features
By glennpratt on 9/8/2009 12:11:48 PM , Rating: 5
I don't see how an uninstall shortcut is useful, it's just old fashioned clutter. I really do not like it and I would be surprised if many users find it useful. At the very least it should be an install time option, so I don't have to delete a bunch of unneeded shortcuts. Windows has used the Control Panel for uninstall since 1995, why change now?

Also, these shortcuts can screw up Vista's Start Search bar. For example, with old versions of WinSCP if you typed Win Key + WinSCP + Enter, you would launch the uninstall shortcut. Useless.


By adiposity on 9/8/2009 3:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
Uses Windows Uninstall System instead of third party shortcut:

Chrome: no
Firefox: yes


RE: User Interface and Basic Features
By adiposity on 9/8/2009 3:23:16 PM , Rating: 2
Your personal opinions about what features are positive and which are not, is just that. Have you done a poll to determine which features users care about? No, you have arbitrarily picked features and listed whether or not each browser has them as if your checklist is some sort of authority on quality.

Second, you ignore the fact that firefox not having features by default can be considered a good thing--or, it can be considered a bad thing (depending mostly, on whether you personally want that feature...colored tabs, are you fscking kidding me?). But these are not things that determine whether a browser is good or not, especially in the case that the extension is easily added.

The speed benchmarks are more useful, however you have failed to include IE6/IE7, I assume because you only care about the latest browser...except for Chrome...? Firefox 3.0 should probably be included as well, as there is not an automatic update to 3.5.

Each browser has its positive and negative points. However, you manage to pretty much miss all of them with your article. Therefore, your statement that you "have the information [we] need to decide " is totally false.

-Dan


RE: User Interface and Basic Features
By foolsgambit11 on 9/9/2009 2:46:43 AM , Rating: 2
Chrome has a convoluted release system. Chrome 2 came out around the same time as IE8, putting it in the same generation, and thus worthy of inclusion in the review. IE7 came out in 2006, so it really doesn't qualify to be part of a 'next-gen browser wars' review.

The development process for Chrome has been incredibly fast-paced, with 3 being polished while 4 has already hit developer channels. Seeing as they are available for testing (and keeping in mind they aren't full release versions), it is valuable to include them in the review, as well.

The decision criteria seems to be, "include the most recent official release of the major browsers, and include any upcoming releases, if available for testing." That's not too complicated.

I do agree with you that determining what is a feature and what is a defect can be a very subjective, very personal issues. So why don't we all just read the facts presented and make up our own minds as to whether specific traits of these browsers are right for us. If you feel that a feature of your favorite browser was left off, when it should have been included in this portion of the review, then by all means, post a testimonial. But don't assume that the readers here will lack the critical reading skills necessary to make up their own minds given the facts presented.

Again, this review is being conducted in a few parts, and this is just the first of them. So if the browser characteristics you consider most valuable (see how you fell for the same thing you were complaining about? You assume your personal opinion about what is important in a browser is correct, while others might feel different traits are more important) weren't covered, maybe you should wait and see what Jason has to say in the following articles before getting on his case about what facts he did and didn't include in this one.


By adiposity on 9/9/2009 2:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
The point is, he is not listing all features, just a few features he has decided are "important," like an "uninstall link" and other fairly trivial things. Granted, that's my opinion as to what is important and what isn't. So, if I were to do such a "feature table," in an article, I wouldn't list my favorite features, but rather would ask the readership to determine which features are an issue. Then, I would compare how the browsers stack up.

quote:
So if the browser characteristics you consider most valuable (see how you fell for the same thing you were complaining about?


I did not "fall for" anything; I am not writing an objective article on the the merits of each browser. I'm just saying, no attempt was made to determine what features are important to the average user. The features seem almost picked at random. I posted my opinion that one of the features (colored tabs) was not a particularly important feature. But if that were determined to be important to the average user, I would not complain if it were included...

-Dan


RE: User Interface and Basic Features
By teohhanhui on 9/8/2009 9:46:21 AM , Rating: 4
The chart is pretty inaccurate.

