Microsoft's top executive for Internet Explorer (IE) today dismissed browser speed trials as "at best, not very useful, and at worst, misleading."
Microsoft's Platform Previews are skeletal editions that lack a user interface, and omit such critical navigational tools as the address bar.
In a lengthy entry on the IE blog, Hachamovitch argued that benchmarks don't realistically reflect the speed of a browser, but instead said what he called "real world scenarios" make a better yardstick.
"We think people should evaluate browser performance with real-world scenarios," said Hachamovitch. "Real-world scenarios involve using all the subsystems in the browser together rather than looking at single subsystems in isolation. Using a narrow slice of features to assess the big picture makes as little sense here as using the Acid tests to understand standards compliance."
Acid3 is the standards benchmark that most browser makers trumpet when they match their software against rivals.
Last August, for example, he pointed out that IE9 Platform Preview 4 scored better on the SunSpider suite than all rivals except Google's Chrome and Opera Software's Opera.
On one test that Hachamovitch cited as an alternative to SunSpider, IE9 Platform Preview 7 actually took longer to solve 1,000 Sudoku puzzles than Chrome's current beta version on Windows. (However, Microsoft's preview beat Chrome's "dev" build, which is roughly equivalent to IE9's Platform Preview, in the same test.)
According to Computerworld's last SunSpider tests, IE9 Beta, which launched in mid-September, lags behind the closest comparable versions of browser from Opera, Mozilla, Google and Apple.
Mozilla and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment about Microsoft's take on browser performance.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com.