It’s not just Microsoft that’s building a new JavaScript engine for Internet Explorer 9, as Mozilla is doing the same for Firefox 4.0. With IE9’s codename Chakra, the Redmond company indicated a strong focus on providing the world’s fastest browser, constantly improving its Webkit Sunspider JavaScript results from one Platform Preview release to another.

As of Platform Preview 3 Build, IE9 reduced the difference that separates it from Opera 10.6 and Chrome 6.0 to less than 100 milliseconds. This considering the fact that throughout the development of Internet Explorer 9 so far, the software giant emphasized that it was yet to introduce Sunspider focused enhancements.

However, while Opera and Chrome were still the fastest browsers in Sunspider in the second half of June when the Redmond company performed the tests, the preview version of Firefox 4.0 lagged IE9.

Although in the public’s perception, Firefox has IE beat hands down in terms of performance, the tables are turned this time around. It is now the turn of Firefox 4.0 to play catch-up to Internet Explorer 9. In this regard, Mozilla is hard at work building a new JavaScript engine to replace the existing one, dubbed Tracemonkey.

“On July 12th, JägerMonkey officially crossed TraceMonkey on the v8 suite of benchmarks. Yay! It’s not by a lot, but this gap will continue to widen, and it’s an exciting milestone,” revealed Mozilla’s David Anderson. “(…)Over the next six weeks, we’ll be polishing JägerMonkey in order to land by September 1st.”

The date offered by Anderson is extremely important to Mozilla. On September 1st, JägerMonkey is planned for integration into Firefox 4.0, which from that moment onward will feature a brand new JS engine. Of course, barely outpacing Tracemonkey is not really a task to brag about, but Mozilla is bound to improve Firefox 4.0’s performance.

Moving onward it will be extremely interesting to watch how IE9, Chrome, Opera and Firefox race against each other and with the milliseconds for the position of fastest browser worldwide.

Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) Platform Preview 3 Build is available for download here.

Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 is available for download here.

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