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Microsoft Aims To Close Performance Gap With Internet Explorer 9

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the roll-up-your-sleeves dept.

Internet Explorer 477

Barence writes "Microsoft has unveiled the first details of Internet Explorer 9, promising that it will close the performance gap on rival browsers. The major newcomer is a revamped rendering engine that will tap the power of the PC's graphics card to accelerate text and graphics performance. 'We're changing IE to use the DirectX family of Windows APIs to enable many advances for web developers,' explains Internet Explorer's general manager, Dean Hachamovitch. As well as improving performance, Microsoft claims the hardware acceleration will enhance the appearance and readability of fonts on the web, with sub-pixel positioning that eradicates the jagged edges on large typefaces."

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477 comments

IE (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30156428)

will still suck.

Re:IE (2, Interesting)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156576)

The speed problem with IE is NOT rendering! The issue is with the kludge design for multiple-tabbed browsing - which does the equivalent of starting an entire, new environment and plug-in set, etc for every tab!

This may be the best trade-off for the 3-4 tab user. Beyond this? Awful. More than 10 seconds to switch between tabs, when - as I often do - there are 12 - 20 opened.

Don't talk to me about the brain-dead session @restore@ feature.

Re:IE (3, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156790)

Is this the price you pay for having each tab run in a separate process? Part of my frustration with firefox is that a crash in one tab brings the whole thing down. I use IE for a handful of sites that won't run in firefox, so I don't have first-hand experience. Is IE 8 able handle crashes in one tab without the rest crashing as well?

Re:IE (4, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157088)

> Is this the price you pay for having each tab run in a separate process?

That depends on the OS. On some the price of creating a new process is very high. On others a process costs only a little more than a thread.

Re:IE (3, Informative)

markkezner (1209776) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157340)

The performance really depends on the browser's architecture, which is comprised of a lot of parts and potential bottlenecks.

Chrome and Chromium, for example, are heavily multi-processed and handle large amounts of tabs\plugins very nicely. It certainly doesn't hurt that they were designed from the ground up for this kind of behavior.

Re:IE (1, Interesting)

BlueWaterBaboonFarm (1610709) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156858)

Indeed! I don't think that average user notices how fast pages load when it's such a minimal difference (or does the average /.er). I think one of the biggest problems is that there is little to no innovation with IE. Granted I don't use IE, but it seems most of the features that seem neat to users, are passed down from Opera, FF, Safari or elsewhere. In my mind, neat features are the reason the average user choses one browser over another, not super fast text rendering.

Re:IE (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30157152)

For IE to be successful, they need to port it to a proper operating system.

Re:IE (4, Informative)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157310)

> The issue is with the kludge design for multiple-tabbed browsing - which does the equivalent of starting an entire, new environment and plug-in

You mean like Chrome does? That's the BEST feature of IE8 - no more one-tab crashing taking down all yoru other tabs with more basic browsers like IE7 and Firefox.

Sub Pixel rendering, really? (1, Funny)

Rashkae (59673) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156456)

Microsoft claims the hardware acceleration will enhance the appearance and readability of fonts on the web, with sub-pixel positioning that eradicates the jagged edges on large typefaces

Anyone else get the feeling Dean hasn't really been keeping up with recent developments? If that's IE's general manager, it explains much.

Re:Sub Pixel rendering, really? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30156574)

I read that as him saying that the Direct2D sub-pixel rendering is more accurate (more aesthetic?) than the current GDI implementation.

But hey, that's a view that's not rabidly anti-Microsoft...

Re:Sub Pixel rendering, really? (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156686)

But hey, that's a view that's not rabidly anti-Microsoft...

You must be new here! ;-)

Re:Sub Pixel rendering, really? (3, Interesting)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156746)

I read that as him saying that the Direct2D sub-pixel rendering is more accurate (more aesthetic?) than the current GDI implementation.

Me too. But what does this tell you about the priorities at the IE team when this is something worth bragging about?

Re:Sub Pixel rendering, really? (0)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156970)

I suspect that the article author paraphrased beyond his competence, to coin a phrase. Subpixel rendering's been in IE for a long while.

god help us all (1)

zardozo (1611009) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156520)

If they succeed. We are already forced to delete Linux to play games, now we'll have to delete Linux to surf the web!

