Given that, you'd expect anything other than Safari on one of Apple's operating systems to run as slow as molasses. And Leonhard's initial tests supported that point. Pitting Google's new Chrome browser against Safari on his iPad 2 with iOS 5.1.1, Safari scored 1,722 milliseconds on the benchmark, versus Chrome's 7,224 ms. That's four times as long.
But when Leonhard switched to an older MacBook Pro running OX X 10.7.4 and Safari 5.1.5 to run the benchmark, it clocked in at 185 ms. “That's quick, and it makes the iPad look positively pokey,” he noted. That's not a typo, folks; Safari operates at one-tenth the speed on the iPad as it does on the MacBook Pro.
This result made Leonhard curious about other browsers on other systems. How would they measure up? For instance, how quickly would Google's beta version of Chrome for the Metro side of Windows 8 finish the benchmark? Using a test desktop, Leonhard ran the SunSpider 0.9.1 benchmark on Metro Chrome (remember, it's still in beta) and came back with a result of 196 ms. That's “within spitting distance of Safari running on full-blown OS X,” Leonhard noted.
The biggest surprise was yet to come, however. Remember, the SunSpider 0.9.1 benchmark is just one test, and can be assumed to favor Apple products. So it shouldn't deliver better times for Microsoft products, right? Well, Leonhard decided to put it to the ultimate test: a beta Microsoft browser (Metro IE10) on a beta Microsoft operating system (Windows 8). The result: 155 ms. That's right, the beta Microsoft browser blew them all out of the water.
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