Wednesday, September 03, 2008

IE8: The Empire Strikes Back

Well, Microsoft released its new iteration of the same browser before Google, but why should that get in the way of a mediocre post title?

Anyway, here's the user experience on IE8.

Good: Use of Firefox, Google and Safari. The 'page' metaphor, born of hypertext's roots, would appear to be secure for some time. Page loads are as quick, or quicker, than Chrome's (based on the RKDNA benchmarking system of counting aloud). InPrivate (the anonymous surfing feature) seems to do an adequate job. Interestingly, when playing a YouTube video, IE8 shows no load on the CPU (in task mgr). It consumes slightly more memory than Chrome, but CPU is zero...which is good. Chrome runs the CPU (on the same video) at between 15 and 30%.

Not so good: A 15MB download, a 5 minute install, and a system reboot required. Google's 500K download, 1 minute install and no reboot set a pretty high user experience bar. Two sites in and I have a browser error...but at least it didn;t kill the browser application. When launching email from the browser, it didn't seem to recognize that I already had outlook open and tried to start a new session then took Outlook down when I cancelled (booo!).

TBD: Application launching and downloading

Overall assessment: Worth the upgrade if you are an IE user. Otherwise, pass.

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