back to article First official HTML5 tests topped by...Microsoft

The Worldwide Web Consortium has released the results of its first HTML5 conformance tests, and according to this initial rundown, the browser that most closely adheres to the latest set of web standards is...Microsoft Internet Explorer 9. Yes, the HTML5 spec has yet to be finalised. And yes, these tests cover only a portion …


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  1. sandholme
    Thumb Down

    Opera 11 ?

    So how come they didn't test Opera 11 if they were using other betas

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Maybe it's because Opera 11 is still "alpha"?

      A bit odd in any case. I wonder if these are the tests submitted by Microsoft? Not heard of "foreigncontent" before in my readings about HTML5. Looking cursorily at the spec this I guess that this might have something to do with the contenteditable stuff which MS invented. I may very well be wrong.

      Anyway I ran the tests on Opera 11 - there are some 404s in there but I the form to submit the results is broken: it is just a textarea with neither form action or button.

      The tests are heavily skewed towards canvas with other stuff such as <time> not getting a look in. Still, even with these obvious deficiencies it will be nice to have a set of standard tests to measure some of the bluster by.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        MS did well in a standards test, so they must have cheated or made up the test?

      2. Anonymous Coward

        And the IE9 previe wis not an alpha?

        So they can use Microsoft's alpha, but not Opera's?

        How stupid is that?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      Microsoft.... allegedly makes a fast browser

      Ummmmm like some other genius pointed out....

      It's crap and insecure browser - runs on a crap and insecure OS.... and won't run on all OS's.... and every new MS OS requires a huge computer upgrade and a doubling of the household electricity bill - and the OS is generally full of dumb and useless "upgrades and innovations".....

      To be frank..... I don't fucking care what MS does....

      To be a cycnical arsehole - I bet they tested a stripped down version to even get it to open a webpage in under an hour.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo


    Microsoft are the new underdog now. Go Microsoft! Down with the evil Google.

  3. Mike OReilly

    Oh no!

    What will MS haters cling onto now!?

    1. amehaye
      Thumb Up

      The triple-E, of course

      Embrace, Extend... We are at phase 1 as it seems.

      A thumb up, just for the chance that /this time it will be different/

    2. Notas Badoff

      As always...

      Whichever Microsoft products don't respond to customers' needs. No mystery here. When Microsoft implicitly tells a portion of the market to FOAD, they get backtalk.

      The "Microsoft haters" hated what Microsoft didn't do, beneficial things that is. When Microsoft makes people's lives harder, the 'hate' gets vocal. No mystery here.

      If you don't see a complete instant reversal of opinion about Microsoft, well, they have rather a backlog of instances of not responding... No surprise there, eh?

    3. ThomH

      The ribbon, of course

      I suspect they'll never give up that one.

      Me? I'm most impressed that IE9 is, per the tests, more conformant to the canvas spec that Safari.

    4. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      You're right!

      One example negates two decades of constant corporate bullying, shoddy products, useless leaders, lies, deceit, anti-competitive behaviour and generally being shits to the world. I'll never doubt again!

    5. neverSteady
      Thumb Down

      Hmm, let's see shall we?

      Oh yes that's right, the cost of the Operating System on which it runs? The fact that it is still insecure because of it's very nature of being integrated into the OS? The fact that it will not install on other OS's? I could go on.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge


        "The fact that it is still insecure because of it's very nature of being integrated into the OS?"

        You can't say that about IE9, it won't even run on the older OS versions that had that integration.

        That one's so dead it's unbelievable and has been for some time. You have to be a dyed in the wool MS-hater with abso-fucking-lutely no technical knowledge whatsoever to trot that old chestnut out.

        AFAIK, the only OS / browser combo you can legitimately levy that particular criticism against these days is Chrome / ChromeOS......

    6. Stephen Bungay

      There are reasons to dislike MS....

      People who dislike and mistrust MS do so for good reasons. The company has

      1. A history of back-stabbing "partners"

      2. They really don't compete, they wall in their users and wall-out the competition (much as the Jobsian Co. now does). i.e. When all you can buy is a Lada then a Lada is the best car to buy. In the case of the Jobsians substitute "Lada" with "Cadillac".

      3. They were (are still for the most part) resting on their O/S/ monopoly laurels (see #2).

      I for one, while firmly in the "don't do business with/trust Microsoft" camp, applaud their coming to the fore and meeting the challenge of HTML5. Good Job M$! Now, lets see them move out of their comfort-zone and make their browser equally functional and available across all platforms. Show the world that you can compete. If they actually rise to that challenge then they are starting to change their mindset. When people can download and install the Big Blue 'e' and run it on their *NIX box with all the same functionality of running it on Win [XP/Vista/7] then Microsoft will truly be starting to compete in the software marketplace.

