Microsoft kicked off a HTML5 mobile browser war on Wednesday after demonstrating its Internet Explorer 9 mobile for Windows Phone.
Joe Belfiore, Director of the Windows Phone program, demonstrated Internet Explorer 9 mobile against Apple’s iPhone 4 and Google’s Samsung Nexus S devices at the MIX11 developer conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Belfiore used a HTML5 speed reading demo from Microsoft’s own ietestdrive.com site. The demo ran at around 20 FPS on Windows Phone “Mango” and 11 FPS on the Android Nexus S device. Despite having a five second head start, the iPhone 4 crawled along at 2 FPS and failed to finish in time. Google’s Android device finished in second place behind Windows Phone’s Internet Explorer 9.
Microsoft’s demonstration will put pressure on both Apple and Google to respond. Internet Explorer 9 mobile will be identical to Microsoft’s desktop browser according to the company and will allow Windows Phone to take advantage of the latest advances in web technologies, including HTML5. Microsoft will also ship a Silverlight runtime inside of IE9 mobile. Microsoft originally unveiled Internet Explorer 9 mobile at Mobile World Congress in February and plans to ship it as part of its “Mango” Windows Phone platform update later this year.