Google planning 60x faster Chrome 7 to hit back at IE9 beta

Unless you've been living under a rock then you may have heard that Microsoft recently released a public beta version of Internet Explorer 9. Microsoft officials showed off some impressive stats against their competitors, claiming the first and only browser to deliver full hardware acceleration of all HTML5 content. Being first is great but is being second more important?

Microsoft's bold claims are accurate but one has to remember the product is still in beta. Google on the other hand has a remarkable way of dishing out product updates with lightning speed. The web search giant is currently readying Chrome 7 which it claims will be 60 times faster than Chrome 6. 2D graphics performance and canvas acceleration is now available in trunk and canary builds of Chrome 7. "This system picks the best graphics API to use on each OS that Chromium supports: Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS and Linux", wrote James Robinson, Software Engineer at Google.

During our early tests at Neowin using Microsoft's Internet Explorer test drive site, IE9 still wins in canvas speed demos but Chrome 7 is greatly improved over previous versions. It's important to remember that Chrome 7 is still in the very early beta stage so this could change significantly before it's fully released. Google isn't the only other browser looking at hardware acceleration. The latest beta builds of Mozilla's Firefox also include hardware accelerated components for improved performance. It's not yet clear when Chrome 7 will be available in non-dev form but Robinson says it's coming. "With Google Chrome’s fast release cycles, we expect to be able to get these enhancements to users quickly and add new performance improvements over time."

Google has also created a series of demos, ranging from an aquarium to 3D walls of photos. The demos show what is possible with the 2D accelerated APIs.

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--enable-accelerated-compositing --enable-gpu-rendering --enable-video-layering --enable-webgl --enable-accelerated-2d-canvas --enable-fastback -enable-aero-peek-tabs

Shame is is WebGL and won't accelerate all HTML5...

No browser is perfect and it would be great to be able to combine bits from all, but for some reason the developers of each brwoser never steal the right ideas.

60x times faster... ok. When? I just downloaded the latest nightly (60070) and hardware acceleration is STILL not even turned on by default. 1 FPS with 20 fish showing on Fish IE Tank is not good.

Fail.

I am not going to use chrome as long as they dont have open option to run files rather than prompting everything to save on my hard disk. Secondly I want to disable autofill feature in chrome which i was never able to do even after unchecking from their options tab. I am happy with firefox.

Forgot to add, Firefox also works much better with the AdBlocker extension, in Firefox its able to block ads that it can't block in Chrome, due to the way Chrome is designed.

I should add, Firefox is better than Chrome, the latest beta is fast, and Firefox supports more extensions, and can be customized far more more than Chrome, including tons of more Themes/Personas. Firefox is also MUCH more user friendly than Chrome.

TC17 said,
I should add, Firefox is better than Chrome, the latest beta is fast, and Firefox supports more extensions, and can be customized far more more than Chrome, including tons of more Themes/Personas. Firefox is also MUCH more user friendly than Chrome.

The latest beta of Firefox sure is faster than any previous version, but it still takes MUCH longer to load than Chrome or IE 9 and just feels sluggish and clunky, at least to me.

TC17 said,
Spyware at its finest. And yes you are a fool if you don't think there is spyware in Chrome.
"Spyware" has a specific definition - no, Chrome is not spyware.

I like the speed of IE9 but I don't like how addons have created their own bar. I don't like tabs on the same bar as the address bar. But I love the speed.
I normally use chrome but it has problems on some websites. One being youtube. Sometimes videos won't play and they have no control bar on them. Sometimes they do play. Some sites such as the star trek online account management page doesn't work properly in chrome.

wow.....google. may be i have not to look for IE then....let this war keep going........we would decide who is better

This Google aquarium demo does not work with either IE9 or Firefox 4 beta 6, while the IE aquarium which showed many more fish than this google video, works in all browsers, albeit at different speeds. So, for me, this is just a gimmick, it's like if you can't win in the standards arena, then create a new 'standard' and show that you are the best, simply because no other competitor uses your 'standard'. You simply can't test if Chrome is better or not. At the end, when every brower achieves a hardware acceleration implementation mature enough, then all browsers should perform the same in the same machine, because you can't run faster than your hardware allows. So, between this google aquarium and IE aquarium test, I prefer IE's which is obviously based and condusive to standards, allowing every brower to be tested on it without using any gimmicks. Good try "do no evil" Google.

