Internet Explorer 9 Preview 7 released

IE9beta

Microsoft has just released their latest platform preview of Internet Explorer 9. The 7th release of the IE9 platform preview brings a number of performance improvements in Charka, Microsoft's JavaScript engine.

The initial platform preview was released just 8 months ago, and already is impressing the tech community. The latest platform preview beats out all of the competition in the WebKit SunSpider JavaScript benchmark tests, and is even faster than Google Chrome. The first IE9 beta was released three months ago.

Internet Explorer 9's preview platform is already leading the pack in HTML5 conformance tests, showing early signs Microsoft is doing something right with their latest browser. The IE9 team has increased its performance by 345% since the first platform preview. The video posted by Microsoft also shows off how well IE9 Platform Preview 7 can handle HTML5 compared to Firefox 4 beta 7 and Chrome 8 beta.

The new platform preview brings three three new benchmark tests, including Galactic, HTML5 Sudoku, and Shakespeare's Tag Cloud.

Microsoft also announced that since the launch of Internet Explorer 9 beta, it has seen over 13 million downloads. You can download IE9 Platform Preview 7 from testdrive.com.

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92 Comments

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While I'm enthusiastic about IE's progress..let's not get carried away...there is still work to be done on the UI side of things.

JohnCz said,
While I'm enthusiastic about IE's progress..let's not get carried away...there is still work to be done on the UI side of things.

which shouldn't take long since even wordpad's ui is actually more visually overwhelming than chrome's.

zeke009 said,
Instead of hacking the preview together with the beta, how about a new beta?

MS said there won't be a Beta 2, just RC candidate.. with the shortened release cycle it may be soon!

zeke009 said,
Instead of hacking the preview together with the beta, how about a new beta?
Why? The important part for testing is really the engine, not the UI.

Kirkburn said,
Why? The important part for testing is really the engine, not the UI.

not true, the IE9 beta was missing alot of functionality that we need like spellcheck and countless other things, we wanna play with new functions and see if they are working properly aswell as test for rendering issues and speed.

Pc_Madness said,
http://digitizor.com/2010/11/1...ing-in-sunspider-benchmark/

Apparently IE 9 is cheating in the Sunspider benchmarks.


I came here to say this. Another benchmark should be used. Try V8 or Kraken, and compare. (Peacemark has some accuracy issues that I'm not sure is worked out yet, otherwise I'd definitely recommend that since it has no specific browser developer backing it)

Not that it really matters anymore in which you pick as for Javascript speed alone. Everything more recent than IE 8 or Firefox 3.6 offer excellent performance today.

blahism said,

Benchmarks are meant to be cheated since they're just static test suites that one can heavily optimize for.

However, V8 v6 Firefox gets a measly 638 score (fire fox 3.6) while IE 9 preview 7 gets 2383 for me. Any links for comparitive analysis on v8 benchmarks?

arewefastyet.com

Explanation:
One of the changes we made to the IE9 JavaScript Engine, codenamed Chakra, to improve performance on real world web sites involves dead code elimination. Yesterday afternoon, someone posted a question (“What sorts of code does the analysis work on, other than the exact [math-cordic test] function included in SunSpider,”) on the Microsoft Connect feedback site.

Briefly, the IE9 JavaScript engine includes many different changes to improve the performance of real-world Web sites and applications. You can see this in action by visiting http://www.ietestdrive.com and trying the samples there with IE9 and other browsers. The behavior of the IE9 JavaScript engine is not a “special case optimization” for any benchmark and not a bug.

Some of the optimizations we've made to the JavaScript interpreter/compiler in IE9 are of a type known in the compiler world as dead code elimination. Dead code elimination optimizations look for code that has no effect on a running program, and removes the code from the program. This has a benefit of both reducing the size of the compiled program in memory and running the program faster.

day2die said,

Optimizing for a benchmark is not cheating.

The problem from what I understand it is that it seems they've literally said "if the function looks exactly like this, run this code directly", instead of going through the Javascript interpreter, so as soon as someone makes a purely cosmetic change to the function it reverts to the normal speeds.

So since they're lying to us about their score, I'd say thats cheating. They did the same thing with Acid2, if you moved all of the code to another site IE fell apart.

