When you talk about the future of the browser market, there are four products that will ultimately divide and share the overwhelming majority of users among them. These are Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3.0, Opera 9.5 and Safari 3. Neither of these browsers is wrapped up at this time, but all of them are rushing toward the finish line. And with the first beta of IE8 revealed to the public as of MIX08, in Las Vegas on March 5, 2008. We now have a complete picture of where the browser market is going. The future can be summarized via a rather simple equation, and can be defined today as: Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 vs. Firefox 3.0 Beta 3 vs. Opera 9.5 Beta vs. Safari 3 Beta.
The fact of the matter is that today you will be able to access a sneak peek of the future of the browser market via all these beta releases. And at this point in time, all the products mentioned above are on par in terms of support for Web standards taking into consideration the Acid2 Test. But of course, as of March 3, 2008, we can take all of them a step further. Long story short, while all the betas mentioned above pass the Acid2 test without any problems, the same cannot be said about Acid3. In fact, Acid3 slaughters all the browsers from IE8 Beta 1, to Firefox 3.0 Beta 3, to Opera 9.5 Beta and to Safari 3 Beta. Some more than the others.
"Acid3 goes beyond the CSS tests implemented by Acid2 and tests a browser's DOM Scripting capability, as well as continuing to probe visual rendering of CSS, SVG and webfonts. Further information can be found on the Acid3 page, in the press release, or you can just go ahead and take the test. We know that work is already underway based on the Acid3 previews, but time will tell which browser is the first to pass all 100 tests fully, and with default settings. This is going to be interesting," said Drew McLellan, Strategy Lead Web Standards Project.
Via the screenshots integrated at the bottom of this article, you will be able to see exactly what I mean when I say that Acid3 slaughters all of the beta versions of the currently available browsers. Opera 9.5 beta has performed the best scoring no less than a 64 out of 100 by default. Next comes Firefox 3.0 Beta 3 with 59 out of 100. Safari 3 Public beta managed a total of 39 out of 100. But Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 is nothing short of a disaster compared with its rivals, scoring a low of 17 out of 100.