"Prompts to Make Default on Open"
Firefox has a "Use Firefox as my default web browser" option in the installer which is checked by default.

"Uninstall Option"
Uninstallation via Control Panel is the norm. What's wrong with that?

"Uninstall Option to Delete Personal Data"
Firefox has that. Look carefully in the uninstaller.


By teohhanhui on 9/8/2009 9:50:13 AM , Rating: 2
My bad for not noticing the second column...


How come....?
By damianrobertjones on 9/8/2009 10:23:41 AM , Rating: 2
This gem never appeared?

http://www.tweaktown.com/news/13051/ie_8_comes_out...

According to a recent Study performed by NSS Labs Internet Explorer is more secure than FireFox 3, Chrome, Safari 4, and even Opera.

The test was to see if each browser was capable of withstanding common Web-Based attacks.

The numbers were pretty telling. IE 8 was able to block about 81% while FireFox only caught 54%. Chrome V2 only caught 7%, Safari 4 Caught 21% and Opera only managed to stop 1% of the attacks. The success of IE 8 is mostly attributed to the built in SmartScreen technology that screens websites for common attack vectors. Granted you can get something similar for FireFox but even so it still did not outperform the built in one in IE 8.




RE: How come....?
By damianrobertjones on 9/8/2009 10:25:40 AM , Rating: 2
Also, could you try and install 'without' installing updates..... add that to the graph


RE: How come....?
By gstrickler on 9/8/2009 2:44:30 PM , Rating: 5
Because the reports from NSS can't be considered reliable for the following reasons (taken from the link provided below, I added the emphasis):

http://www.thetechherald.com/article.php/200912/32...

"In addition, the report itself is suspect as it is funded by Microsoft. "

"NSS Labs started with a set of more than 1,779 URLs , which it ultimately narrowed down to a testing set of just 492 sites . These sites were confirmed, by manual testing, to be malicious. Yet, not a single tested URL is presented for comparison . This lack of peer-review opportunity leads some to argue the NSS test was completely biased."

--end of excerpts --

While those comments apply to the earlier (March 2009) NSS Labs report, it still calls NSS' methods into question. No explanation is given as to why over 72% of the sites were eliminated from the test, there is no opportunity for anyone outside of NSS to verify the results, and the tests were funded by MS (who clearly wants IE8 to come out on top). As far as I can tell, the August report suffers from the same flaws. Until NSS discloses sufficient information about their testing methodology and tests such that an outside source can say that it's an unbiased test and validate the results, it's just propaganda, ...I mean "marketing".

In short, it's not news, it's marketing, therefore, it's not worth reporting.

P.S.
I assume you're a M$ troll, because I posted this same response here:
http://www.dailytech.com/The+Pirate+Bay+Briefly+Ta...
the last time you linked to that item, yet you persist in trying to draw attention to a highly suspect report that shows IE in a positive light.


RE: How come....?
By damianrobertjones on 9/8/2009 4:27:55 PM , Rating: 2
Someone has to try :)


RE: How come....?
By damianrobertjones on 9/8/2009 4:30:10 PM , Rating: 3
Just visited the other link etc. Ohhh, bad Microsoft!! Shame on you


WTF
By Amiga500 on 9/8/2009 8:29:49 AM , Rating: 3
"Cold launch application time"

The graph is diametrically opposite to the explanation posted below it.

Maybe want to review either the graph, or your text Jason.




RE: WTF
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/8/2009 8:49:42 AM , Rating: 2
You are correct -- the graph was messed up. I upload the correct graph, which should make a whole lot more sense now. :) Thanks!


RE: WTF
By therealnickdanger on 9/8/2009 10:43:16 AM , Rating: 3
This isn't really a criticism, but if you had an SSD in your laptop, every browser would launch in the same 1 second window. I've only personally used IE, FF, and Chrome, but they all open and are useable nearly the instant I am finished double-clicking the icon. Obviously, this wouldn't be entirely reflective of the mass populace, but I just thought I would point that out. Your hard drive is likely the reason they all take so long to start. I'm not trying to discount the fact that some apps are more overweight than others, because clearly IE8 could stand to go on a diet, but that with proper hardware you'll likely not even notice.