And the winner of this competition is... Fat Clients.

Hopefully this will quite all the people claiming that we're all moving back to thin clients with the advent of the 'cloud'.

mikefarinha said,
And the winner of this competition is... Fat Clients.

Hopefully this will quite all the people claiming that we're all moving back to thin clients with the advent of the 'cloud'.

quiet?
quit?

I don't quite get your response.

mikefarinha said,
And the winner of this competition is... Fat Clients.

Hopefully this will quite all the people claiming that we're all moving back to thin clients with the advent of the 'cloud'.

It's got almost nothing to do with fat or thin clients. This is just about accelerating the content on the web. If anything, it will help push us more towards thin clients, as you will be able to do more within the web content - instead of plugins and apps.

Also, lol @ dotf.

I'm usually the last one to say anything about what the product looks like and I am one of the first to love simplicity, but Chrome does not blow my hair back in either of those categories.

Their combination of the above 2 things makes it crap, IMO. Just to much missing or not working like I prefer.

Speed is not my number one priority. Security is and Chrome is constantly having issues their. I know, all browsers do, but Chrome I believe ranks #1 as being insecure.

cork1958 said,
I'm usually the last one to say anything about what the product looks like and I am one of the first to love simplicity, but Chrome does not blow my hair back in either of those categories.

Their combination of the above 2 things makes it crap, IMO. Just to much missing or not working like I prefer.

Speed is not my number one priority. Security is and Chrome is constantly having issues their. I know, all browsers do, but Chrome I believe ranks #1 as being insecure.


Facts to back up this claim? From what I can recall reading, Chrome was one of the most secure browsers, actually.

cork1958 said,
I'm usually the last one to say anything about what the product looks like and I am one of the first to love simplicity, but Chrome does not blow my hair back in either of those categories.

Their combination of the above 2 things makes it crap, IMO. Just to much missing or not working like I prefer.

Speed is not my number one priority. Security is and Chrome is constantly having issues their. I know, all browsers do, but Chrome I believe ranks #1 as being insecure.

Are you serious Not only is Chrome's security record very good, Google patch vulnerabilities very quickly, in fact in some circumstances (there where some bugs in version 5) the webkit fixes where patched into Chrome before Apple made them available in Safari.

cork1958 said,
I'm usually the last one to say anything about what the product looks like and I am one of the first to love simplicity, but Chrome does not blow my hair back in either of those categories.

Their combination of the above 2 things makes it crap, IMO. Just to much missing or not working like I prefer.

Speed is not my number one priority. Security is and Chrome is constantly having issues their. I know, all browsers do, but Chrome I believe ranks #1 as being insecure.

Insecure in what ways exactly?
Not trying to diss you or anything but I've used Chrome since v.4 and encountered no security threats or leaks of any sort. I've also haven't heard any reports of such incidents regarding the stable build on any news sites recently?
So what you're hinting at?

.Markus said,
I've used Chrome since v.4 and encountered no security threats or leaks of any sort. I've also haven't heard any reports of such incidents regarding the stable build on any news sites recently?
While I also haven't heard much of any security issues with Chrome, v4 is only just over 6 months old

Boeing 787 said,
I'm still sticking with Firefox because it's fast enough and I use a lot of add ons.

this+1

noscript + adblock plus + element hider's way of functioning in FF makes it worth the slowness

AKLP said,

this+1

noscript + adblock plus + element hider's way of functioning in FF makes it worth the slowness

so basically you kill everything that makes the internet interesting? Might as well just use Lynx, it's a text only browser and seems quite suited to your need of a totally gimped internet experience

z0phi3l said,

so basically you kill everything that makes the internet interesting? Might as well just use Lynx, it's a text only browser and seems quite suited to your need of a totally gimped internet experience

He might as well unplug yourself from the Internet too...

z0phi3l said,
so basically you kill everything that makes the internet interesting? Might as well just use Lynx, it's a text only browser and seems quite suited to your need of a totally gimped internet experience
Use of noscript doesn't mean nothing runs JS. Use of adblock doesn't mean all flash is blocked, especially not games - just ads. Use of element hider ... doesn't mean anything whatsoever.

