Since the time our first Web Browser Grand Prix debuted, the already-raging browser wars have become heated indeed. In case you haven't been keeping tabs on the browser news, let's begin by getting up to speed on the latest:
- March 16th- Microsoft releases a developer preview of the upcoming Internet Explorer 9, along with promises of substantial improvements to speed and compliance with the latest Web standards.
- March 22nd - Opera 10.51 is released, further blurring the line between 1st and 2nd place with Google's Chrome.
- May 5th - Google releases a beta of their upcoming Chrome 5, proclaiming it to be faster than sound, lightning, and...a flying potato.
- May 25th - Google releases Chrome 5 stable.
- May 28th - Opera releases its own viral video that clearly rips on Google's promo.
- June 7th - Apple releases Safari 5, claiming it's “The world's fastest browser”.
- June 23rd - In Firefox 3.6.4, Mozilla introduces crash protection for Adobe Flash.
- June 26th - Firefox is yet again updated to 3.6.6.
- July 1st- Opera finally drops version 10.60, boasting that “The fastest browser on Earth is even faster”.
Once again, we find ourselves in a situation where multiple parties are claiming the speed crown. Obviously, all of these claims can't be true. The fact is, it's easy enough to produce favorable results supporting ANY browser. You can even do this for IE6 if you try hard enough. Simply pick a single benchmark or a group of potato-oriented tests and viola, there's the fastest browser ever! That is why we run all of them. If we find a valid benchmark that runs on every browser, we use it.
While this is a follow-up to our original Web Browser Grand Prix, we have also included some standards compliance testing along with enhanced memory benchmarks. We feel that even though these tests do not directly affect speed, they are crucial to overall performance. But don't worry, we'll separate those benchmarks from our speed tests in the conclusion, so you'll still get to find out which Web browser is the fastest when judged purely on raw speed. Without further adieu, let's get to the testing!