And obviously, Chrome is $120 cheaper than a 30GB Vertex. ;-)


RE: WTF
By kattanna on 9/8/2009 1:46:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And obviously, Chrome is $120 cheaper than a 30GB Vertex. ;-)


but not nearly as satisfying

:>)


?
By Locutus465 on 9/8/2009 9:17:37 AM , Rating: 2
Based on your charts I would think there's no way to delete user data from Internet Explorer since there's no "uninstall" option to do so.




RE: ?
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/8/2009 9:38:12 AM , Rating: 2
Any modern browser can delete cookies, downloaded files, history, etc. from within the browser.

The comparison in the chart is referring to an uninstall-specific option. Chrome is the only browser that gives you this option.

Why is this handy?

Well, if you've been browsing and you decide to delete your current browser, most browsers you can only uninstall via the Control Panel wizard. This cleans the registry and deletes the application folder -- however, anything stored in other directories like user profiles, passwords, history, and cookies are likely to persist.

For example, I verified that this information persists in Firefox between uninstalls and clean installs.


RE: ?
By Smilin on 9/8/2009 2:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
I think if you compare the uninstaller in control panel and the one pointed to by the shortcut you'll realize they are the same thing.

Note: uninstall via control panel is the RIGHT way to do it.


RE: ?
By erple2 on 9/9/2009 11:21:05 AM , Rating: 2
I recall that according to Microsoft development guidelines, the proper way to provide the uninstall feature is through the Control Panel, NOT through an "uninstall application" shortcut. However, I can't seem to find the reference anymore...

The point is that the "uninstall icon" should actually be a "Red", and not a "Green" as listed.


Firefox 3.5
By Chriz on 9/8/2009 9:17:32 AM , Rating: 2
When I upgraded from FF 3.0 to 3.5, the cold start time was drastically slower with 3.5 compared to 3.0. Hopefully 3.6 does indeed change that.




RE: Firefox 3.5
By Screwballl on 9/8/09, Rating: 0
RE: Firefox 3.5
By Screwballl on 9/8/2009 10:30:54 AM , Rating: 2
forgot to add that on my laptop with Celeron 585 single core 2.16GHz, 2GB DDR2 and Windows 7, cold start time is 3 seconds with several of the same addons mentioned above... so yes this is a Vista related bug, not FF


RE: Firefox 3.5
By ipay on 9/8/2009 11:15:56 AM , Rating: 2
FF 3.5 has known issues with startup time in rare cases (check the FF Bugzilla); thankfully this looks to be fixed in 3.5.3 and upwards.

So it could be Vista, but it could also be FF itself. Would prefer if the tests were run on XP 32bit or Windows 7 64-bit instead.


Unreliable yet again
By jimbo2779 on 9/8/2009 12:19:06 PM , Rating: 4
Mick I read your blog posts regularly and read all the comments pointing out your errors and mistakes and wonder if it is just time for you to give it up. Look at the comments for this post, it is a prime example of why you shouldn't be doing this job.

There are so many question marks over the validity of your claims in most posts, there are misleading titles and just flat out errors in every post of yours.

As many have mentioned your wording and choice of metrics to decide which browser is "best" is very dubious at best and very misleading at worst.

I would say anecdotal evidence would say differently to your results as many are pointing out in the comments here. From my experience IE opens up in a fraction of a second with Opera being comparable ( can't see which is quickest) whereas FF and Safari take a relative age to load up from Cold or warm. As a web designer I have to use each browser so these aren't based on a quick run through it is years of use on them.

Also for anything JS bvased my Opera is unbearable at times and FF seems to chug through anything dynamic. Chrome is great for speed but I don't like its interface so I have not tried to use it for my general browsing like I have the rest.

