Add-ons: Feedback on Add-on Performance Advisor

October 7th, 2010

Typically in blog posts we focus on the negative feedback we’ve heard, and the changes we make in the product as a result. In this post, we’re going to do something a little different. Below, we share the public feedback about the add-on performance advisor that we’ve heard, as well as some comments that show how aligned we are as an industry around performance.

From the Houston Chronicle:

One of the most interesting features of IE9 is its improved ability to manage browser add-ons.… You can turn all or some of them off, and you’ll like how much faster IE launches when you do.

From PC World:

IE 9 will also check to see if any add-ons you’ve installed are slowing down your browser’s startup time.  If any are, it will notify you once it opens.  Thanks to this feature, I realized that I had some add-ons installed that I didn’t even know were there. This check by IE9 is a fairly small addition, but it’s a welcome one.

From Computer World (emphasis added):

When you run add-ons in a browser, they can slow down your browser’s performance.  IE9 has tackled that problem with a new feature that other browsers would do well to emulate.  If IE9 detects that you’ve got add-ons that might slow down your browser, it pops open a notification bar at the bottom of your screen…This is an excellent feature that Mozilla, in particular, should consider adding. Power users often wonder what kind of performance hit Firefox takes because of its add-ons.

From Engadget (emphasis added):

We can’t tell you enough how much of a difference the new “Add-on Performance Advisor” tool makes.  You remember how we mentioned all those PC manufacturers that preload IE with toolbars and thus slow down the browser?  Well, the first time you boot up IE9 a small notification appears on the bottom asking if you’d like to “speed up browsing and startup” by disabling them all.  It’s like a miracle come true: you don’t have to go searching to disable them and it tells you how much time each of them adds to the browser start-up time.

From Download Squad (emphasis added):

A lot of the Internet Explorer users that I support wind up with a handful of toolbars and search add-ons installed — and they rarely know how it happened.  A good number of those add-ons make IE needlessly slow, and they can be downright irritating.  Older versions already featured a simple interface to manage and disable add-ons, but IE9 takes things a step further.  It will alert users when a new add-on installs and offer to intervene once total “add-on time” exceeds a specified number of seconds.  As you can see, even Microsoft’s own add-ons can cause a great deal of startup lag — but Internet Explorer 9 is happy to disable them for you with minimal fuss.

From another Computerworld article (emphasis added):

Add-ons can add a lot of overhead to browser load time and browsing time.  Load down your browser with enough of them, and no matter the browser’s basic speed, it can become sluggish.  IE9 has a very nice feature that automatically warns you via a pop-up when your add-ons increase load time and browsing time, and let you disable them.

And finally, from Steve Souders, noted web performance expert at Google:

It’s great to see how aligned we are as an industry around performance. The easiest news articles to write involve conflicts and disagreements, so you may not read in the news about engineers agreeing. For example, in this video “Every Millisecond Counts,” you can hear folks at Google emphatically agree with us about the importance of every fraction of a second, whether it’s the first time the user does something or the hundredth. Similarly, in this video (starting around the 28 second mark), you can see how we agree that extensions shouldn’t crowd out what’s most important: the web page the user is visiting.

Paul Cutsinger
Lead Program Manager for Fundamentals