Re:god help us all (4, Insightful)

zardozo (1611009) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156672)

Now that I've calmed down. How come the other browsers don't have to hit the hardware to gain this "performance"?

Re:god help us all (1)

csartanis (863147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156876)

You just hit the nail on the head.

Performance gap but not Conformance gap (4, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156528)

The ACID conformance is still at a dismal 30% compared to 90% of chrome, Safari and Opera.

The internet willstill be divided into 2 - the Microsoft world and the Real, Normal world.

Shame, really. So many years, and the leopard has yet to change its spots.

Re:Performance gap but not Conformance gap (4, Insightful)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156628)

Why is the real/normal world so much smaller than the MS world?

Re:Performance gap but not Conformance gap (5, Funny)

Bottles (1672000) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156726)

Because it's more efficiently coded.

Re:Performance gap but not Conformance gap (5, Insightful)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157124)

So better code means less users?

I think it's more because people just don't care.

Re:Performance gap but not Conformance gap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30156730)

Google Microsoft Antitrust

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=microsoft+antitrust+&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a

Also note that with Windows 7 eventually users will be able to uninstall internet explorer

Re:Performance gap but not Conformance gap (2, Insightful)

greed (112493) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157142)

Because the real world is a line from (-INF,0) to (+INF,0). The imaginary world is the entire complex plane EXCEPT that line where y=0i.

Re:Performance gap but not Conformance gap (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157144)

Microsoft has (far) more desktop installations but it does not control the Internet. Not in search, not in standards, and not in media delivery.

Microsoft has become an island of broken, undesirable, and also-ran Internet technologies.

Re:Performance gap but not Conformance gap (1)

fulldecent (598482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157188)

I am using Safari 4.0.4 / Mac 10.5.8:

Acid 1 - pass
Acid 2 - fail
Acid 3 - 100%

http://www.acidtests.org/ [acidtests.org]

Re:Performance gap but not Conformance gap (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157358)

How does Acid2 fail? I just tested it on Safari 4.0.3 on OSX 10.5.8, and I'm pretty sure it passed (renders right, nose lights up on mouse over)

Re:Performance gap but not Conformance gap (0, Flamebait)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157246)

It's a filthy underhand conspiracy by content providers to target the browsers that the majority of their customers actually use. What they should do is to put themselves out of business by only serving standards conformant content that looks like crap on IE. See, if they all do it at once...

Re:Performance gap but not Conformance gap (5, Funny)

Corbets (169101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156780)

The ACID conformance is still at a dismal 30% compared to 90% of chrome, Safari and Opera.

The internet willstill be divided into 2 - the Microsoft world and the Real, Normal world.

Shame, really. So many years, and the leopard has yet to change its spots.

So buy a snow leopard instead....

Help with history (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156786)

Please correct me if I'm wrong or fill me in on what I'm missing but the thing that's always bugged me about web standards is when they started MS had just about 100% of the market share. When the standards were ratified that put MS' compliance at about 10% or whatever. Why were the standards targeted to a non-existent browser?

Don't get me wrong standards are important and MS needs to get in line with them; I just don't understand why the standards are what they are

Re:Help with history (2, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156880)

The standards were an attempt to provide a clear sensible path going forward, not to codify the garbage as it was.

Re:Help with history (1, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157360)

Codifying existing practice (garbage or otherwise) is what standard bodies are supposed to do. In the case of web standards they didn't follow that rule which is why we have this mess.

Re:Help with history (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156924)

Presumably the standards were written with comprehensibility in mind: that HTML, CSS and so on would be easy to write and interpret.

Re:Help with history (3, Informative)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157372)

Because Microsoft didn't invent the Internet. As a matter of fact they were very late to the game.
MOSAIC was first, then Mozilla/Netscape. Microsoft realized very late that the Internet was going to be important and threw something together.
The standards had already been well under way by the time Microsoft got into the game.