      Now here's where my mistrust of M$ comes in. My best guess is that M$ is exerting a huge effort in IE standards compliance because that is where the spotlight is, and it is where they have been loosing large chunks of market share. To stop the slide they need to get Windows users to stop looking at the grass on the other side of the fence.

      1. Barracoder


        Anyone who uses "M$" as an abbreviation shows themselves in one stroke to be an utter fucking loon who should go back to their cave.


    7. Anonymous Coward

      What are you talking about?

      This test does NOT show that MS is more compliant. All it shows is that Microsoft passes its own tests, which is just a few tests.

      That's right. Microsoft submitted these tests, and ensured that it was better at the tests Microsoft themselves created.

      You just fell for Microsoft's marketing BS again.

    8. Anonymous Coward

      Cling to

      Reality. It is important to make sure IE also complies with <a href="">CSS, SVG, and HTML 1-4</a>. When you ignore these things, what you get looks like <a href="">Windows 7 Mobile does</a>.

      Expecting Microsoft to do anything but promote themselves at your expense is as foolish as expecting their "privacy settings" to work. Is that really a company that should have a seat on the W3C board?

  4. bazza Silver badge

    Dazed and confused

    Windows Phone 7 unexpectedly looking like it might just be half decent? WTF?

    Internet Explorer 9 conforming to standards, being clever with hardware acceleration, etc? WTF??

    Windows 7 actually doing some useful things and perhaps asking hard-ish questions of OSX? WTF??

    Windows beginning to become too hard to hack prompting attackers to look elsewhere? WTF??

    Have I slipped in to a parallel universe, or are we seeing the results of commercial competition?

    1. The BigYin

      You should have stopped at...

      ...point 2. Points 3 and 4 were simply fanciful and as for point 5. Well, where does one begin? MS will not permit "commercial competition"!

    2. Arctic fox
      Gates Halo

      @Bazza who is "dazed and cofused". Dearly beloved bretheren, truly it is written.....

      ..................that "there is more joy in heaven at one sinner that repenteth than in nine and ninety just men". Verily, even when that sinner is a large tech company. Let us all rise and......

      Apart from wishing to express my disappointment that we do not have a techie vicar icon I have to say that I am pretty amazed as well. We see of course that there are several contributions from those who are persuaded that we need reminding of the (admittedly lengthy and to a considerable extent, justified) charge-sheet against MS. They are mistaken. It is for many of us precisely because of MS' previous form that we are fairly amazed by these few but nonetheless interesting and positive straws in the techno-wind. I am _way_ to old to be anybody's fanboi and I left naivete behind several decades ago. I therefore simply express a pious hope that these aforementioned straws indicate that MS has actually developed sufficient corporate intelligence to have at any rate begun to understand the concept _constructive_ self-interest.

      The icon? I just thought that my posting needed something a little bit surreal to match the feelings of incredulity that some of us are experiencing.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be careful what you wish for

    People moaned for years about the state of IE, saying there was no excuse for a company with MS's resources not to be able to knock up 6 compliant browsers before breakfast.

    Well now the browser you was demanding is here whilst Firefox is throwing paper aeroplanes, doodling on its exercise books and making fart noises at the back of the class. Happy now?

    No, didn't think so...

    And what do they mean by 'no results' in the getElementsByClassName test? Opera and Safari support that.

    Do the poor 'foreign content' results mean those companies are xenophobic?

    1. LaeMing

      Actually I am happy

      All that "throwing paper aeroplanes, doodling on its exercise books and making fart noises at the back of the class" is a result of not having any serious competition. That concept works both ways and it may now be FF's turn to pull the finger.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Competition

        All very true.

        However, it's one thing when a company as old and diverse as MS end up with a lazy browser. Another completely when a company as new as Mozilla Corp who, for all intents and purposes, only make one highly focussed product, become so lazy so quickly.

        Firefox is only a mere 5 years old, and for it to be in its current state behind literally all the others means they must have been lazily failing to develop it properly for more of those years than not.

        I agree, it's good - not to mention highly ironic - that Microsoft have highlighted just how tired and rusty Firefox is, and in so doing will hopefully apply the pressure needed to trigger a shake-up in Mozilla management and start developing a competitive browser again.

        The problem is, it's no longer a two-horse race. Things will be harder for them this time, especially without the bestowed popularity that comes with being the new kid on the block.

