Decent performance (finally) coming to Internet Explorer

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As a Web startup, we have some sort of love-hate relationship with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. And while things have taken a turn for the better starting with IE9, even their most recent release (IE11) lags in terms of features and performance.

That being said, we appreciate Microsoft’s newly found openness when it comes to sharing development updates with the Web developer community. If you haven’t checked out https://status.modern.ie yet, you should occasionally do so (or do so again). It’s the place where the IE team shares (some of) its plans concerning IE’s (and Spartan’s) future.

One of the features in there may sound fairly geekish, but is actually worth this dedicated blog post: asm.js.

Asm.js is a technology that was invented by Mozilla (the non-profit organization that develops the Firefox browser). In layman’s terms, asm.js is a subset of Javascript (the programming language within which client-side Web applications are coded) geared at stellar performance.

In fact, we use asm.js to optimize the performance of clipchamp on Firefox (which is the only browser fully supporting asm.js to date). If you would like to get an idea of what massive impact asm.js makes (performance-wise), run the same video conversion on the same computer in Internet Explorer (clipchamp supports version 11) and Firefox.

Hence, we were extremely pleased to see Microsoft finally announcing asm.js in upcoming releases of Internet Explorer (or Spartan). Let’s hope that Microsoft also finds a smart way to battle another IE-specific phenomenon that haunts any Web developer.

Some organizations are somewhat lackluster when it comes to upgrading their corporate deployments of Internet Explorer to an even modestly recent version and Microsoft has done little to enforce those upgrades.

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It’s not unheard of to find IE8 alive and kicking in government and corporate offices alike. Not to mention the dreaded IE6, which came with Windows XP and has since redefined the meaning of “software defect”.

IE6, IE7, and IE8 date back to the grim days when Microsoft dominated the browser market and come with all sorts of proprietary technologies that have nothing to do with modern Web standards. In fact, this is why clipchamp runs on Internet Explorer 11, but not on any older version.

If you are an Internet Explorer user who cannot currently switch to another browser (preferably Google Chrome), rejoice! The next Internet Explorer version comes to the rescue and makes using clipchamp more fun!

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