Fire up the old icons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30157046)

Better dust off the old "This site designed for..." icons again. Thanks Microsoft, just what I wanted, to go back to the internet circa 1997! Should we dig out the hampster dance, too?

Re:Performance gap but not Conformance gap (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157048)

The leopard changed its' spots, the longhorn didn't... uh... doesn't... uh... wait...

Re:Performance gap but not Conformance gap (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157136)

Real? They are still in business?

I think I'd rather have MS based stuff than their garbage. *blech*

Re:Performance gap but not Conformance gap (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157224)

90% of chrome, Safari and Opera.-- I had impression that all these browser get 100/100.

Sweet! (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156540)

Sweet! I can't wait to replace Firefox on my MacBook Pro and my desktop Ubuntu box with this, it will run awesome on those! I wonder when I'll be able to get AdBlock for it?

Forget performance (1, Insightful)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156564)

I can't believe all these browsers talking about speed and performance loading. It's a website for peet's sake!

FIX THE MEMORY ISSUES!

I have 4 add ons for FireFox(latest version) in Win7. 4 tabs open for 30+ minutes and the memory usage skyrockets. After 2 hours Firefox gets very sluggish. The same for IE.

My pages load fast enough. FIX the damn memory issues. Stop adding features. Stop trying to make the app sexy.

Fix the real issues.

Re:Forget performance (1)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156706)

Try Google Chrome or any other WebKit-based browser

Re:Forget performance (1)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156762)

Does Google Chrome do a better job with memory handling?

I use Firefox with NoScript and AdBlockPlus, which really makes my browsing excellent! Chrome doesn't have these addons/features

Re:Forget performance (2, Informative)

Dremth (1440207) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156900)

Chrome does a much, much better job with memory handling, and Chrome does in fact have addons that are equivalent to NoScript and AdBlockPlus.

Re:Forget performance (1)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157008)

Wow I didn't know this. Thank you very much!

Re:Forget performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30157162)

Chrome does a much, much better job with memory handling, and Chrome does in fact have addons that are equivalent to NoScript and AdBlockPlus.

I agree that Chrome does a better memory handling, but its CPU usage (100% of a dual core) is prohibitive when you are running other applications. This is why I continue to use Firefox.

Re:Forget performance (1)

Dremth (1440207) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157338)

I rarely get high CPU usage with Chrome. I've got 5 tabs open at the moment and the CPU is fluctuating between 0% and 2% occasionally (I've also got a dual core). And while we're on the subject, the whole browser is only using 53mb, including all tabs and extensions, and the browser is still lightning fast. If you aren't already, try moving to the developer channel. The dev channel is almost always lightyears ahead of the stable and beta channels. Unfortunately, the most recent version of AdSweep is not working on the dev channel right now. Luckily I have a backup of an older version of AdSweep that seems to work.

Re:Forget performance (1)

barzok (26681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157248)

Chrome does in fact have addons that are equivalent to NoScript and AdBlockPlus.

Links?

Re:Forget performance (1)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156968)

I don't care how much memory Chrome allocates as long as it doesn't page to disk, which is the slow part. For ad removal I just use privoxy.

Re:Forget performance (2, Informative)

mspohr (589790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156760)

Just checked my Firefox memory usage after having 20+ tabs open all day... 250 Meg. I understand older versions had a problem with memory and would gradually take over the machine but not in the last year or so.

BTW, why does Explorer (not IE, just basic file list explorer) take up 40 Meg? What on earth is it doing with all that memory just to display a list of files?

Re:Forget performance (2, Informative)

Dremth (1440207) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156938)

Because Explorer.exe handles the entire desktop environment, not just a list of files.

Re:Forget performance (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157254)

It looks like my ADD is finally paying off, I always seem to close my browser when I get focused on something else.

Re:Forget performance (1)

barzok (26681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157368)

Similar here, I've had 2 windows and a lot of tabs open, running all week.

Re:Forget performance (2, Informative)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156820)

Looks like you have other issues, because firefox behaves well with memory nowadays. In fact it's been found to be one of the more efficient ones.

