IE9 too little, too late, claims Mozilla developer


Microsoft may still be celebrating setting the release candidate of IE9 free, but one developer has suggested the browser is two years late and lacks modern functionality.

Paul Rouget, a technical evangelist for rival firm Mozilla, claimed that the answer to whether IE9 is a modern browser is a big, fat 'no.'

"IE9 is definitely better than IE8 and a step in the right direction, but I don't believe it to be a truly modern browser, and let me tell you why," Rouget said in a blog post, going on to refute Microsoft's HTML5 support claims.

"Does IE9 support 99 per cent of the HTML5 specification as insinuated by Microsoft? No, they're actually pretty far from it," he said.

"The tests Microsoft are referring to are the ones they created during the development of IE9. It's not that surprising that they pass the very tests they used to design and develop the browser - we score pretty well against our own unit-tests as well. The primary use case for these tests, however, is to spot regressions and validate code changes. In other words: the tests ensure that future changes don't break the things you just built. They don't actually test all elements of a specific standard."

In real world tests conducted by Rouget, Firefox came out on top of IE9 in a couple of areas.

When it came to web standards compatibility - as tested using - Firefox 4 led with 87 per cent, with IE9 trailing on just 61 per cent.

For HTML5 compatibility - in the HTML5 Test - the results were 255 and 130 for Firefox 4 and IE9 respectively. Interestingly, Safari scored 233 (and six bonus points) using this methodology.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.