Apple on speed?

Since when is speed the most important factor in a browser’s performance?

Safari 3 is the fastest browser running on Windows, rendering web pages up to twice as fast as IE 7 and up to 1.6 times faster than Firefox 2, based on the industry standard iBench tests.

Like others, I was a little underwhelmed by Apple’s WWDC conference. Safari for Windows was a surprise, but not the kind of wow I was hoping for. The big thing that is bugging me, though, is selling a browser on speed. Maybe that’s just because I’m a Mac user, but is IE or Firefox slow for most PC users? Do they feel slow?

I haven’t heard that from any of my friends who use PCs.

My only guess is that the average non-technical PC users junks up his PC (and his browser) with all kinds of plug-ins and toolbars – which could make IE feel slow. Safari will win that comparison simply by virtue of not being compatible with anyone’s toolbar.

But I doubt anyone on a reasonably modern PC with a fairly clean IE install is terribly worried about browser speed. I just don’t see it.

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  • Of course, I’m sure there are quite a few security issues that will shift those gears down a few notches. XP always runs quick when I first install it… and then comes the security patches and service packs! Chug… chug… chug…

  • PaperMario1989: I’m not saying speed isn’t important … just that I don’t think it’s a competitive advantage … because I haven’t heard Windows users complaining about it.

  • I spoke to a friend who works for Opera, and he said that those Speed tests are misleading. Opera, for example, uses an algorithm that displays text before all the images are loaded. While the whole page does load slower, the user experience is that he can start reading sooner.
    Another point my friend made was that apparently there might be a bug in Safari that tells the server it has finished loading images before they actually are fully loaded. When doing automated speed-tests this will of course give better results.
    So, I guess it is best to try all the browsers and see which one “feels” fastest.