Re:Forget performance (3, Interesting)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157012)

I was gonna call bullshit but I opened Chrome here and Firefox with the same pages loaded. Firefox actually used less memory. Now that's not a scientific test or anything but it's enough for me.

I'm gonna mark this day on a calendar because this is fucking incredible.

Re:Forget performance (4, Funny)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156870)

Uh... you're in the wrong place. This is where we bitch about IE, not Firefox.

Re:Forget performance (1)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156952)

Not offtopic; both IE and FF do have serious, serious problems with memory after any amount of time spent browsing. I typically keep 30-50 tabs open in FF and it'll hit the 1.8GB barrier within two to three days, and crash. Time and time again I'm told I'm "using it wrong". I don't use IE nearly as much, but the job demands it occasionally - and it too will tend to glom up with cruft if you leave 10+ tabs running for more than a few hours.

Incessantly annoying, and one of the prime reasons I'm still an Opera loyalist, despite the absence of a fire'n'forget ad blocker - it's fast out of the box, has sane defaults and doesn't slow down over time (I spend about 45mins on every new user account to get FF to a state where I find it as usable as Opera, which takes me 10mins of configuring), I just can't use it at work since it doesn't get along with our proxy.

The problem with IE and FF is that because I'm not a common user profile (I'm always told people can't cope with having more than five tabs open; suck it, I have excellent spatial awareness) and the memory problems are damned hard to fix (heck, submitting a decent bug report about it is hard) - so for most people it's easier to just add a whizz-bang feature with a meaningless name that sounds impressive to a non-techie and SEP the memory problems away.

Sad but true.
</minirant>

Re:Forget performance (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157062)

Have you considered adding a small laptop to your setup to help allieveate having so many sites open on a single computer? Or do you already have multiple systems on your desk?

Re:Forget performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30157274)

Yes because buying a whole other computer is the solution for apps that are poorly written...

You obviously have a job where you get paid so much extra cash you can afford to blow it on hardware to alleviate crap code...

Re:Forget performance (3, Informative)

barzok (26681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156960)

Most Firefox memory issues since 3.x are due to bad extensions, not the core browser. Firefox is doing well with memory nowadays. I've had 2 windows, one of which has anywhere from 2 to 20 tabs in it, running all week on XP SP3, and haven't noticed any slowdowns.

Re:Forget performance (2, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156962)

Firefox had vastly reduced memory as of 3 footprint link to old article http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2008/03/firefox-3-goes-on-a-diet-eats-less-memory-than-ie-and-opera.ars [arstechnica.com] .

The Irony of you using a memory hungry OS and complaining about an application that diplays MEDIA is clearly lost on you.

Personally I want to access my information as quickly as possible.

Re:Forget performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30157106)

There are three main reasons why browsers suffer from horrendous memory usage:

1) Real-world HTML is fucking difficult to parse, mainly because so much effort has to be made to handle horribly incorrect HTML. This makes the HTML parsing code extremely complex (see Gecko's or WebKit's parsing code if you don't believe me), and prone to memory leaks.

2) JavaScript. Because JavaScript is often embedded within HTML, many global references are held to objects and data that aren't really needed any longer. This makes the JavaScript garbage collector pretty ineffective a lot of the time. Given the stupidity of many web developers, it's not unusual to find pages that hold onto thousands of arrays of thousands of elements each. It gets even worse with Firefox, which uses JavaScript for most of its UI, as well as many of its plugins. References held by those plugins never get collected during the entire browser session, while at least the per-page references to get cleared when the page is navigated away from.

3) Browsers written in C++. Even when using shared_ptr or similar classes, it's too easy to leak memory when using C++. Given that today's browsers consist of millions of lines of C++, it's no wonder that there are so many memory leaks.

JS performance (5, Insightful)

orngjce223 (1505655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156602)

Hardware acceleration of text and pictures is one thing. Javascript performance is quite another. What with all this AJAX and Javascript stuff out on the web these days, what IE badly needs is a really good Javascript engine. Two school computers, one running Chrome (out of my home directory - bad sysadmin!) and the other running IE8, have very obvious differences in their Javascript speed on a benchmarking test (Sunspider, FYI). (They're school computers, their hardware should be exactly the same, their uptime should be exactly the same, etc. etc.)