        I really think that if Google had any desire to sink Firefox, they only have to wait a little while longer and then cripple their life support revenue stream to it. There's no law that says they have to single handedly prop up a rival commercial company (especially when it's only one of many). It just depends whether Google actually want to get rid of at least one browser from the marketplace to free up more share for themselves and those who remain.

        Even if all browsers support all the same standards perfectly so that there's no difference in rendering or speed on any website or widget, the browser companies still need large market shares to generate profits. There will always be browser wars, probably with two main rivals and the rest scattered around the periphery.

  6. mafoo


    I'd like to see the active memory footprint of each browser added to these tests.

    1. Ian Yates


      I don't really get the memory-hogging complaints, unless your system has <1GB RAM?

      Personally, I'd rather have a performant browser with 10 - 20 tabs take as much memory as it needs to (I have a 3GB system, though) and let it be swapped out if I decide to bring up TF2 and leave it in the background.

      I jump between the Firefox 4 beta and Iron (non-Google branch of Chrome) pretty frequently. I have lots of extensions in Fx for web development that I miss in Iron/Chrome, but Iron/Chrome is just so much better at being swapped out of RAM and then continuing as though everything's alright (possibly due to the many-process aproach).

      Chrome certainly isn't that much lighter on memory than my Fx instance, if you add up all the processes, but it performs so much faster.

      Of course, this is ignoring the old memory leaks Fx used to suffer from - I haven't noticed anything obvious in Fx 4, so lets hope they're history.

  7. Lunatik

    MS has lost sight of why they got into browsers in the first place

    They seem to be hell bent on producing a decent standards-compliant browser just to prove they could, to themselves probably.

    The reasons they made IE the dominant force in internet browsing no longer make much sense, but they plough madly on, like some eccentric inventor in their shed, desperate to prove to the world that 'we coulda done it, see?!'

    Good on them for taking the fight to Chrome, Opera, Safari and the increasingly wayward Firefox but guys, c'mon, you're not going to make your next $Billion making people love your browser in 2010.

    What's that you say? IE9 a trojan horse for Silverlight to take over the world? Oooooh kaaaaay *reaches for sedative hypodermic*

    1. paul-s

      Wrong - Vendor Lock-In

      "Good on them for taking the fight to Chrome, Opera, Safari and the increasingly wayward Firefox but guys, c'mon, you're not going to make your next $Billion making people love your browser in 2010."

      Don't be an idiot. The new all-signing all-dancing browser ONLY runs on their latest proprietary platforms. Not so much Platform 9 as 1.5 Platforms.

      By selling the browser *hard*, and that includes all the fanfare that standards-wise it's "better" than the competition, they hope to get more converts to the questionable OS it runs in.

      1. Lunatik

        ♪ Like the titles that you find, In the windmills of your mind ♫

        Cheers for the ad hominem attack :)

        So it's about the OS, eh? OK then, exactly how many diehard Linux/Mac users do you reckon would change their *entire operating system* just to be able to use a browser which may or may not be slightly faster/slower in benchmarks, or slightly more/less standard compliant?

        1. paul-s

          Some Further Explanation

          Saying "don't be an idiot" isn't an ad hominem attack. Check your definitions - you'll sound more intelligent if you don't misuse its meaning in a logical debate. And don't be an idiot. :-)

          Regarding the case in point - the growing trend for the web browser to be central to apps and the cloud vision that Microsoft, Google and others are pumping out, I believe that yes, there will be innumerable cases where the quality of the browser will be the deciding factor in which OS to go with, after all the OS is being marginalised by the very same visionaries. Not among the diehards obviously, but let's not ignore the fact that the vast majority of computer users aren't diehards.

  8. Greg J Preece


    "Well now the browser you was demanding is here whilst Firefox is throwing paper aeroplanes, doodling on its exercise books and making fart noises at the back of the class. Happy now?"

    That'd be the Firefox that came 3rd out of the 5 majors, then? And both IE and FF in that test were pre-release. Quit pretending like Firefox aren't doing development when we get an article on El Reg every other week about the latest FF4 build.

    1. Tom 15


      Yes, there is an article on El Reg every other week about Firefox but they are generally negative, usually about the swath of new crippling bugs in it or how the next release has been pushed back another 6 months.

      1. Greg J Preece

        Like the recent ones?

        About how fast it's suddenly gotten?

        Or how twonks like you pick holes in a piece of software that hasn't been released yet?

  9. James 47

    web developers + 'file API'

    My blood just ran cold. Christ

    1. BorkedAgain

      Speaking as a sorta-web-dev...

      Mine too...

    2. Charles Manning

      Just make my PC into a NAS

      Screw this security lark!

  10. Wang N Staines

    Heads will fall for this...

    MS has let their standard slipped, heads will roll for this.

