Though the project is in its early stages, Microsoft has already pooh-poohed it. "Like all micro-benchmarks, RoboHornet is a lab test that only focuses on specific aspects of browser performance," wrote Roger Capriotti, director of Internet Explorer Marketing.
However, the folks behind the RoboHornet project don't consider it a micro-benchmark. "Although RoboHornet's benchmarks are small and specially made, they are different from a 'micro-benchmark' because they are directly motivated by real-world performance pain points and are designed to evolve over time as the browser landscape evolves," according the project's FAQ page.
Microsoft's dismissal of the benchmark didn't stop the company from using it to build its own benchmark, dubbed RoboHornet Pro, which uses "modern browser capabilities like CSS3 Animations, CSS3 Transforms, CSS3 Text Shadows, custom WOFF fonts, Unicode, Touch, and more" to test Web performance "in the context of a real-world scenario," Capriotti wrote.
Surprise, surprise, Microsoft reported that Internet Explorer 10 passed the RoboHornet Pro test with flying colors, while Chrome "[slowed] to a crawl and stops animating the screen, because it wasn't designed to handle a benchmark load in the context of a real-world scenario."
Tom's Hardware, meanwhile, put RoboHornet through its paces in a series of tests of the various supported browsers on Windows 7, Windows 8 RTM, OS X Mountain Lion, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and Android. Cutting right to the chase, Chrome beat out IE9, Opera, and Firefox when run on Windows 7 64-bit. IE10 trounced Chrome and company on Windows 8 RTM 64-bit. Safari came out on top when Mac OS X was the platform of choice. On Ubuntu, Chrome was again the winner, topping Opera and Firefox.
The caveat to these results: RoboHornet is still in alpha and already has plenty of reported issues. It will be a matter of time before we know whether it will become a de facto benchmark for browser performance.
This story, "Microsoft dismisses Google's open source browser benchmark," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.