So, where is Microsoft going in this category?

Re:JS performance (2, Informative)

csartanis (863147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156934)

These are the sunspider results. Link [winisp.net]

With a fast CPU and a dual GPU setup... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30156606)

...users will finally be able to browse the Crysis website with acceptable framerates.

Add-On System (5, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156622)

Firefox is my primary browser, but I'm not in love with it by any means. It just has so many integrated Add-On that I cannot live with out. Copy the Firefox Add-On system and I'll take a look at your browser.

Oh yeah I also want working keyboard shortcuts.

"will tap the power of the PC's graphics card..." (2, Interesting)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156674)

Which is another way of saying that IE9 will be such a resource hog that even the highly advanced eight core systems we'll be using in a few years will not be powerful enough to run it.

Re:"will tap the power of the PC's graphics card.. (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156774)

Which is another way of saying that IE9 will be such a resource hog that even the highly advanced eight core systems we'll be using in a few years will not be powerful enough to run it.

Better performance == bloated?

Your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsetter.

Re:"will tap the power of the PC's graphics card.. (1)

csartanis (863147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156966)

I think GP is referring to using more resources (hardware acceleration) to barely pull out mediocre performance.

Re:"will tap the power of the PC's graphics card.. (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157172)

You're reading the newsetter upside-down.

Microsoft's solution to inefficient resource utilization == throw more hardware at it.

Re:"will tap the power of the PC's graphics card.. (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157080)

The highly advanced 8-core system I'm using now can't run it. Unless they've brought back IE support for Solaris/SPARC.

Yeah?... (0, Offtopic)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156694)

And GM and Chrysler will finally deliver a consumer vehicle that can compete successfully against the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic respectively... meanwhile, Hell's freezing temperatures will so profoundly affect the Earth's climate that the debate over global warming will be made moot.

Re:Yeah?... (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156928)

Hell would have to freeze over. GM is incapable of making something that good in a small car. Chrysler won't be around much longer -- the nameplate might be but the car itself will be a Fiat. (I find it telling that they've split off the truck and Jeep divisions) and have announced they're scrapping the small and mid-sized product lines)

Because revamping worked so well for Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30156710)

One of the things I used to like about Microsoft is that, though their initial releases were terrible, by a few years later they usually weren't bad But nowadays it seems like everything is a rewrite that introduces new bugs. Trident is bad enough as-is; do we really need a rewrite introducing new bugs? And I bet that, once all is said and done, they still won't support PNG alpha...

Re:Because revamping worked so well for Vista (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157218)

I think all sugarless gums are sorta nasty, but as they go, Trident isn't too bad!

Stability, memory, and pre-rendering speed? (1)

akakaak (512725) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156736)

I hope they work on stability, memory usage, and the pre-rendering speed! I've found IE8 to be less stable and use more memory than recent past versions of IE. And just getting a new blank tab to come up often involves a fair amount of thumb-twiddling. And despite whatever usage of different processes for different tabs they claim to be employing, I find that the entire browser usually hangs and crashes when there is a problem with a page. Rendering speed and font readability are the least of their problems!

Awesome! (4, Funny)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156744)

Now it will incorrectly render my pages twice as fast!

Seriously, IE has become a verb with me and my web developer friends. We even use it in general conversation: "That guy cut me off and I told him to go IE himself."

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30157278)

Seriously, IE has become a verb with me and my web developer friends. We even use it in general conversation: "That guy cut me off and I told him to go IE himself."

IE? That is?

Re:Awesome! (2, Funny)

Jeff Carr (684298) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157392)

Exactly. I, and I'm sure many others, spent countless hours studying web technologies in the late 90's. I was starting to become quite an expert in typography, accessibility, interface design, and the myriad of technologies necessary to create complete web applications. Then I started trying to develop standards based web pages that worked in IE.

So, now I'm a database developer.

More Exploits (4, Interesting)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156768)

More surface area for exploits, yeah!

