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How fast is fast? Or does it matter when using a web browser?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-Mar-2009 14:25

Now that Internet Explorer 8 is available for everyone (except for the Windows 7 beta platform) I hear a few talking about how this browser or that browser is faster than the others.

The reality is most people "browse the web", don't race it. And while faster is always better and perceptions can be deceiving , I was intrigued when I was told of some interesting results coming out of a study on "measuring browser performance".

For starters we are talking about a controlled measurement of browser performance. There are issues and configurations that need management. Once these are out of the way, then we can start talking.

Here is an interesting video about this and the results. Watch to the end:


IE8 Performance

Once there's a level playing field and people start talking about a group of 25 most visited websites on the Internet - according to Comscore - then the results are in: Internet Explorer loads those sites faster 48% of the time, Google Chrome wins 36% of the time, and Firefox is best 16% of the time. Here is the table from the document referenced earlier in this post:



Another thing to consider when we talk speed is "how much time and effort is need to get things 'done'"? For example one of the new features on Internet Explorer 8 are "accelerators" - shortcuts that give instant access to add-on features. There are a few accelerator add-ons available now that add some functionality to the browser.

For example in the screenshot below once the address is highlighted and the user clicks on the blue arrow then a series of "accelerators" show up, including "Map with Yahoo!", "Search with Facebook", etc. This feature gives almost instant access to features people use most, without requiring lots of "select", "copy", "open new browser", "navigate to site", "paste text", "select function" routine.



What is your own personal experience? Have you tried Internet Explorer 8 yet? What results you've seen?



Other related posts:
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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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