FAQ: Meet Microsoft's new Internet Explorer

All you need to know on the latest beta release of Internet Explorer 8.

How fast is IE8 Beta 2?

According to some quick JavaScript benchmark tests, not fast at all.

Here are the numbers from SunSpider, the benchmarks built by WebKit, the open-source project responsible for the browsing engine used by both Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome. (Note: IE8 Beta 2 won't run either Google's V8 benchmarks or Mozilla's Dromaeo suite without interrupting the tests with one or more error messages noting that "A script on this page is causing Internet Explorer to run slowly.")

In SunSpider, smaller numbers are better.

The bottom line: Chrome is more than three times faster than IE8 Beta 2, and Firefox is over twice as fast.

I've heard IE8 wants more memory than other browsers. What's the story?

That talk is true, according to Craig Barth, the chief technology officer at Devil Mountain Software, a Florida develop that markets a Windows performance test utility to enterprises.

Barth ran IE8 Beta 2 and rivals IE7 and Firefox 3.0 through a 10-site test, loading each site into a separate tab, then loading links from those sites into additional tabs before tallying up the memory hit.

IE8 Beta 2 grabbed 380MB on the 2GB-equipped Windows Vista test machine, while IE7 snatched only 250MB and Firefox 3.0.1, the most-recent version of the open-source browser, took just 159MB.

"IE8 is epically porcine," said Barth last week in an interview. " Microsoft has gone to epic levels of bloat."

Later in the week, Barth reran the 10-site test to include Google's Chrome, but reached the same conclusion: IE8 Beta 2 consumed more memory than Chrome, IE7 or Firefox.

(See Google's Chrome vs. IE8)

How do I get rid of IE8?

You can boot IE8 Beta 2 off the PC using the usual Windows uninstall process. In Windows XP, for example, choose "Settings/Control Panel" from the Start menu, then launch "Add or Remove Programs." Check the "Show updates" box at the top, scroll until you locate "Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2," then click on the "Remove" button. The process is similar in Vista. Windows reverts to IE7, with any previously-added security updates still in place.

Where do I go for IE8 support?

Microsoft's set up free phone support for IE8 Beta 2. Staffed from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. PDT Monday through Friday, and 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. PDT on weekends, the toll-free line is available only to North American customers and will handle questions about installation, set-up and usage, according to Microsoft's support site. Also available: An FAQ and a user-to-user newsgroup.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags FirefoxIE 8chrome

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?