In the end each browser seems to run very differently on different hardware and different platforms also so it is very hard to take this as a reliable blog post, but then none of your posts are much more than ramblings of a buffoon.




RE: Unreliable yet again
By Smilin on 9/8/2009 5:05:40 PM , Rating: 2
Despite any shortcomings I think he is doing the job he was hired to do.

I mean you're here reading aren't you? Obviously the article is working.

In the future take up the issue via feedback email or something. Posting "you should give up your job" stuff here in the public is not the most professional way to go about things and really just makes you look like a tool.


Compression Boost Option
By Visual on 9/9/2009 11:16:18 AM , Rating: 2
WTF is "Compression Boost Option"? Some proprietary scheme invented by Opera, or just renaming of the standard gzip and deflate transfer encodings, which all browsers support already?
I get the feeling it's just some marketing hype by Opera, you should be really ashamed for buying ito it, and should remove it from the table ASAP.




RE: Compression Boost Option
By Visual on 9/9/2009 11:18:50 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, I can't find a reference to it even in opera marketing or anywhere... It would be so much more scarier if it is actually marketing hype that YOU invented FOR opera just because you are a fanboy...
Please tell me that is not true.


RE: Compression Boost Option
By dramatic on 9/10/2009 4:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
Google "Opera Turbo" - it's a proxy-based page shrinker for users on limited bandwidth, with an on-off button on the status bar. Extrapolated from their Opera Mini mobile product.


Cold launch time
By JPForums on 9/8/2009 8:44:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
In our first run, we launched the browser "cold" after a full system restart. Averaged over three trials, Chrome by-far launched the fastest, with Chrome 4 being the fastest of the Google browsers. In close second was Opera 10.0. Firefox 3.5 was strangely slow, taking 10+ seconds ... IE 8 was the second slowest in the cold launch trial.


You either need to fix your words or your chart.
According to the chart:
- On average the Chrome browsers we the slowest (not fastest) taking 38, 34, and 64 seconds for Chrome 2, 3, and 4 respectively.
- Chrome 4 was by far the slowest (not fastest) in the test taking 68 seconds compared to 40 seconds for the next slowest (Safari 4).
- Opera 10.0 posted 33 seconds which isn't really standout in any respect. (Certainly not second place)
- While Firefox did take 10+ seconds (11 to be exact), that result was bested only by Opera 9.6 (2 seconds). The next fastest was Firefox 3.6 (22 seconds). Hardly what I'd call strangely slow.
- IE8 at 36 seconds sits right in the middle of Chrome 2 and 3. IE8 may be slow, but 3 other browsers (including the latest version of two of them) are slower.




RE: Cold launch time
By JPForums on 9/8/2009 9:12:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You either need to fix your words or your chart.


Thanks!


Opera Bias
By chaos7 on 9/8/2009 9:08:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Opera arguably leads the pack, with the most built-in interface features


I don't quite get this statement as from the chart you have posted it has the exact same features as Safari, unless there is more to that chart that you haven't included.




RE: Opera Bias
By invidious on 9/8/2009 9:32:38 AM , Rating: 2
It looks like he is missing a paragraph or something. I would hardly consider program setup options to be the features that you judge a browser on. There should have been a chart with stuff like ad blocking, mouse gestures, page zoom, ect...


Cold Start
By metaltoiletry on 9/8/2009 9:35:10 AM , Rating: 3
The "Cold" start of Firefox is exactly the reason I stopped using it. I couldn't stand having a browser that was so slow to open, especially when all other applications (Photoshop, Dreaweaver, Word, Outlook, etc.) opened faster.

I do like Opera as a browser; however, Internet Explorer 8 and Outlook have filled my needs better because of Exchange, Active Directory and Outlook Web Access.




RE: Cold Start
By R3T4rd on 9/8/2009 9:42:14 AM , Rating: 1
Yup...i'd agree with you. FF 3.5 is slow.

Where's the IE6 chart? After the KB983784628374672899712 Patch, its the most secure and the fastest of all browsers I have used. Heck I browse the LAN all day and even have the kids hop onto the LAN - never need any firewall or mailware or protection...PERIOD! IE6 its like a MAC tough!!