Not a good fix (1)

kbsoftware (1000159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156776)

Doesn't sound like Microsoft will be fixing the performance, but instead just taking the problem and using other resources to help deal with it. I'd would say something like cleaning the code, fixing memory leaks etc. would be a far better way to go, but I suspect Microsoft isn't able to accomplish such a goal with any of their products. I have (like I'm sure many here) a nice display on my desktop that shows the percentage of cpu load at any time, but with software companies like Microsoft now making use of the power of graphics cards it's time to update those cpu load programs to included the load on graphics card so I can still see the damage being done but various programs live. And I also agree with a lot of the posts so far, it's not the speed to load/display webpages it's the memory leaks etc. that's the real problem, shifting some of that to graphics cards really won't help much.

Quote correction (2, Insightful)

killmenow (184444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156788)

'We're changing IE to use the DirectX family of Windows APIs to enable many advances for Windows-only web developers,' explains Internet Explorer's general manager, Dean Hachamovitch.

Welcome to the new IE. Same as the old IE.

Resolution independence (4, Insightful)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156806)

I look forward more to resolution independence [wikipedia.org] . It would REALLY nice to express a picture or font's width in terms of screen (or table) proportion, instead of pixels (ugh).

It would save everyone so much time. Let's hope super-super high resolution monitors (OLED anyone?) come shortly to make this more of a reality.

Sorry I was about to post, (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156816)

But then my iexplore.exe locked up with explorer.exe.

How about... (2, Insightful)

rshol (746340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156824)

...built in, in line spell check, now that every other frikin' browser on the planet has one. And how about the ability to make permanent exceptions for sites with mismatching SSL certs so I don't get a warning message every time I access webmin on my linux server on my home network? Seriously, most of the time I'm on the web I'm in Gmail or on a forum. Spell check is not a luxury, its a necessity. Speed and Acid 3 compliance do not keep me using Firefox, spell check, and adblock do.

Re:How about... (2, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157298)

Spell check is not a luxury, its a necessity

For those who can't spell.

I wil tell you "I told you so". (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156826)

If using direct-x, mean more direct access to the privileged code, for CSS/javascript bugs It looks like a good idea. A better javascript engine, or a better architecture, is a good idea, but giving more direct access to the hardware to something as "external" as third party javascript/css, seems a bad idea. Microsoft, don't do that, is a bad idea.
IE is already very fast, faster than Firefox. Fix all the CSS bugs, make it a better supporting the standards browse, or start another browser from scratch if the oldcodebase don't support the changes needed.

Why do I get the visual (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156828)

When I read the post the first image I got was John Hodgman [wikipedia.org] saying 'Trust me, this time it's going to be different'.

Re:Why do I get the visual (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157268)

Hey, relax, guy! I can change!

font anti-aliasing?!? (1)

deander2 (26173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156832)

In addition to better performance, this technology shift also increases font quality and readability with sub-pixel positioning:

they say "sub-pixel positioning", but the example shows aliased vs. anti-aliased font rendering.... *really*? that's their "closing the gap w/ rivals" strategy? WOW.

png (0, Flamebait)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156834)

Still no full PNG support, therefore still a dud of a product.

Fast shit is still shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30156836)

Quote: "We're changing IE to use the DirectX family of Windows APIs to enable many advances for web developers"
Translation: "We're adding more ways to lock you in and exclude others from the stuff you build"

Article: "revamped rendering engine"
Translation: "Your old stuff will break again"

Quote: "the score will continue to go up" (after reaching only 32 of 100 points in ACID 3)
Translation: "we don't intend to go for the full 100"

I'm not impressed. Their aim should be 100 points in ACID3, a full implementation of CSS 2.1 and a list of CSS3 draft items they want to support. Also backing html5 would have been a good idea. Their communication doesn't go into that direction. "The score will go up" is rather weak. IE9 will still be the entry level of browser when it appears.

We don't need another broken IE.
Do it right or leave it.

Compatibility button? (1)

linuxwonder (1681928) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156844)

They should put a "compatibility button" in this version as well to make it compatible with FF. Do they even run FF to see what a great browser can do?

