Top 3 Internet Browsers for Windows 8 and Metro Support

[Update : 23rd Nov, 2012] If you want to know the browser benchmarks comparison in Windows 8 and find out which works best, you ought to read this article on Windows 8 vs Windows 7 comparison.

The traditional internet browsers in Windows 7 – IE, FF & Chrome can be effectively used altogether for multiple purposes. With the advent of Windows 8, the question arises whether which browser serves our purpose in this Metro world.

Let’s see the review of the top-most browsers for Windows 8.

1.   Internet Explorer :  The latest version in 8 is code-named as IE10. It plays a dual role by running both in Metro and in the traditional desktop view. IE10 has vastly improved in speed and performance. It supports various new web technologies like HTML5 and CSS3.  It’s the underlying engine that runs Metro style applications based on HTML5 and Javascript.

IE 10 on Windows 8 device

PCMag points out the HTML5 benchmarks for IE10.  The HTML5Test.com site, reports a score for the browser based on how many HTML5 features it supports. Along with it it gives some bonus points if non-standard-specific extras like video codecs are also supported.

The benchmark results of HTML5Test.com test show that IE 10 scores 319 points out of 500 and 6 bonus points. Though this is less compared to the popularity gaining browser, which scores 414 points and 13 bonus points, its still the improvement from IE9 that is to be observed here. IE9 only scores 138 and 5 bonus points.

But on the negative side, the cons are that IE10 for Windows 8 cannot update Flash manually.

But if you’re using Internet Explorer 10 on any version of Windows 8, including the RTM bits available via MSDN or TechNet and the enterprise preview, you are at risk. You cannot manually update the version of Flash baked into IE 10. Only Microsoft can do that.

[Source : www.zdnet.com]

IE10 will soon be available for Windows 7. It will not be supported in Vista and XP.

2.   Firefox : Mozilla recently released the new Firefox metro browser for the new Windows 8. Since the software is in early stages, its still early to say whether the Metro Firefox browser is free from bugs and glitches. It is said that the new Metro Firefox browser is going to support both Metro UI and desktop experience.  This is basically developed for x86 systems and x64 systems are going to face some problems when they use it.

According to Mozilla’s blog, the Firefox Metro preview includes ‘a new Metro style Firefox Start page, support for Firefox Sync, Metro touch and swipe gestures, integration with Windows 8 ‘charms’, and a simple but powerful Australis interface that is streamlined, modern, and beautiful’.”

Arstechnnica.com tested the Firefox Metro Browser for different benchmarks on 4 different tests – SunSpider, Google Octane, and Peacekeeper & a Microsoft HTML5 test known as Chalkboard. You can see the results of the benchmarks for Nightly build of Firefox 18 and comparison with other browsers like IE10 & Chrome in the article here. But with Firefox 15, the results are like this.

Firefox 15 on the Windows 8 tablet did SunSpider in 345.4ms, scored 4,653 on Google Octane, and did the Microsoft ChalkBoard test in 279.78 seconds. Firefox 15 was able to finish PeaceKeeper, coming up with a score of 1,307.

There is no Flash video support, and the page load lag time is more in the Nightly Firefox.

Firefox "Nightly" version app in Windows 8

3.   Chrome : Google has confirmed that it will release a Metro Version of Chrome for Windows 8. The dev channel update went live around June 12, 2012 and now we have reached a stable version of Chrome 22. So let’s see how Chrome lives up to the expectations on Windows 8 Metro mode.

Google hasn’t made any mega changes to the Windows 8 mode version of Chrome, apart from few Metro-specific tweaks. These tweaks include like leaving the app bar which is accessed by hitting the “Win + Z” keys. Instead, a menu bar pops up at the top right that includes all the settings that you require.

Metro version of Google Chrome

The interesting feature is that the Chrome version of Metro has retained traditional tab browsing. This is in contrary to IE10 where you have to bring down a giant black bar menu that features all your tabs. The simplicity of Chrome cannot be ignored.

Just like in IE10, Flash is built into the metro version of Chrome. Its very easy to fix any security loop holes that crop up in Flash, as Google can push out regular updates to Chrome that also takes care of Flash.

You can also see a YouTube which compares the 3 internet browsers in Windows 8 – IE10, Firefox Aurora & Chrome Beta. Chrome version of Metro has arrived lately, so that will still improve in the coming versions.

Comparison of Internet Browsers on Windows 8 as of 15th, Sep – 2011

Do you have any experiences with the top 3 internet browsers for Windows 8 ? What is your tablet and desktop experience in Windows 8 with different web browsers? Let us know in the comments your feedback on the above benchmarks and review.

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