FF 3.5
By theinnkeeper on 9/8/2009 9:21:59 AM , Rating: 2
FF 3.5 is very slow to start. It kills me how long it takes to load. 10 seconds would be great since I normally wait longer than that. It gets worse the more add-ons you have.

Also... IE 8 got rid of the memory leak problems IE 7 had. I can leave IE 8 running and never shut it down and the memory stays the same. That is not the case with FF 3.5.

I guess I should try out Chrome now too.




Can't uninstall Opera?
By emboss on 9/8/2009 9:31:13 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure why you think you can't uninstall Opera. Just go to Add/Remove Programs (or Programs and Features if you're on Vista), select, and uninstall.

Or do you mean something else?




Bemusing.
By Mattus27 on 9/8/2009 11:57:07 AM , Rating: 2
I just don't get this review. Why is a third of it devoted to install time? Who cares? You're probably going to install your browser once when you install your OS, and maybe again every few months when there's an updated version. Is an extra thirty seconds every six months really a valid reason to choose or avoid a browser?

Also, you're making indiscriminate judgements on the the feature sets of browsers with fundamentally different design philosophies. Chrome is designed to be minimal. Firefox is designed to be extensible. Opera is designed to be fully-featured out of the box. Applying a 'more features is good' matrix across the board just makes no sense.




By the old rang on 9/8/2009 1:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Firefox having no compression routine, you are wrong, there are several, one being "Vacuum Places Improved:

RE: Firefox home page being an 'add on,' you are wrong. It is a part of the preferences on the first page of the included tool, The First Item... But, IE users would not know this.

RE: How come....? By damianrobertjones, The cited Tweaktown item lead to a survey that was paid for by microsoft, and gave few important details, (the data cited was not 'quite' correct mr. jones...) Microsoft pays for many surveys, never publishes ones it loses, hands down, so, companies that do get hired have long since learned that the data is good for Microsoft, or it is no good.

RE: anything that favors Microsoft can be generally found published by writers on the freebie list (otherwise known as the list of reporters that are so called 'neutral' or 'anti' microsoft' list recently let open, but not really covered by the 'neutral' reporters, who known to get free trips, meals, money and other comps, for their 'neutral' reporting.




Why no IE6/IE7 results?
By gstrickler on 9/8/2009 2:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
You included previous versions of Safari, Opera, (and 3 versions of Chrome, including the latest stable version and two major beta versions), but you didn't include IE7 or IE6 each of which is currently used about as much as IE8.




COLOR TABS?!
By Belard on 9/9/2009 12:31:44 AM , Rating: 2
Thats a make or break feature?

Thats more of an opinion function.

So here is MY opinion.

When I rarely use IE8 (on someone elses computer) *I* don't like the color tabs. The colors seem random and I don't know which is which if I'm opening 3-4 tabs from the same site.

Opera 10 (don't ever use 9x ever again, folks... which was better than IE8 already IMHO), the Active TAB can't be missed, it looks and flows great with the browser GUI.

Opera 10 shows "NEW DOTS" (I don't know the name) little blue dots in the corners of a tab to indicate that ITS not been viewed by the user, yet.

I find it HANDY... but not visually impressed with it. Does the job.

So to a degree, Opera should score POINTS for having an indicator for the tab. Its just not random colors.

how about TAB preview... Nope, not on IE8

There are lots of user-friendly functions in Opera that are not part of IE8, which is fine by me. I've been an IE user since IE3 up until IE6.

Opera 10 is a cleaner, easier UI. The tab flows into the address bar and then into the web-page.

Closing out Opera with 5-10 whatever tabs means, they'll be there when you restart Opera or the computer... or if Opera crashes. (no more than IE or anything else AFAIK)

When using IE on another computer and I close it out... I get a stupid pop-up. Warning that there are open tabs... duh... so? What options do I get... continue to browse or close with the tabs lost.




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