Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 8 which claims to be easier, faster and secure. Along with the release of IE 8, Microsoft has also released a white paper that would make good reading for developers and testing professionals.
It is titled “Measuring Browser Performance – Understanding issues in benchmarking and performance analysis”. The abstract says
This document will explain various browser components and how each can impact performance when benchmarking. The abilities and pitfalls of various benchmarking tools will be compared, and ways to design tests that avoid these issues will be discussed. Also included is an overview of instructions on how to set up a benchmarking environment to conduct some of the testing processes discussed here.
The paper goes on to say
There are many factors involved in benchmarking and many steps involved in attaining valid results. This document should provide the information needed to perform benchmarking tests and isolate extraneous factors to allow for a true analysis of browser performance. Having an understanding of the limitations of popular benchmarking tools will help everyone understand why it is important to view performance on a holistic level, looking at the bigger picture of page load times, which account for all browser subsystem elements.
The document also gives a comparative table of load times for different sites. Strangely enough, google.com takes 2/3 rd of the time to load on Internet Explorer 8 as compared to Google Chrome 1.0. While Microsoft.com loads the fastest on Firefox 3.05. Facebook.com takes about 2 seconds to load while Adobe.com takes almost 10 seconds. Of the 25 sites tested, Chrome was fastest for 9 sites, Firefox for 4 sites and Internet Explorer topped by loading 12 sites faster than Chrome and Firefox.
Click to download “Measuring Browser Performance” whitepaper. The comparitive timings for IE 8, Chrome 1.0 and Firefox 3.05 can be found in Appendix A.