  11. Steven Knox

    Looks like..

    They tested an OLD version of Opera (10.60, not 10.63). I'm submitting updated information.

    Also, there's a bug in test #138 -- it links to an invalid page.

  12. Wibble

    Errm, what's the difference...

    ...between IE Nein and the other browsers?

    IE Nein only runs on Windows Vista and VII.

    So what use is IE Nein to the majority of the world who don't run Vista and VII?

    What about the other people who run their festering previous browsers - all three of them.

  13. Trib
    Thumb Up


    I'm sure most of these posts will be anti-MS. I'm sure everyone will find a way to make this positive a negative.

    I'll just say, "Good Job".

  14. JaitcH

    And how many gigabytes of HDD drive will the MS browser need?

    With MS being the poster child for bloat-ware, what are the new hardware specs to be?

    Imagine the size of their creation if they try to make it an OS and desktop combination!

    I get the feeling Joe Q Public is the guinea-pig rather the beneficiary of all these browser activity with the hardware guys standing by to make a killing.

    I thought it was usual practice to develop a standard, publish it and then have product made. Wonder if a little MS SOP trickery can be seen at work here?

    1. Trib


      All this gigabytes talk about browser size got me worried so I took a look.

      My IE9 folder just under .013 gigabytes (for both x86 and x64 versions) and my FireFox 4 (x86) folder is just under .027 gigabytes and my Google Chrome (x86) folder is .354 gigabytes! At this rate better get a larger hard drive!

      Yes, I know that IE is larger than that because there a components in the Window folder as well...

      As for hardware requirements, I have to agree, how dare these browser makers use my graphics card advanced features. The only apps that should use the abilities of my graphics cards are games, any apps that isn't a game is using resources that I just can't spare!

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Almost nothing of IE is in the 'IE' folder

        Whereas everything of Chrome and Firefox is in their respective folders.

        All the guts of IE are in various 'core' Windows libraries. This goes back to when they were trying to avoid being done for abusing their monopoly in the OS market to extend into other markets, a tactic that pretty much worked.

        (IEFRAME.DLL in System32 is 0.010 GB, which alone takes IE up to 0.023 GB before you even look for any of the other ones.)

  15. MineHandle

    HDD and memory footprint

    @mafoo, @JaitcH

    Who cares about memory footprint and HDD space in the days of TB hard drives and GBs of memory? I downloaded IE9 beta. It's a 35MB file. Larger than FF for sure, but not much of an issue for 1TB hard disk. But it runs quicker than IE8 and not much different to FF. I am not talking about benchmarks here. I am talking about my perception - ie what a user actually sees.

    But anyway, your clutching at straws. MS have finally release a solid, standards compliant browser comparable to all the other browsers and now you want to mark them down on memory footprint? Does my granny care about that or even what it is?

  16. Miek
    Thumb Up

    a tit is required

    Aw, I knew $MS could adhere to standards if they really tried. It's about time.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    embrace extend extinguish

    How soon we forget.

  18. mrtheduke


    Hmmmmm so you've ignored flash support in Apple products because html 5 is the future eh Jobs?

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Not do they cover CSS

    HUH ?

  20. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge


    For years people have been complaining (me too) that Microsoft didn't do it right and yet when they do do it right we only hear they didn't do it right in the past. True, but they seem on the right path (for whatever motive) and that ought to be applauded; it's what everyone has been demanding.

    Some people will never accept Microsoft, never forget, always hold the past against them. They won't be happy unless Redmond and the collective board the Ark-B and sail into the Sun. I'm more interested in what Microsoft do now and in the future.

    I guess Microsoft taking the lead and doing it properly is too much for some to stomach.

    "Don't mention the war! I did but I think I got away with it".

  21. CD001

    I try...

    I try not to be cynical and a standards compliant browser from MS can only be a good thing but this is only testing conformance to HTML5 standards - which as the article states aren't standard yet.

    This does not cover CSS, JS or the DOM (and manipulating the DOM through JS of course), without which a web document (HTML) is basically just a browser compatible .odt - actually less since the HTML should just deal with the semantics with the CSS as the presentation layer.

    Still - it looks like there is a light at the end of the tunnel - I just hope it's not the proverbial oncoming train.

  22. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Forget speed

    Forget speed, get it working as per CSS and HTML standards. Once functional and accurate then you can start optimising the code.

  23. Harry

    But will it start up in under five seconds?

    That's the current downfall of firefox. Yes, it does its job pretty well out of the box and what it doesn't do can be sorted with extensions. But it comes with a hefty and excruciatingly s-l-o-o-o-o-w startup which surely isn't necessary if you save the program state properly on shutdown and resume from there rather than reading everything afresh every time.

