To make his point, LePage, who works on the Internet Explorer team, showed the results of an analysis of four sample Web sites that were studied by the IE developer team. Two were Excel Web applications, and two were unnamed news sites.
Perhaps most notably, the browser will also be able to offload visual rendering duties to GPUs (graphics processing units).
To demonstrate the speed of the new browser, LePage put it through the SunSpider paces, comparing it to the speed of IE8 under the same test. The IE8 browser took about 3800 milliseconds to complete the benchmark. In contrast, Platform Preview 2 had executed the test in under 500 milliseconds. This beats the scores of both Firefox 3.6 and 3.7, LePage noted.
Then, LePage showed the same demonstration in Google Chrome, “which isn’t compiling the code” he said, and wasn’t using hardware-assisted acceleration. This same page struggled along at about 2 FPS.
LePage also talked about how compliant IE9 would be with the nest generation HTML5 and related set of Web standards now being developed. In his keynote earlier this week, Bob Muglia, Microsoft president of software and tools, proclaimed that IE9 would support HTML5. LePage offered a more nuanced view of that statement, though.
The browser would support much of HTML5, LePage said, though he would not say definitively that IE9 would support all of the specification, mainly because the specification is still in a state of flux. The current specification for HTML5, when printed out, is over 1,100 pages, up from 900 pages in February, he said.
“We’re putting as much effort into making sure we get as much HTML5 support as we can,” he said, noting that it is still be revised, and will be for some time.
LePage also would not comment on if IE9 would support Canvas, or when the final release date of IE9 would be.
LePage plans to post a copy of his presentation slides on his blog.