Speed is not everything. Chrome lack many, very basic common features, not to mention amateurish UI and btw. i am satisfied with IE8.. It's fast enough, secure and stable.

6205 said,
Speed is not everything. Chrome lack many, very basic common features, not to mention amateurish UI and btw. i am satisfied with IE8.. It's fast enough, secure and stable.

What features?

[quote=6205 said,]
1./ Bookmarks menu button on the toolbar - revolutionary and very basic, common feature
http://i52.tinypic.com/r6z18z.jpg
[/quote]
But... I have Bookmarks on my toolbar...
[quote=6205 said,]
2./ Standalone search bar - revolutionary and very basic feature #2
http://i55.tinypic.com/2czd9hs.jpg
[/quote]
But... You can search from the address bar... Which is better imho. Plus it has instant searching on the latest builds.
[quote=6205 said,]
An by amateurish UI i mean the fact that even in version 6 they are unable to create proper window caption buttons, which have bad position. http://i55.tinypic.com/b7hx0l.jpg[/quote]
[/quote]
I've honestly never noticed.

Your list doesn't seem very damning of chrome. Three things, two of which I don't really agree are a problem at all, and one I've never even noticed before now.

Nihilus said,

What features?

RSS support!
Such a basic feature that other browsers have WITHOUT AN EXTENSION!

Without RSS (which I used extensively), Chrome for me is a browser stuck in stone age.

asellus said,

RSS support!
Such a basic feature that other browsers have WITHOUT AN EXTENSION!

Without RSS (which I used extensively), Chrome for me is a browser stuck in stone age.

When I was an IE user, I thought that too (and I still find it somewhat annoying), but then when I used Google Chrome, I installed the Google Reader extension, so when I open an RSS feed, I get redirected to Google Reader, where I can subscribe to it, and all my feeds are there, so no matter what computer I use, all my feeds are accessible there.

asellus said,

RSS support!
Such a basic feature that other browsers have WITHOUT AN EXTENSION!

Without RSS (which I used extensively), Chrome for me is a browser stuck in stone age.

Seriously, use Google Reader. You can access it from anywhere and sync with a lot of third-party apps.

Mr aldo said,
When I was an IE user, I thought that too (and I still find it somewhat annoying), but then when I used Google Chrome, I installed the Google Reader extension, so when I open an RSS feed, I get redirected to Google Reader, where I can subscribe to it, and all my feeds are there, so no matter what computer I use, all my feeds are accessible there.

Elliott said,
Seriously, use Google Reader. You can access it from anywhere and sync with a lot of third-party apps.

Why on earth I have to use a website just to manage RSS subscriptions? Why is that I have to register with Google just to have such basic functionality? In IE/Firefox/Opera, I don't have to register in some Google website (which ToS clearly says that they will collect data about you) just to use such a BASIC FUNCTION that is available on other modern browsers WITHOUT THE NEED OF AN EXTENSION?

And why on earth I want to let Google know what 50+ RSS subscriptions I susbcribe to?

Fact: Without RSS, Google Chrome is a browser still stuck in the stone age. You can't get around this fact. RSS support, other browsers has it (WITHOUT EXTENSIONS), why Chrome doesn't?

asellus said,

RSS support!
Such a basic feature that other browsers have WITHOUT AN EXTENSION!

Without RSS (which I used extensively), Chrome for me is a browser stuck in stone age.


Opera can even torrent. Does that means all browser is stone age?

tanjiajun_34 said,

Opera can even torrent. Does that means all browser is stone age?

Torrenting is not a standard browser feature. RSS is, and Chrome doesn't have it, therefore it is a stone age browser.

RSS is a widely used standard. Can you say the same thing about Bittorrent (which has nothing to do with web browsing)?

asellus said,
Why on earth I have to use a website just to manage RSS subscriptions? Why is that I have to register with Google just to have such basic functionality? In IE/Firefox/Opera, I don't have to register in some Google website (which ToS clearly says that they will collect data about you) just to use such a BASIC FUNCTION that is available on other modern browsers WITHOUT THE NEED OF AN EXTENSION?

And why on earth I want to let Google know what 50+ RSS subscriptions I susbcribe to?

Fact: Without RSS, Google Chrome is a browser still stuck in the stone age. You can't get around this fact. RSS support, other browsers has it (WITHOUT EXTENSIONS), why Chrome doesn't?

