Internet Explorer 8 is ninth in a list of 10 browsers that have been tested for speed, with the previous version of Microsoft's browser - IE 7 - coming last. This list arrives from 3D-graphics specialist Futuremark.
The duo went up against a familiar field that included the latest available editions (some still in beta) of Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
Top of the table was Safari 4.0, with the Chrome 184.108.40.206 beta and Chrome 220.127.116.11 coming second and third respectively. The closest Firefox, which has been growing steadily and taking market share from IE, came to the top was version 3.5b4 beta.
The figures follow Microsoft's own attempts to sell the recently released IE 8 on the basis of its speed. A company video released in March claimed IE8 was three times as fast as Firefox when it came to loading web pages and one third quicker than Chrome.
According to the IE 8 team that involved tuning JScript - Microsoft's implementation of the ECMAscript language - for faster string, array, and lookups. Also, there were changes to the core architecture to reduce the cost of functions calls, the creation of objects, and lookup patterns.
Microsoft has explained the changes in terms of making the user more productive.