Chrome 10 vs. Internet Explorer 9 vs. Firefox 4: FIGHT!

Mugen character
By Richi Jennings. March 28, 2011.

It's Monday; time for one of Richi's ridiculous review roundups. In the browser wars part deux, our tripartite protagonists are Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, and Mozilla Firefox 4. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers tabulate and cogitate.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention Classic arcade game deaths...


Update 2, 7.10pm EDT: Paul Wallbank's thoughts.

Update 1, 1.20pm EDT: Tom Keating's opinion.

Seth Rosenblatt asks, "how do they perform when tested under identical conditions?":

[Our] gauntlet of benchmarks ... considered JavaScript and HTML5 performance ... boot times and memory usage. ... Though the competition is extremely close in ... JavaScript rendering, Firefox 4 [wins] HTML5 processing, boot time, and memory usage. ... Firefox 4 is the winner this time around.


Chrome, however, is absolutely killing it on Google's V8 benchmark. Expect the next version ... to perform much better on the JSGamebench test. ... Also expect Chrome's boot time and memory performance to improve. ... It's also hard to imagine that the IE development team isn't already working on making the browser better.

Greg Morgan digs deeper:

Both Firefox and Chrome had the best result on in-house tests, with Chrome having a great result with V8v6 and Firefox with Kraken. ... Not surprising, as development teams obviously base their results on benchmark tests that they approve of and have control over.


When choosing a browser, most people put more emphasis on qualities ... such as the user interface, the availability of extensions, security features, and that most underrated quality ... the browser they ... are most familiar with.

Tony Bradley scratches his head at the download stats:

Internet Explorer 9, and ... Firefox 4 ... [both] had millions of downloads on its inaugural launch day. ... [But] the battle was perhaps much closer than sensational news headlines might suggest. ... Firefox 4 was downloaded 7.1 million times ... but Mozilla is claiming 10.1 million by throwing in the RC downloads as well.


OK. Using the "new math" where we count RC downloads in addition to the actual 24-hour count ... there were roughly 10 million downloads of the IE9 release candidate, so ... IE9 had 12.3 million downloads and beats Firefox 4's 10.1 million.


Perhaps Mozilla has a self-esteem complex about the fact that Firefox 4 fell below the 8 million mark set by Firefox 3?

But Gregg Keizer looks at day two:

In the 24 hours from early Wednesday to early Thursday, users downloaded 8.75 million copies of ... Firefox 4 ... [which] broke the record established by Firefox 3.0 ... when that browser was downloaded more than 8 million times within 24 hours.


The advantage also goes to Firefox 4 because it runs on Windows XP, the 10-year-old operating system that IE9 has left behind. ... XP currently accounts for more than 61% of all copies of Windows in use. ... Firefox 4 also runs on Mac OS X and Linux.


As of 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Mozilla's real-time scoreboard claimed that over 35 million copies of Firefox 4 had been downloaded since Tuesday.

  It appears Tom Keating doesn't understand virtual memory too well:

I personally use Firefox 4. Honestly, I'd ... switch to Chrome, but I keep 40 Firefox tabs open all the time. ... Chrome uses more memory since it uses separate processes for each tab. Firefox on the other hand uses a single process.


Chrome has to duplicate the code across each process. Though the one drawback of Firefox is [its] slow memory leak so ... the process goes from using 500MB to 1.6GB of RAM ... [and] my PC starts swapping to the hard drive making it a real dog.

 Preston Gralla considers influence in design:

With the recent releases of Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4, the "Chrome-zation" of the browser world is nearly complete. ... With that simple, stripped-down interface, Web content is front and center. ... There really aren't that many browser features you need to see, as long as you can ... find them. Clearly, both Microsoft and Mozilla agree.


It's not clear whether Chrome will ever catch up to Internet Explorer and Firefox in market share. But it's influence will live on --- it's the design template for browsers of the future.

Meanwhile, Paul Wallbank is full of fear:

Microsoft's latest version of Internet Explorer ... has to be treated with a bit of care as IE is a fundamental part of Windows ... so any change to the inbuilt web browser can ripple through your entire office network. ... IE 9 has a range of security features that makes it a lot safer to use. ... However those safety features are where the problems can lie, as legitimate programs may be blocked along with the bad guys.


Many organisations are still in the Dark Ages of [IE6], having locked themselves into bad technological choices ... and so will struggle with the new version. ... It's best to use an alternative like Firefox, Chrome, Opera or Safari for day-to-day browsing and reserve the Microsoft tools for the sites that insist upon it.


And Finally...

Classic arcade game deaths
[Click for the game memories, stay for the great music]

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

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