some recent internal WebXPRT 4 Preview
testing, we discovered that the WebXPRT 4 Preview does not run in Internet
Explorer (IE) 11. In fact, before the first workload begins in IE, the WebXPRT
4 built-in WebAssembly (WASM) check fails and produces an error message.
reason we haven’t tested WebXPRT 4 on IE 11 before now is that Internet
Explorer is currently in its end-of-life phase. Microsoft has been removing
support for IE 11 in Microsoft 365 and other apps for some time, they did not
include the desktop version of IE 11 in Windows 11, and they are removing support for IE 11
in Windows 10 on June 15, 2022. Among Windows users, the most popular browsers
are now Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox.
proud that WebXPRT has historically had broad, cross-platform compatibility in
almost any browser. However, the modern web is rapidly incorporating powerful
tools such as WASM that do not work in older legacy browsers. To maintain the
benchmark’s relevance in future years, we need to deprioritize some level of
legacy compatibility, and this begins with WebXPRT 4 release.
the WebXPRT testers who wish to continue testing with IE 11, WebXPRT 3 will remain
on our site for the foreseeable future. Barring any further changes from
Microsoft, the benchmark should continue to run in existing instances of the Internet
Explorer desktop app.
The official WebXPRT 4 launch is approaching, and we hope to announce the release date within the next few weeks! Until that time, we will continue to share the latest updates here in the blog. If you have any questions or comments about WebXPRT 4 or compatibility with legacy browsers, please feel free to contact us!
Last week, we discussed the upcoming Windows 11 GA launch on October 5, and our hope is that the transition period from Windows 10 to Windows 11 will go smoothly for the three XPRTs that run on Windows 10, HDXPRT 4, TouchXPRT 2016, and AIXPRT. We’re happy to report that so far, we’ve been able to install HDXPRT 4 and TouchXPRT 2016 on the latest stable preview of Windows 11 without any problems. For TouchXPRT 2016, we successfully installed the benchmark using both available methods—directly from the Microsoft Store and through the manual sideload process—and ran it without issues.
still testing Windows 11 compatibility with the AIXPRT OpenVINO, TensorFlow,
and TensorRT test packages, and will share our findings here in the blog as
soon as possible. Also, because Microsoft might still publish through the
stable preview channel Windows 11 changes that interfere with the HDXPRT 4 or
TouchXPRT 2016 installation or testing processes, we’ll continue to verify each
benchmark’s Windows 11 compatibility up through and beyond launch day.
you’re conducting your own HDXPRT 4, TouchXPRT 2016, or AIXPRT testing on the
Windows 11 beta, you could encounter issues with newly published updates before
we do due to the timing of our update cycles. You could also run into problems
that are specific to your test gear. In either case, please don’t assume that
we already know about the problem. Let us know!
We’re in the very early planning stages for the next version of TouchXPRT, and we’d love to hear any suggestions you may have. What do you like or dislike about TouchXPRT? What features do you hope to see in a new version?
For those who are unfamiliar with TouchXPRT, it’s a benchmark for evaluating the performance of Windows 10 devices. TouchXPRT 2016, the most recent version, runs tests based on five everyday scenarios (Beautify Photos, Blend Photos, Convert Videos for Sharing, Create Music Podcast, and Create Slideshow from Photos) and produces results for each of the five scenarios plus an overall score. The benchmark is available two ways: as a Universal Windows App in the Microsoft Store and as a sideload installer package on TouchXPRT.com.
When we begin work on a new version of any benchmark, one of the first steps we take is to assess its workloads to determine whether they will provide value during the years ahead. This step involves evaluating whether to update test content such as photos and videos to more contemporary file resolutions and sizes, and can also involve removing workloads or adding completely new ones. Should we keep the TouchXPRT workloads listed above or investigate other use cases? Should we research potential AI-related workloads? What do you think?
As we did with MobileXPRT 3 and HDXPRT 4 earlier this year, we’re also planning to update the TouchXPRT UI to improve the look of the benchmark and make it easier to use. We’re just at the beginning of this process, so any feedback you send has a chance to really shape the future of the benchmark.
On a related note, TouchXPRT 2016 testers who use the installer package available on TouchXPRT.com may have noticed that the package has a new file name (TX2016.6.52.0_8.19.19.zip). Microsoft requires developers to assign a security certificate to all sideload apps, and the new TouchXPRT file contains a refreshed certificate. We did not change the benchmark in any other way, so scores from this package are comparable to previous TouchXPRT 2016 scores.
WebXPRT is one of the go-to benchmarks for evaluating browser performance, so we’re always interested in browser development news. Recently, Microsoft created a development channel where anyone can download early versions of an all-new Microsoft Edge browser. Unlike previous versions of Edge, Microsoft constructed the new browser using the Chromium open-source project, the same foundation underlying the Google Chrome browser and Chrome OS.
One interesting aspect of the new Edge development strategy is the changes that Microsoft is making to more than 50 services that Chromium has included. If you use Chrome daily, you’ve likely become accustomed to certain built-in services such as ad block, spellcheck, translate, maps integration, and form fill, among many others. While each of these is useful, a large number of background services running simultaneously can slow browsing and sap battery life. In the new Edge, Microsoft is either reworking each service or removing it altogether, with the hope of winning users by providing a cleaner, faster, and more power-efficient experience. You can read more about Microsoft’s goals for the new project on the Microsoft Edge Insider site.
As we’ve discussed before, many factors contribute to the speed of a browsing experience and its WebXPRT score. It’s too early to know how the new Microsoft Edge will stack up against other browsers, but when the full version comes out of development, you can be sure that we’ll be publishing some comparison scores. I’ve installed the Dev Channel version of Edge on my personal machine and run WebXPRT 3. While I can’t publish the scores from this early version, I can tell you that the results were interesting. Have you run WebXPRT 3 on the new Microsoft Edge? How do you think it compares to competitors? We’d love to hear your thoughts.