Because Google Reader is better than the in-browser RSS syndication and is completely centralized? Why would Google add RSS syndication to Chrome when they have a great RSS syndication service?

For the record, I use Safari (which has pretty good RSS syndication built in) but still use Google Reader. It's a great service.

Elliott said,
Because Google Reader is better than the in-browser RSS syndication and is completely centralized? Why would Google add RSS syndication to Chrome when they have a great RSS syndication service?

For the record, I use Safari (which has pretty good RSS syndication built in) but still use Google Reader. It's a great service.

You didn't address my question of why I should let Google know what websites/services/blogs I subscribed to.

Plus, for me, Google Reader is not that great anyway. Too bloated I say. Even the Firefox/IE minimalistic RSS feature work just fine to me, and Mozilla or Microsoft has no idea at all what feed I have on their browsers. They are centralized in my browser, and did I say that Mozilla/Microsoft doesn't know what feeds I subscribed to?

Fact: Google Chrome doesn't have RSS support, therefore for me, Chrome is no better than Internet Explorer 6. BTW, I tried using Google Reader, and you know what, you need a Google account just to use it. Can I use Google Reader without an account? BTW, I can use IE/Firefox/Opera RSS aggregation function without registering for an account whatsoever.

asellus said,
You didn't address my question of why I should let Google know what websites/services/blogs I subscribed to.

Plus, for me, Google Reader is not that great anyway. Too bloated I say. Even the Firefox/IE minimalistic RSS feature work just fine to me, and Mozilla or Microsoft has no idea at all what feed I have on their browsers. They are centralized in my browser, and did I say that Mozilla/Microsoft doesn't know what feeds I subscribed to?

Fact: Google Chrome doesn't have RSS support, therefore for me, Chrome is no better than Internet Explorer 6. BTW, I tried using Google Reader, and you know what, you need a Google account just to use it. Can I use Google Reader without an account? BTW, I can use IE/Firefox/Opera RSS aggregation function without registering for an account whatsoever.

It's a hosted, server-based solution. Google has no choice but to know what websites/services/blogs you subscribe to so they can check the feeds for your.

And of course you need an account. Again, it's server based. What you would prefer? Some sort of flakey cookie-based authentication that would fail any time you cleared your cookies?

As far as resources are concerned, Google Reader would be lighter on your system than any client-based syndication since your browser never does any feed fetching and parsing. It's all handled by Google's servers.

Anyway, it sounds like your the paranoid type (you seriously don't have a Google account?) so I guess this isn't for you. Stick with Firefox, but don't bash Chrome because Google's using their development efforts in an efficient manner that doesn't completely jive with your agenda. There are plenty of reasons to love Chrome, but you're completely missing them.

Elliott said,
It's a hosted, server-based solution. Google has no choice but to know what websites/services/blogs you subscribe to so they can check the feeds for your.

And of course you need an account. Again, it's server based. What you would prefer? Some sort of flakey cookie-based authentication that would fail any time you cleared your cookies?

As far as resources are concerned, Google Reader would be lighter on your system than any client-based syndication since your browser never does any feed fetching and parsing. It's all handled by Google's servers.

Anyway, it sounds like your the paranoid type (you seriously don't have a Google account?) so I guess this isn't for you. Stick with Firefox, but don't bash Chrome because Google's using their development efforts in an efficient manner that doesn't completely jive with your agenda. There are plenty of reasons to love Chrome, but you're completely missing them.

Why then I cannot bash Google for not having such a basic feature? If IE doesn't have a pop-up blocker, I'll call them out too. RSS, like pop-up blockers (which Chrome also has) is a BASIC FEATURE that every browser worth its salt MUST have. Doesn't have it? Then it is safe for me to call Chrome a stone-age browser.

With IE/Opera/Firefox, Microsoft/Opera AS/Mozilla won't even know what feeds I am subscribing to, and if you use Opera, their RSS reader is far superior, and faster to boot than Google Reader can ever hope to be. I don't need to register for an account (with a ridiculous TOS to boot) or settle with flakey cookie system as you call it, when using RSS readers in other modern browsers like IE/Opera/Firefox.

Google Reader will be lighter because the browser doesn't have to do any parsing? Guess what? IE/Opera/Firefox doesn't have to parse anything too, because you can set them to show headers only.

