Tests using Microsoft’s pending latest release of their Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) web browser indicate that it will be around five times faster than IE8 doing just about everything (running on Windows 7).
In test results published on the Microsoft IE9 test site [link], where eight sets of tests were run, the only other browser to match IE9’s speed was FireFox 3.6 and it only matched IE9 in one of the eight test sets. None of the other browsers tested—Opera v10, Apple Safari v4.05, and Google’s Chrome v4.1—managed to match IE9 in any of the eight test sets used on Windows 7.
In some cases IE9 ran the tests in half or a third of the time taken by the other browsers.
How does it do it? The answer is that, unlike IE8, IE9 heavily leverages hardware acceleration and especially the acceleration capabilities of multi-core CPUs and high performance video cards that tend to have capacity to spare in most modern computers. IE9 can generally do this better than other browsers because IE is tightly coupled to the Windows operating system.
Microsoft expect to squeeze out further speed improvements as they get IE9 ready for release.
No. I could not find the release date for IE9 but as it has now been released for public preview I would think that the final release is probably about three months away.
I should add that IE9 is not going to make your browsing any faster if the reason your browsing is going slow is mainly due to your Internet link and not the speed of the browser.