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RoboHornet Pro: Microsoft Snubs Google, Mozilla Concurs!

RoboHornet Pro Conclusion And Analysis

RoboHornet Pro Results

According to Microsoft's version of RoboHornet, only a handful of Web browsers can even pass the test.

Operating SystemPassing Web Browsers
Windows 7None
Windows 8Internet Explorer 10
OS XSafari and Sleipnir*
iOSAll
UbuntuNone
AndroidChrome*
* 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.

Can't We All Just Get Along?

The last page of Monday's RoboHornet article asked: "Is RoboHornet The Holy Grail of Browser Benchmarking?"

Not quite.

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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  • techcurious
    A little off topic, but something just occurred to me.. that we had Safari on Windows, but not IE on OSX..
    Now that OSX market share is increasing, I wonder if Microsoft will ever release Internet Explorer for OSX, and I wonder if Apple will allow it..
    Reply
  • techcurious
    ... nevermind.. I would rate myself down if I could.. cause after further thought, I realized that anyone that chose to use OSX over Windows will never choose to use IE over Safari or Firefox.. Something I am sure Microsoft also realizes :)
    Reply
  • dalethepcman
    My one complaint about this article, was the contrast between the massive amount of iOS browsers, and the utter lack of Android browsers. You stated yourself.
    Each of these third-party iOS browsers are essentially just a new GUI and additional functionality added to Safari

    Why not also test firefox, dolphin, skyfire and stock browsers on android?
    Reply
  • dalethepcman
    techcurious... nevermind.. I would rate myself down if I could.. cause after further thought, I realized that anyone that chose to use OSX over Windows will never choose to use IE over Safari or Firefox.. Something I am sure Microsoft also realizes
    Actually I have many Mac users that would use IE in OSX just for the convenience of pass through authentication, but since its not available they all have a separately purchased copy of windows to run in a VM or access IE through Citrix for domain resources.
    Reply
  • adamovera
    dalethepcmanMy one complaint about this article, was the contrast between the massive amount of iOS browsers, and the utter lack of Android browsers. You stated yourself.Why not also test firefox, dolphin, skyfire and stock browsers on android?I attempted to, they either wouldn't run the test at all, or they hang indefinitely and are unable to complete it. Stay tuned for the Android Web Browser Grand Prix for the full benchmark results of browsers on that platform.
    Reply
  • tipoo
    I agree with Mozilla, perceived speed > benchmarks for browsers. And ironically that's exactly where they fail hardest. Chrome, Opera, heck sometimes even IE10 now always seem more responsive and stay more responsive than Firefox in my experience. I like its font rendering, I like its smooth scrolling (well, IE10 has those too, I think it has to do with DirectWrite more than the browser) but the small instances of UI lag bug me after using Chrome for so long.
    Reply
  • tipoo
    Once more I'm puzzled why browsers in OSX are consistently and significantly slower than Windows and Ubuntu, even the same browser cross platform.
    Reply
  • adamovera
    tipooOnce more I'm puzzled why browsers in OSX are consistently and significantly slower than Windows and Ubuntu, even the same browser cross platform.From page 4: "Our current cross-platform test system provides unusually low Web results under OS X Mountain Lion compared to other operating systems. While the OS X browser scores appear to be accurate in relation to each other, none of the OS X scores should be used to draw conclusions about OS X versus the other desktop environments in this test. Until we can pin down the culprit, please view the OS X results as if they were obtained on an entirely different test system."
    I have been unable to track down the cause of this problem - I tried every single network driver I could find, multiple re-installs, and different DSDT files. This is the only Hackintosh system we've ever used that has this issue - our older Lynnfield-based rig didn't. Hopefully, when I build a totally new Ivy Bridge-based rig this problem will just go away, if not, I guess I need an actual Mac - but that could leave Linux twisting in the wind since Bootcamp is just for Windows - on paper, anyway :(
    Reply
  • tipoo
    Got ya, I missed that part. Maybe a commenter with a mac can give it a quick run to see how it compares to the hackintosh.
    Reply
  • adamovera
    tipooGot ya, I missed that part. Maybe a commenter with a mac can give it a quick run to see how it compares to the hackintosh.They have, and they're all reporting Web-related scores are higher on Mac's with lower-end hardware than our test system. Also, our old Lynnfield-based system shows OS X browsers doing way better in relation to Windows browsers on that Hackintosh versus a genuine MacBook Air - so it's definitely our current Hackintosh configuration and not OS X to blame for the lower scores versus other OSes.
    Reply