In this last paragraph, I will call out Chrome as a stone-age browser because of its lack of RSS support, which alongside the likes of pop-up blockers etc. is a feature any modern browser worth its salt should have.

asellus said,

In this last paragraph, I will call out Chrome as a stone-age browser because of its lack of RSS support, which alongside the likes of pop-up blockers etc. is a feature any modern browser worth its salt should have.

wtf

PotatoJ said,

wtf

If you don't understand it, I would like to repeat my assertion that Google Chrome is a stone-age browser because it doesn't have have RSS support. It is just like shipping a browser without a bookmark function (although I can already see people telling me to use Google Bookmarks) or a pop-up blocker (did anyone here want me to sacrifice my privacy and tell me to install Google Toolbar?).

Telling people to use Google online services as a replacement for a feature that is supposed to be built-in the browser is stupid to the core. That's why Google Chrome is just a stone-age browser for me, not having such a simple feature other modern browsers (such as Internet Explorer) has WITHOUT ANY EXTENSIONS.

asellus said,

If you don't understand it, I would like to repeat my assertion that Google Chrome is a stone-age browser because it doesn't have have RSS support. It is just like shipping a browser without a bookmark function (although I can already see people telling me to use Google Bookmarks) or a pop-up blocker (did anyone here want me to sacrifice my privacy and tell me to install Google Toolbar?).

Telling people to use Google online services as a replacement for a feature that is supposed to be built-in the browser is stupid to the core. That's why Google Chrome is just a stone-age browser for me, not having such a simple feature other modern browsers (such as Internet Explorer) has WITHOUT ANY EXTENSIONS.

Okay, your argument makes sense now. RSS integration = critical determinant of a browser's relevance in modern technology. Not sure how many people would make the same connection you made. But very interesting ...

asellus said,
RSS, like pop-up blockers (which Chrome also has) is a BASIC FEATURE that every browser worth its salt MUST have.
Append "for me" onto that. Pop-up blockers could have no server-side alternative. RSS readers can and do. Hence, Google did the smart thing and decided people could just use a service they already have instead of rigging some half-assed parser into Chrome.

asellus said,

Google Reader will be lighter because the browser doesn't have to do any parsing? Guess what? IE/Opera/Firefox doesn't have to parse anything too, because you can set them to show headers only.
Those browsers still have to download and parse the whole feed, even if all they're pulling out of the XML file is the header.

Why the heck all that speed frenzy while I use my browser for a couple of emails, some youtube vids, and reading/posting to my favorite forums? What the should look into would be making a reliable browser that startups quickly, has a snappy interface, leaving enough behind for surfing leissurly. Chrome has really gotten quite close to this, but it has yet too much to walk until it gets to stable and not battery power munching.

Nikos_GR said,
Why the heck all that speed frenzy while I use my browser for a couple of emails, some youtube vids, and reading/posting to my favorite forums?

As browsers get faster more apps will be web based since the things they do are simple enough to run at the same speed on a decent browser.

Nikos_GR said,
Why the heck all that speed frenzy while I use my browser for a couple of emails, some youtube vids, and reading/posting to my favorite forums? What the should look into would be making a reliable browser that startups quickly, has a snappy interface, leaving enough behind for surfing leissurly. Chrome has really gotten quite close to this, but it has yet too much to walk until it gets to stable and not battery power munching.
1. You don't represent all users.

2. They are doing that other stuff.

judayeong said,
I expect to be able to see 60x faster ie9...
Than what? Chrome is saying that they'll be 60x faster (in this context) than Chrome 6. We already know IE9 will be more than 60x faster than IE8 in the same context.

Sais Shishir Ks said,
60x??? This claim sounds quite 'Apple-ish'.

I love Chrome though.


lol, no. Safari is still the "world's fastest browser" according to them.

DonC said,
The 60x times will be some particular component though, not an overall 60x performance increase.

I think they're comparing their current graphics rendering with an upcoming accelerated one, like the one that's in IE 9.

