The Web Standards Project is an organisation which created the ACID tests as a benchmark for browser conformance and have recently released ACID3 which is designed to take into account modern “2.0” style sites as well.
The test sends data to the browser which does it’s best to render it correctly, it is then scored depending how close the browser gets to the ideal render.
If you know anything about browsers then you’ll be aware that Internet Explorer just doesn’t cut it; terrible security, slow rendering speeds etc on top of the fact that the most basic of concepts are poorly implemented … if at all.
Microsoft like to make out they are leaders and have made claims that IE8 will pass the ACID tests although it appears that so far IE5.5 is more compliant than their new offering.
The Safari browser from Apple recently became the most compliant of the browsers scoring an impressive 96%, but not to be out done Opera (who take great pride in being css compliant) have gone the whole hog producing the first builds of a 100% ACID compliant browser.
The build isn’t available for general use just yet as the forthcoming Opera 9.5 is due out soon but just the fact that a 100% pass is now public spurred Safari on to achieve 98%. Firefox 3 beta is trailing some at around the 70% mark which seems low by comparison but …
Are you on Internet Explorer right now? Take a guess at IEs pass level … 60%, 50%? … not even close
IE crawls in at an embarrassing 18%
Whilst we seem to live in a time where saying you’ll do something is as good as doing it, the web educates itself as it develops and it is only the fact people don’t know there are other browsers out there that Microsoft have any chance of surviving the browser wars.