Vice ... ? (1)

psbrogna (611644) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156982)

Out of curiosity, where does any one know where MS normally aims if not at improving performance?
Reminds me of sales people who being their spiel with "Can I be honest with you?" I've always wondered what they were being before if they feel they need to ask permission to be honest.

progress (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156990)

from the look of it (I RTFA) I see progress. It's about time.

DirectX it is then? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30156994)

I find the choice of DirectX quite interesting, I've been looking recently at doing some basic game programming again just for a bit of fun and was rather shocked to find what an utter mess graphics programming has become on the Windows platform.

Many years ago, when I last played around with graphics programming it was pretty straightforward, you used DirectX or OpenGL. For your game editors you'd use MFC or the Win32 API (or something 3rd party like SDL). It didn't really matter which you chose, but if you chose say C++, OpenGL and MFC for example you'd just use those for your editors, the game engine, you could use that one set of technologies for your entire development process.

Fast forward 10 years to the point we have things like Java and .NET offering perfectly acceptable managed code performance, with the benefits you'd expect from managed code- no worrying about deleting variables, pointers and so on, you can just write your code and it works, and works on whatever platform there is a VM for. Tools like Visual Studio have taken forward editing of the interface fairly well for Windows Forms and such and WPF. I thought great, .NET, Windows Forms, XNA, making an editor and a game will make no time at all.

What should have happened in the last 10 years:

The single toolchain should still exist, but with the benefits of managed code, .NET and such to make development across the relevant platforms (i.e. for the XBox 360 and PC with XNA) much more quick and easy.

What actually happened:

GDI is crap, they release DirectX and GDI+. Later .NET came along, Microsoft thought, hey, we need a managed version of DirectX and created Managed DirectX. They start thinking about interfaces for the future and realise GDI+ and Windows Forms don't cut it, apparently DirectX isn't to stray from games related stuff so they release WPF which has it's own 2D and 3D rendering libraries. They want XBox development, using C++ or C# with DirectX would be too easy, so instead let's create a new API and set of tools, called XNA they think. Great, and XNA is quick and easy to get to grips with, I'll give them that, in fact, it's so easy they decide to ditch Managed DirectX because it's now obsolete. But wait, what's that? XNA makes it easy to import content and compile it into the executable but is crap for your Windows level editors because it's not designed for loading content on the fly? The recommendation for managed Windows apps is WPF, but what use is that when my game engine is in XNA because it needs to run on the 360? What about editors that require decent 2D rendering of primitive shapes rather than sprites? WPF is great, XNA isn't so again, half the project in C# w/ XNA, half in C# w/ WPF? Somewhere in there along came Direct2D which gives you your 2D but then it's back to C++ for half the project and C# for the other half. So we now have Direct3D, Direct2D, GDI+, WPF, XNA and the obsoleted Managed DirectX all to do very similar tasks, but neither allowing you to do so with a single toolchain for something like an Xbox 360/PC community game that requires decent windows editors. There are 3rd party solutions like SlimDX which is a managed wrapper for DirectX but it's still a port to XNA for the community game. Effectively with have GDI/GDI+ for low end Windows forms 2D rendering, WPF for high end Windows Forms rendering, DirectX for C++ graphics development, XNA for Xbox and Windows development, but not for use in Windows applications that need decent 2D primitive support and to load models on the fly etc. Oh, and if you previously jumped on the Managed DirectX bandwagon, then, well, apparently it's tough shit.

I can't help feel Microsoft have really dropped the ball- DirectX could've done the lot if the project was managed properly. Quite why they didn't stick with DirectX, keep Managed DirectX and integrate these into WPF for rendering purposes I don't know. We've gone from a fairly unified graphics pipeline to multiple pipelines for multiple purposes and languages where you better hope your purposes don't overlap or you can wave goodbye to reusability of code.

So here I am, in 2009, cracking back open my Prosise book from 1999 to give myself a reminder on MFC for the tools and using OpenGL and C++ for rendering in the tools and the engine. Just like I would have 10 years ago in other words, forsaking the 360 community games platform because it's pointless porting to a single platform that requires a completely different language and API (even if I used Microsoft's frameworks throughout). At least this way I can support Linux and Mac instead.