DonC said,
The 60x times will be some particular component though, not an overall 60x performance increase.

yup, current Chrome can even crawl at 0.5 FPS in some canvas heavy demos. Getting it to 30 FPS is already a 60x increase (which actually is a feat that's better attributed to the GPU maker and their drivers than the browser vendor who just writes a proxy to the graphics API)

thefonz said,
lol @ safari
Why's that? WebGL works beautifully in the WebKit nightlies. In fact, it's faster and behaves better in WebKit than in Chromium for me.

v7 in just 2 years ?!!
With higher version numbers, ads plastered almost everywhere you visit on the internet, more platform support (specially XP & Mac) chrome is gonna win a big portion of the market no matter how good IE 9 or any other browser is.

PCBEEF said,
Because version numbers means anything

Yaaayyy generic response to valid complaint!

The fact that you guys can whip out "version numbers don't matter" so easily must mean a LOT of people are bringing it up, which must mean...dundundunnn...they matter to an awful lot of people, hah.

Joshie said,

Yaaayyy generic response to valid complaint!

The fact that you guys can whip out "version numbers don't matter" so easily must mean a LOT of people are bringing it up, which must mean...dundundunnn...they matter to an awful lot of people, hah.

Products are free to use any versioning scheme they want. Version numbers are meaningless aside from indicating that version x is newer than version x - y. Chrome's release cycle is rapid, but if you compare the product's feature set growth to other software, Chrome 7 would be likened more to a 3.0 release in a more common versioning convention. I suspect they increment the major version number this rapidly in order for the product to appear older and more mature to nontechnical users who just look at the numbers.
In just a couple more years, Chrome may be able to legally drink alcohol and go to strip clubs.

kInG aLeXo said,
v7 in just 2 years ?!!
With higher version numbers, ads plastered almost everywhere you visit on the internet, more platform support (specially XP & Mac) chrome is gonna win a big portion of the market no matter how good IE 9 or any other browser is.

Yup, Chrome 9999 will win the browser war.

mattbiernat said,
ehhhh, i still like my good old slow FF.

Exactly. most likely in FF4 the hardware acceleration will be good enough where it matters

because currently i don't think any other browser touches Firefox in overall speed/features etc in my opinion

bluefisch200 said,
Oh no...if MS wins this war we will have the IE6 time again...please, nobody should win...keep fighting forever...

Actually, if things stay as they are, it doesn't matter if Microsoft hit back. The problem back then was that Microsoft just nuked the competition (i.e. Netscape), and they had no comeback because of an unstable business model and the resulting fallout was that Microsoft sat with their thumbs up their asses until Netscape bounced back in the form of Firefox.

Fortunately this time around, there are no less than 4 competing browsers nipping at Microsofts heels, all just waiting for a [bigger] slice of the market share pie, and Microsoft know that if they try to repeat history, they'll lose this time, at the very least if Google has anything to say about it.

bluefisch200 said,
Oh no...if MS wins this war we will have the IE6 time again...please, nobody should win...keep fighting forever...

I doubt Microsoft would make that same mistake again.

Majesticmerc said,

Actually, if things stay as they are, it doesn't matter if Microsoft hit back. The problem back then was that Microsoft just nuked the competition (i.e. Netscape), and they had no comeback because of an unstable business model and the resulting fallout was that Microsoft sat with their thumbs up their asses until Netscape bounced back in the form of Firefox.

So...did Microsoft nuke Netscape, or did Netscape fail because of an unstable business model?

A lot of people here were either not into computers or were total noobs back then, but I remember Netscape being a very *badly* managed platform, that today's Neowinians would no doubt lash out at and hate on heartily. Heck, Communicator would be the great evil of our time if IE hadn't put a stop to that crap. How anyone can seriously call any version of IE bloated compared to that beast is beyond me.

Joshie said,

So...did Microsoft nuke Netscape, or did Netscape fail because of an unstable business model?

A lot of people here were either not into computers or were total noobs back then, but I remember Netscape being a very *badly* managed platform, that today's Neowinians would no doubt lash out at and hate on heartily. Heck, Communicator would be the great evil of our time if IE hadn't put a stop to that crap. How anyone can seriously call any version of IE bloated compared to that beast is beyond me.

It was more like *Netscape* nuked itself (bad business model *and* screwing over their own plug-in devs by breaking the plug-in standard they themselves set). It didn't help that Microsoft was waiting in the wings with IE 3.0 (as good as Netscape 3.x, still compatible with 2.x plug-ins, and both free and easily redistributable by world+dog, let alone the same ISPs that Netscape was relying on to push Navigator).