Pc_Madness said,
They did the same thing with Acid2, if you moved all of the code to another site IE fell apart.

According to http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/arc...sn-t-ie8-passing-acid2.aspx IE8 fails the copies of ACID2 due to the cross domain security checks IE performs for ActiveX controls. It was some cross-domain restriction thing.

And actually "caching" pre-"compiled" versions of Javascript might be good... just look at how many websites are using Javascript libraries like jQuery, etc. I'm not even surprised if they decide to make the browser cache the "compiled" version of a script on a site. Think about it: if you visit gmail.com every day, the browser would not need to re-intepret the Javascript, as long as the original javascript code has not been changed. Of course, in that case the Javascript benchmarks wouldn't be accurate any longer. And then we'll need new benchmarks that are much more dynamic and force the browser to re-intepret the code every time...

Pc_Madness said,

The problem from what I understand it is that it seems they've literally said "if the function looks exactly like this, run this code directly", instead of going through the Javascript interpreter, so as soon as someone makes a purely cosmetic change to the function it reverts to the normal speeds.

So since they're lying to us about their score, I'd say thats cheating. They did the same thing with Acid2, if you moved all of the code to another site IE fell apart.


Microsoft already comment that it included dead code elimination which make it faster.

At best it's a bug in their dead code analysis routines, at worst they're cheating.

In IE9 there's a 10x speed difference with the changes, in Firefox 4 there's a 0.1ms change.

BoyBoppins said,
Can I add this engine to IE9 Beta?

yes and no. you can run the pp7 with the beta UI but not the beta withe the platform engine if that makes any sense

1.Install IE9 Beta on your machine. You can download IE9 Beta from http://www.beautyoftheweb.com
2.Install Internet Explorer Platform Preview 7. You can download Platform Preview 7 from http://www.ietestdrive.com
3.Create a folder on your Desktop called IE9_PP7
4.Copy the iexplore.exe file from the C:/Program Files/Internet Explorer directory (or C:/Program Files (x86)/Internet Explorer if you are on a 64 bit machine) to the IE9_PP7 folder
5.Create a folder inside IE9_PP7 called iexplore.exe.local (Note: It is imperative that you name this folder exactly as specified)
6.Navigate to the Internet Explorer Platform Preview directory within Program files (commonly on 32 bit machines this will be at C:/Program Files/Internet Explorer Platform Preview and on 64 bit machines this will be at C:/Program Files (x86)/Internet Explorer Platform Preview)
7.Copy the contents of the iepreview.exe.local folder within the Internet Explorer Platform Preview directory to the iexplore.exe.local folder within IE9_PP7
8.Close all instances of IE running on your machine and run iexplore.exe from IE9_PP7

from http://arstechnica.com/microso...now-with-sekrit-beta-ui.ars

GP007 said,

The same trick that worked with PP6 could work with PP7, give it a try.

how to confirm other than benchmarking?

bogas04 said,

how to confirm other than benchmarking?

I just tried it an my Peacekeeper benchmark went up 103 points from the last time I tried a while back with the beta. Other than that Im not sure I notice any definitive differences.

Browsing might have less hangs though, which is what I was hoping for.

BoyBoppins said,

I just tried it an my Peacekeeper benchmark went up 103 points from the last time I tried a while back with the beta. Other than that Im not sure I notice any definitive differences.

Browsing might have less hangs though, which is what I was hoping for.

Hm , btw about Internet explorer is still the same , was it so in PP6 too?

bogas04 said,

Hm , btw about Internet explorer is still the same , was it so in PP6 too?

i tried doing this to get the UI on top of PP7 but help & about shows old IE, and the benchmarks from running it in preview vs IE9_PP7 hack show siginificant variations as well like it isn't using the new engine.

OMG... Really impressive! Although I am still using IE 8 (tried IE 9 Beta before, but don't quite like the UI), I am still looking forward to RC/ final release of IE 9!

Keep in mind with the acid tests that they're testing things that aren't 100% decided, and a lot of what IE9 is failing are things that aren't 100% clear, or are it not handling BAD code in a way acid likes.

AgentGray said,
Keep in mind with the acid tests that they're testing things that aren't 100% decided, and a lot of what IE9 is failing are things that aren't 100% clear, or are it not handling BAD code in a way acid likes.

