Microsoft is today touting a web performance study that found the software giant's latest browser, Internet Explorer 9, to be faster than the competition. The study was performed by New Relic, which captured 690,000 page views per minute of real-time performance data that came across an extensive network of sites and users.

"New Relic found that IE9 loaded pages, on average, half a second faster than both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox," Microsoft's Ryan Gavin wrote in a post to the Exploring IE Blog. "New Relic's findings mirror the results from web performance experts at Strangeloop, who in January found that IE9 and Firefox were both about 5% faster than Chrome at loading real websites."

The following chart pretty much summarizes the findings, though I'm a bit curious that IE 10 faired so poorly:

fastest_browsers

Two comments about browser performance.

First, in my own admittedly non-scientific tests, I find that all the major browsers--IE, Chrome, and Firefox--"perform" similarly and that in real world use, you won't actually notice that one is faster than the others. What makes browsers more or less efficient is, I think, a better barometer at this time. For example, one of the things I can't stand about Firefox is that it doesn't auto-complete text you type in the address bar like IE and Chrome do. It just makes the browser less usable to me. 

Second, since moving to Microsoft's web-based email services, I've been using IE more and more. In fact, if you examine my Wakoopa profile, you'll find that IE isn't just my most-used browser, it's one of my most-frequently-used apps overall. I like IE, use IE, and think it performs very well. And that's as true of IE 10 on Windows 8 as it is of IE 9 on Windows 7.