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According to Microsoft's version of RoboHornet, only a handful of Web browsers can even pass the test.
|Operating System||Passing Web Browsers|
|Windows 8||Internet Explorer 10|
|OS X||Safari and Sleipnir*|
|* Indicates very minor hiccups to the background animation.|
Looking at the RoboHornet Pro winners, one common trend surfaces: only native browsers seem to pass the test. Besides Sleipnir for OS X, only IE10 for Windows 8, Safari for OS X and iOS, and Chrome for Android qualify. Ubuntu, which has no truly native browser, but instead relies on popular cross-platform options, has nothing which can pass RoboHornet Pro. Since IE9 is notably absent from testing, we can only assume that Microsoft killed functionality on the browser because it doesn't pass. That, or the marketing people are simply trying to push IE10 as a selling point for Windows 8, since we're still not sure whether Windows 7 will ever get IE10.
But the real question is: Is RoboHornet Pro any better than the original?
We have a feeling that the other vendors will step forward with critiques now that results have been published.
The last page of Monday's RoboHornet article asked: "Is RoboHornet The Holy Grail of Browser Benchmarking?"
RoboHornet Alpha1 was more like the Round Table, where Arthur and his knights planned the quest for the Grail. Except in this legend, not all of the Knights showed up, and the few that did ended up walking away.
Perhaps the very notion of RoboHornet, a neutral browser benchmark voted on by the Web development community, where all vendors are given an even say, is naive. Perhaps Google tainted RoboHornet for the other vendors by getting too involved too soon, having three stewards, and handling the registration and the PR effort for the project's launch. Whatever the reasons, what was supposed to be a simple first alpha release and launch announcement turned into a fiasco.
So how does RoboHornet Pro fit into the Web Browser Grand Prix, and what is the current outlook for inclusion of the original RoboHornet?
RoboHornet Pro will not appear in the Web Browser Grand Prix. It attempts to test too many things and the pass/fail plus completion time scores would heavily skew placing as well as the final scores. Last week I was hopeful for the future of RoboHornet and its eventual inclusion in the Web Browser Grand Prix. Today, I'm doubtful, to say the least.
So there you have it folks, in a nutshell, last week was the entirety of the very short life cycle of an ambitious yet divisive new Web browser benchmark. Unless another one of the other major browser vendors decides to fork RoboHornet, we'll post any further developments to this story in the News.
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