There's only a couple of the things on the Acid3 test that are undecided (mainly with SVG fonts, which is understandable)

And the bad code stuff is on purpose, the spec states how to handle bad code so it's testable.

Setnom said,
Does it fix the horrible fonts?

I'm using it now and it looks fine to me, but it's all up to the person so d/l it and check it out.

jimmyfal said,
Isn,t this old news? When do we see the beta?

The beta has been out for a while, but it is based off the PP6

neoxphuse said,
Switching between chro
E and ie9 chrome still is faster

IE9 beta or PP7? The beta is based off of PP6

Well, then I guess I already know what my next browser gonna be. Good job IE team.
(Currently using Firefox 3.6.12)

Avi said,
Well, then I guess I already know what my next browser gonna be. Good job IE team.
(Currently using Firefox 3.6.12)

I prefer using a browser that patches their vulnerability's when they need to, instead of making us wait a month.

Avi said,
Well, then I guess I already know what my next browser gonna be. Good job IE team.
(Currently using Firefox 3.6.12)

I prefer comparing new tech to new tech. its like Windows XP vs. Windows ME.

warwagon said,

I prefer using a browser that patches their vulnerability's when they need to, instead of making us wait a month.

This is such a stupid thing to say. Microsoft does release out of band security fixes when necessary. It's not like they say "Lets release them late so people can get malware as a result of being duped by Pr0n links and then blame us for a crappy O/S"

Having patches released on the same day every month makes ALOT more sense than releasing them ad-hoc. And when they do need to be released out-of-band, they are.

warwagon said,

I prefer using a browser that patches their vulnerability's when they need to, instead of making us wait a month.

You do know some vulnerabilities in Firefox were patched more than half a year after their discovery, right?

Aethec said,

You do know some vulnerabilities in Firefox were patched more than half a year after their discovery, right?

Shhhh, don't bring facts into a debate about browsers.

blahism said,
wasn't preview 6 just a ~2 weeks ago? nice! hope to see an RC build then!

Ya, I don't remember exactly when but it wasn't that long ago, hmmmm...... Just checked wiki, PP6 was out on 2010-10-28.

blahism said,
wasn't preview 6 just a ~2 weeks ago? nice! hope to see an RC build then!
agreed, they need to get this thing pumped out so people can start using it

thatguyandrew1992 said,
Wow, this competition just makes the consumers life better and better. Love it! IE 9 is seriously awesome.

I agree...performance wise that Microsoft product team is doing great work. I just need to see IE9 Beta UI baked more...consistent and deeper UI overall (not just the shell).

The thing that would really be awesome is if pinned sites supported previewing webslices and rss headlines directly. I know its possible to get some headlines listed but its not currently tied to the RSS Feed Subscriptions/Scheduler.

Microsoft is indeed not fooling around now, because they finally realize that they no longer have the room to do it with all the competition crowding in.

Recon415 said,
Microsoft is indeed not fooling around now, because they finally realize that they no longer have the room to do it with all the competition crowding in.
Yeah really what were they thinking with all the past versions of IE? IE used to suck, now it will be the fastest browser yet when it comes out.

De.Bug said,
Yeah really what were they thinking with all the past versions of IE? IE used to suck, now it will be the fastest browser yet when it comes out.

And due to the update schedule it'll be knocked off the top within a month.

Impressive, I thought PP6 was to be the last one. Looks like MS is really taking this seriously. Now just get it on my Windows Phone 7

SHoTTa35 said,

LOL - time to get to the cellar and stock up on canned foods!

That only works if someone doesn't already live in the cellar though.

It is Amazing! It is giving 60 fps in Fish IE Tank with 1000 fishes. They need to increase the number of fishes so we can see how much level it has reached.

IntelliMoo said,

Fastest JS at the moment, but don't worry, the rest is still unusable. LOL

The only sites I have trouble with (with either the Platform Previews or the IE 9 beta itself; and they can be run side-by-side) are those explicitly coded for older browsers (and, in most cases, Nine's Compatibility Mode solves those issues).

Hate to be the bearer of Bad News (for other browsers) but the Sleeping Giant Of Browsers is Wide Awake.