Finally, after months of¬†availability¬†on Windows 8, Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7. It became globally available on February 26. Microsoft will be pushing the browser through its update system in the coming weeks and months. It’s only available for Windows 8 and 7; it is not available for Windows Vista. In the meantime you can head over to Microsoft’s website and download the browser manually.

So, is it worth the wait? Well, it certainly has improved over Internet Explorer 9 in terms of HTML5 and CSS3 compliance. Microsoft is boasting that the new browser supports more than 30 new standards over the previous iteration, including (my most-wanted) text-shadow (yes it has taken them this long to implement that). Internet Explorer 10 has closed the gap with Chrome and Firefox in terms of standards adoption, though if Microsoft maintains its schedule of large delays between releases, that gap is going to grow rather large rather quickly. In the meantime though let’s hope people start updating their browser.

I have updated the browser on my computer and indeed it is quite speedy, but to be honest that was never really the problem with Internet Explorer, especially not with Internet Explorer 9. I never really had any speed issues with the browser. My issues came with the lack of standards adoption and the poorly designed UI (and the lack of add-ons and extensions like the other leading browsers).

Just for fun though I decided to give the newest browsers a run through the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark tool. I know there are a number of JavaScript benchmark tools available now, but this seems to be one of the more popular ones. I’m not expecting much from this test, nor should it be an indicator which browser you use; all the major browsers have made huge strides in their JavaScript performance and it’s pretty much a non-issue now. But, nonetheless, I like to test them out anyway just to see. The smaller the number the better the result.

  1. Internet Explorer 10 98.5ms
  2. Chrome 25.0.1364.160 142.5ms
  3. Firefox 19.0.2 172.3ms
  4. Safari 5.1.7 182.0ms
  5. Opera 12.14 183.3ms

The results were more or less what I expected. Microsoft had a very fast JavaScript engine in Internet Explorer 9 that also led the pack. As the results show, the browsers are all pretty close with each other, more or less. Remember these results are in milliseconds.

So where does this leave us? Well, hopefully people will upgrade to the newest version if they’re still using Internet Explorer. Hopefully by year’s end most Windows users will be using Internet Explorer 10. Of course those who refuse to give up XP can only upgrade to Internet Explorer 8, but that issue is for another post.