Windows Phone 7: Internet Explorer Chases iPhone Performance
As Microsoft continues to prepare Windows Phone 7 for launch in late 2010, there are signs that Microsoft’s latest smart phone effort trails rivals in at least one key area: Web browser performance. Here’s why.
In order to stir demand and buzz around Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is giving all of its employees the smart phone for free. In the meantime, YouTube-er NewsGeekCoil had some unique hands on time with a Samsung Windows Phone 7 phone and showed that the browser — arguably the heart of any mobile phone — is far from being ready for prime-time.
Of course, we need to keep the video in perspective: Windows Phone 7 isn’t generally available yet, so it’s a bit premature to say just how well the phone’s browser ultimately will perform.
Still, the video caught our attention. It shows the loading of NYTimes.com on an iPhone 4 and the Samsung Windows Phone 7. Both phones are running on 3G. At a time when many mobile browsers are moving to the WebKit base (Apple, HP/Palm, Google, and yes, even RIM) Microsoft remains steadfast on using Internet Explorer as the backbone for their mobile browser…and it shows.
Text, which is the feature of nearly every website, loads in the slowest on the Windows phone, with some images popping in first before the halfway point of loading the web page. The iPhone 4 — at the halfway point — as loaded all the text already, and remaining images begin to pop in. The time until the front page is actual readable is merely two seconds on the iPhone, while it takes an additional 10 seconds on the Windows Phone 7 browser. In a twist of irony, the iPhone 4 actually loads up the ZuneHD mobile page faster than the Windows phone, too.
The user of the video claims that this is still an early prototype, so we’re curious to see if browser performance improves once Windows Phone 7 becomes commercially available.