What I recall happening was pretty simple:

Microsoft had a lot of the IE code pre-loaded on boot-up because a lot of IE and Windows Explorer libraries were shared... for awhile, they were the exact same program. Netscape couldn't compete with that. Back then, computers were a lot slower and had very little RAM (256MB was a LOT back then... I think I had 32MB). When I opened IE, I could surf the web and my computer ran fine. When I ran Netscape Communicator, things became sluggish... two beasts of programs (netscape+IE) were running at the same time...why bother running both? I (like a lot of other people) just ran IE. Of course, it didn't help that Netscape Communicator had become a bloated piece of junk (Netscape 3 was a very good browser).

Then, Microsoft didn't have any competition for years. Apple had to basically BEG Microsoft to get IE and MS Office onto Mac OS 9 and later X. MS had no reason to keep updating IE5 (but did, later give us IE6 which didn't do anything for web standards). Everyone made websites for IE and any competing browser couldn't render them quite right.

The_Decryptor said,
And the only winners will be us users.
Indeed. The best part is that the war is for Product Quality. Good times!

Jebadiah said,
Indeed. The best part is that the war is for Product Quality. Good times!

best part is that even if the winner is us users, the browsers will stay freeware

Deviate_X said,
the winner is Windows because windows has the best GPU support

Pardon? *NIX has Cairo with OpenGL back end and Mac OS X has QuartzGL which can be accessed on a per application basis rather than being system wide enabled.

The_Decryptor said,
And the only winners will be us users.

Agreed; it is like the late 90s all over again with the various vendors at each others throats developing the fastest, more secure, most compatible and reliable browser. Thank god Microsoft was finally given a boot up the ass after having disbanded their Internet Explorer development team.

The late 90s was bad time for devs though; this time with the major players all working on implementation rather than redefining/creating standards, and the excellent toolkits around, it's a win for us too!

rawr_boy81 said,

Pardon? *NIX has Cairo with OpenGL back end and Mac OS X has QuartzGL which can be accessed on a per application basis rather than being system wide enabled.

He didn't say that Windows was the only system with GPU support, he said it was the best. I'm not sure what your 2nd point is about application vs system wide. DirectX has worked that way for the last 15 years.

rawr_boy81 said,

Pardon? *NIX has Cairo with OpenGL back end and Mac OS X has QuartzGL which can be accessed on a per application basis rather than being system wide enabled.

All the best hardware target Windows, so all browsers will run better on Windows

Deviate_X said,

All the best hardware target Windows, so all browsers will run better on Windows

If you run super end hardware, yes. But if you run mediocre hardware, like most users, it all comes down to which OS implements hardware acceleration the best. I'm not the one to ask that, but I wouldn't be so quick to say that it's Windows. Mac OS X has been doing it for longer, although that doesn't mean it's the best.

Sticktron said,
The late 90s was bad time for devs though; this time with the major players all working on implementation rather than redefining/creating standards, and the excellent toolkits around, it's a win for us too!

WEB DEVELOPERS, WEB DEVELOPERS, WEB DEVELOPERS!!!

sphbecker said,
He didn't say that Windows was the only system with GPU support, he said it was the best. I'm not sure what your 2nd point is about application vs system wide. DirectX has worked that way for the last 15 years.

How about reading the post; the issue was the argument that Apple lacked 2D acceleration; Apple has not enabled system wide 2D acceleration but it is accessible but the developer has to specifically enable it just like in the case of Windows you have to write specifically for Direct2D/DirectWrite - it isn't something you automatically inherit when writing for Windows.

Btw, DirectX hasn't had 2D acceleration for 15 years, it only just arrived with Direct2D which sits on top of DirectX which is no different to QuartzGL which sits on top of OpenGL.

Deviate_X said,
All the best hardware target Windows, so all browsers will run better on Windows.

Which is a load of crap - developer familiarity with DirectX? sure, but it isn't analogous to OpenGL being inferior to DirectX. If you haven't actually realised the drivers that Mac OS X are just as 'tweaked' and 'tuned' as the Windows counter parts - its just that the OpenGL stack (and the standard itself) was always biased towards CAD developers over game developers hence the reason why OpenGL wasn't overhauled as originally planned in 3.x and 4.x