    1. CD001


      Oddly enough both Opera and Internet Explorer (8) take much longer to load (from cold) than Firefox (with several extensions) on my PC at home. Though my home PC is a Windows 7 (x64) box with 6 gigs of RAM so "slow" is somewhat relative.

      Though on the XP system at work, Firefox (with the same extensions) is far slower than Opera to boot.

  24. Barney Carroll

    IE9 hasn't necessarily won the race yet.

    Standards evolve at a frantic pace, with a lot of the spec being written in retrospect to accommodate progressive browser implementations. While the Webkit and Gecko teams work iteratively in an environment of rapid development, IE versioning has always come in disparate version releases which do not upgrade gracefully rather than feature-laden optimisations in the form of point-releases. If IE9 wants to stay ahead of the game, Microsoft would need to fundamentally change the way the IE team works — but the cost & security issues of core MS product uptake make such a model difficult to implement.

    In the meantime, check out IE9's CSS3 support — abysmal!

  25. Anonymous Coward

    The tests were made for this headline. You've been gamed.

    Ugh. This is for shock value more. Any tests can be gamed and Microsoft provided just about all of these tests.

    You just hooked on the bait when all the other companies have been driving and writing these standards.

  26. Steve Martins

    Finally! :-) can't wait to try it!

    So where do I click to download the Linux version?....

    IMO a decent browser is OS agnostic so I don't have to choose my OS to choose my browser. Great news though and a past IE hater, i'm actually quite enthusiastic about the idea of a compliant browser for the majority web users... here's hoping for no more ugly IE fix hacks in my web coding.

    1. Tim Brown 1

      for the vast majority of web users...

      ... as long as you're prepared to upgrade from XP to Windows 7.

      Realistically, Microsoft's decision to not make IE9 compatible with XP (for largely spurious or contrived reasons) means that for at least another couple or years, possibly a good deal longer, the browser market will become more fragmented than ever.

  27. Tigra 07
    Dead Vulture

    No title required

    Firefox did better than Chrome in your total.

    The figures clearly show Firefox scores a collective 626.58% in 7 categories, while Chrome scores only 616.32%

    So when you say "followed by" at least put it in the right order.

  28. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    html vs. Css

    @ian yates, bloated is bloated, whether you've got 512MB of 6GB of RAM, if something uses more RAM than it should it's bloated. Personally i haven't had problems with browser bloat on even a 512MB system but it's bigger than it should be.

    I'm with the Microsoft guy on one point. It pains me to agree w/ ms, but saying html and css have nothing to do with each other is taking the piss, when html pages use css to affect page layout.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Platform dependent =

    ... ultimately, a fail.

    Due to Microsofts still dominant *desktop* market share, they can get away with platform dependence ... for now.

    Or will we continue to suffer from fragmentation, on, what was ultimately *supposed* to be a set of standards?

    I fear so - this move by microsoft is more than likely another 'dominate' strategy - they lost ground way back when with earlier versions of internet explorer, then came out with Internet Explorer 4, which, to all intents and purposes, killed Netscape, to such a degree, that they held sway in the browser market until Mozilla rose from the ashes of Netscape.

    Fragmentation seems to be a human condition - a set of standards will always be interpreted - it keeps me in a job, so I can't moan too much ....

  30. Anonymous Coward

    gulible fools

    Anyone reporting this Microsoft or stunt as news. What Microsoft have done here is submitted test cases known to work in ie9 and fail in other browsers. A big or stunt this is.

    For example, Opera gets 0% in the SVG tests, despite having the highest SVG support of any browser. The reason is because the SVG tests don't use XHTML5 - there are at least 7 other tests in the suite that do use XHTML5 (all of which IE9 happens to get 100% in), but none of the SVG ones do, causing Opera's 0% scor

  31. lucideer
    Gates Horns

    Tests are NOT official

    Microsoft authored the tests, and published them (labelled "official") without the knowledge or consent of other browser vendors or the rest of the W3C (MS is a part of the W3C).

    @Cade Metz

    Recommend removing the word "official" in the title

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The best software runs on best OS

    Forget it IT-heretics, others do things with their Windows 7/IE9 that you can only dream while sleeping hugging your linux box with half-baked-software such as Opera and the rest of them. It's not mobile toy that you confuse for a business/gaming/personal computer, you have to actually compete on PC market and invest, invest and invest into tools, processes, engineers, methodologies, standards and so on, an arms race your open-source buddies simply won't sustain. Period. Study history of modern software which is ironically a history of Microsoft, like it or not.

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