September 10, 2010

wrong, wrong, wrong

Microsoft misleads's Michael Muchmore into writing fiction about Firefox in the article Microsoft: IE9's Graphics Acceleration Better Than Chrome and Firefox.

Show did this happen? It started when the the IE blog said "Based on their blog posts, the hardware-accelerated implementations of other browsers generally accelerate [rendering or compositing] but not yet both." and "Today, IE9 is the first and only browser to deliver full hardware acceleration of all HTML5 content."

(Did that MS guy somehow miss our blog post that said pretty much exactly opposite?)

From those misleading and simply wrong statements, one could see where Michael Muchmore was led astray, though his headline is a bit of a stretch given that MS never explicitly calls out Firefox.

But what's really strange is that Michael's own testing pretty much disproves Microsoft's claim (or proves it wasn't Firefox that Microsoft was referring to) but Michael is unwilling to say that explicitly in his article, He does note that Firefox is neck and neck with IE, even beating it on some of Microsoft's own acceleration tests, but nowhere does he challenge the premise of the article, that Firefox hardware acceleration isn't complete. Didn't he just not realize as he typed it that Firefox and IE were at near parity and in a completely different league than Chrome?

The Microsoft blog post is misleading and wrong and the PCMag article is also wrong along with the added benefit of being somewhat confused.

The facts are that Firefox takes advantage of the same Windows 7 APIs that Microsoft does to accelerate both the compositing and the rendering of Web content and that Mozilla provided test builds of Firefox, for folks like you, me, and Michael Muchmore, with this hardware acceleration well before Microsoft did.

We are faster and we were first.

But here's the even cooler part. Firefox goes one step further and accelerates for Windows XP users too -- something Microsoft says they can't do. So, for all their hand-waiving about the difficulties of multi-platform acceleration that, according to them the other browser vendors face, it seems Microsoft are the ones struggling to support even their most popular Windows version. If Mozilla can accelerate browsing for the hundreds of millions of PC users on Microsoft's Windows XP, why can't Microsoft? And why are they spreading FUD about Firefox when we beat them not just on the latest and greatest Windows 7 but on Windows XP where a majority of their users are today?

As for the Chrome supporters claiming that Chrome 6 wasn't the right version to test, that it's Chrome 7 that's got acceleration, yes, Chrome 7 preview builds do accelerate compositing, (6 did with a pref switch) but Microsoft is mostly right about Chrome in their blog post. Compositing is only part of the puzzle and with just that part it won't be as fast across the board as IE and Firefox -- even Chrome 7.

update: Go read what roc wrote.

Posted by asa at 9:07 PM