Still, it's interesting to see that Microsoft feels DirectX is the rendering API for applications rather than games and entertainment software and so, what the fuck is WPF for again then exactly? It's amazing how Microsoft has done so much work in these areas in the last 10 years whilst simultaneously not actually achieving a single thing.

Changing the masses.. (1)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157068)

This is their way of saying the IE 9 will still not comply with standards, but will do all this other stuff which once you code you page for, you're fucked. After I read the contents of internal emails within MS which were revealed in the court cases, I decided to take some slightly more "aggressive" techniques to promote Firefox (I don't trust chrome). The other day I was helping the IT guy with what to put in our new organization's computers before he imaged everything and deployed the images. I finished up that and then when ahead and deleted the IE icon from the desktop (made FF default) and from pinned items. I did the same to my parents' computer. I told them "The e is not the internet, the red one is." I also, whenever I get a chance, pass casual comments like "you're still using IE..heh" (social proof is a powerful thing). That's just some of the stuff that comes to mind.

Just wait, you'll see... (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157086)

"Our next version will be better than anything that is out there now." --- Microsoft has been saying that for years about all of their software.

.
Why does Microsoft think the rest of the software world will remain stationary while Microsoft lumbers forwards at its own bloated pace.

And this will make a difference because? (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157156)

The major newcomer is a revamped rendering engine that will tap the power of the PC's graphics card to accelerate text and graphics performance.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the actual rendering of the browser window isn't the bottleneck.

As well as improving performance, Microsoft claims the hardware acceleration will enhance the appearance and readability of fonts on the web, with sub-pixel positioning that eradicates the jagged edges on large typefaces.

Doesn't ClearType [wikipedia.org] do this already?

Almost InternetX already? (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157158)

As a web developer I hate to see a new IE despite the possibility of improvements... It will just mean more different incompatible IE versions to test and maintain code for us (IE6 will still have a marketshare when IE10 comes uit... although they will probably rebrand it to InternetX).
Good thing there are JavaScript libraries like jQuery that fill some of the gaping holes in IE standards support and make it usable like a normal browser... the funny part is that when the IE javascript engine is finally on par with modern engines like V8 the real life speed will still be slower since IE is wasting a lot of time working around incompatibilities (which of course requires extra JavaScript calls to make it work)...

Aren't you microsofties lucky there is competition (1)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157186)

You would still be stuck with IE6 otherwise.
You lucky Linux netbooks came along or you still be stuck with Vista.
In fact, the fear free software creates inside MS you owe much too.... :-)

Let it go! IE is expensive .... for webdevelopers! (2, Insightful)

Jaro (4361) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157280)

Why can't MS just let IE die. It's been such a fail since around IE 5/6 when websites started to use more CSS and JavaScript (or shall be say JScript?). I don't know how many hours and hours I have lost to IE because it wouldn't render a website correctly which every other freaking browser (FF, Safari, Opera, Chrome) renders correctly. I feel MS should pay compensation to every webdeveloper out there due to all the headaches their complete piece of junk has caused everyone. I'm not a person who normally hates, I'm all for loving, sharing and giving but I hate, hate, hate - HATE! - IE and MS. The only reason why I had to buy Parallels Desktop for my Mac (80€) was so I don't have to turn on my old Windows system to test websites with IE. MS should give me back those 80€, at least.

It's the addons, stupid! (1)

srealm (157581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157306)

My biggest problem with IE is not speed, resource usage, the tabs system, or anything like that.

I use firefox for one reason and one reason only. It has some excellent addons for it because there is a very well-defined place to GET addons, and anyone can submit one easily.

Not to mention that FireFox isn't worrying about trying to ensure people don't compete with them on their other products.

My five essential addons for FireFox are:
- AdBlock Plus (of which the more important part is the filters that are auto-updated)
- NoScript
- FoxyProxy (specifically for selecting a proxy by the URL automatically)
- User Agent Switcher
- Download Helper

I've not personally seen a nice central site like FF's addons page to manage addons - and without something like this, upgrading has to be done manually for each, and you are responsible for checking for updates and such. A pain in the arse.

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