Since Microsoft is trying to regain some of its market share after losing more and more of it to rivals Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Google Chrome, it is no surprise that Microsoft would be looking to entice people back to their browser – and that’s what they have done, by debunking the “myths” of IE8.
Too bad they got it so wrong. Out of all four myths presented (IE is slower, IE is less secure, Firefox is more adaptable than IE, and IE does not play well with standards), all of their answers are all wrong – except for those comparing IE7 to IE8.
In Myth 1 – “Internet Explorer is much slower than Firefox and Chrome”, sees Microsoft claiming that IE8 performs better or well in tests.
A lot of Firefox and Chrome advocates like to cling to micro-benchmarking page load claims to measure browser speed. But in most cases, these differences can only be viewed by slow-motion video captures, and they just don’t represent real world examples. If you’re still hung up on millisecond page load times to gauge performance, watch this video for a head-to-head comparison.
Only problem: it is slower than a lot of browsers out there, and while IE8 seems to don’t really care about the fact that page loading time is not important – because it is – is a load of nonsense. Plus, many of the features that they have introduced can be found in Firefox and Opera, according to Geek Technica.
This one relates to Internet Explorer being less than secure; and while this may sound like crap, Microsoft brings in evidence that it is more secure – quoting an NSS Labs study, along with going on with its neat features like InPrivate filtering, being “the only browser to offer this level of security”.
It should be noted that many other browsers have implemented many security features before IE8 decided to catch up – like Firefox, Chrome and Safari blocking websites for identity theft and malware and Safari and Chrome having Private Browsing mode (Firefox is soon to add it in version 3.5). Also, it should also be noted that Microsoft was the sole sponsor of the NSS Labs study.
That study, claiming that IE8 was the most secure than any other browsers, can be deemed as a conflict of interest, and Opera has debunked many of the claims; like Firefox 3.1 and Safari 4 – both betas at the time – were left out, while IE8 (being at Release Candidate version – meaning not finished yet) was accepted; and that IE8 never once managed to get a 69 percent in the study.
But we can acknowledge that IE8 is at least better than IE7 – it just happens to be less secure against the other browsers out there.
This one attacks Firefox being a more adaptable browser than Internet Explorer. Microsoft claims that most of the functions are right there, and there are over 1,700 add-ons in the Add-on Gallery; and also says that the functions in the browser are features of the popular add-ons.
Internet Explorer 8 has much more functionality than other browsers, and its functionality is there from the moment you open the browser. Internet Explorer 8 offers almost all of the features the most popular add-ons in Firefox have, and you’re able to personalize your browser in a way that saves you time and research.
Did you know that there are more than 1,700 Internet Explorer 8 add-ons available at the Add-ons Gallery, with more being added every day? Partners all over the world are building Accelerators, Web slices, and Visual Search plug-ins for your browser, including Facebook, Amazon, eBay, and much more.
Firefox has over thousands of plug-ins, with over 1,900 add-ons just in the “Other” category. Not only it has plug-ins, but it also has themes, search tools and dictionaries that you can add to the browser, plus since its Open Source, you can edit the entire browser (if you are that geeky enough to do so). Also, did we mention there is an about:config page where you can also edit the browser without ripping the core?
This one is to entire developers that Internet Explorer does not “play well with Web standards”. Being a developer myself, here is Microsoft’s explanation to debunk this totally truthful fact that IE 8 does not support web standards supported by the W3C.
Microsoft made a big commitment to standards with Internet Explorer 8. In addition to passing more of the official CSS 2.1 test suites than any other browser, Microsoft got really hands-on in the overall testing process by developing and contributing thousands of new tests for the consortium.
But what does that really mean? It means that developers will be able to spend more time designing cool new features for their site, and less time tweaking code for specific browsers. Microsoft put significant effort into make sure sites still work, even if they’re designed for older versions of Internet Explorer, by giving users a Compatibility View button.
Yes, its making such a big commitment that it only took IE7 to realise that they needed to support more standards, even though Opera, Firefox and Safari – all released before IE7 – were able to support the standards. While it claims that it passes the CSS 2.1 test, which has not been peer-reviewed, it just cherry picked the ones that IE8 was able to do and declared them the winner.
As well, it has failed to support HTML5 and CSS3, despite Firefox and Safari announcing support for their browser, with Safari 4 being the first browser to support the new standard – which has not been finalised by the W3C as of now.
Oh, and for being so standards-compliant, why is that Microsoft seems to fail the Acid3 test. While Firefox also doesn’t pass in its current version, the next manages to reach a 94/100 – which is an improvement from a 72/100 score. Safari and Google Chrome – being based on the same layout engine – have a 100/100 score.
So, what have we learnt from today? Well, we learnt that Microsoft sucks as a debater, and has failed to entice me to use it. However, still download it as they are going to feed eight meals to the homeless until August 8. Just don’t use it, or uninstall it afterwards.