Microsoft To Ditch Internet Explorer For ‘Spartan’ Browser?

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RIP Internet Explorer? Microsoft reportedly develops an entirely new web browser for Windows 10

Microsoft’s new operating system Windows 10, could include a brand new lightweight web browser codenamed “Spartan”.

The new web browser comes amid reports that the new desktop operating system will also include the Cortana personal assistant and a new Xbox app.

Spartan Browser

The new Spartan web browser will reportedly look-and-feel more like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, according to ZDnet. The report, citing unnamed sources, suggests that Spartan will not be a new version of Internet Explorer, but will instead be a totally new web browser. It will also be the default browser in Windows 10.

Browser hackThe new browser will also support extensions like Firefox and Chrome, but will still use Microsoft’s Chakra JavaScript engine and Microsoft’s Trident rendering engine. Spartan will be a web browser both for desktop and phone/tablet users.

The ZDNet report also cited Thomas Nigro, a Microsoft Student Partner lead and developer of the modern version of VLC, when he mentioned on Twitter earlier in December that he heard Microsoft was building a brand-new browser.

It is thought that Microsoft may reveal Spartan to the world on 21 January, when Redmond announces its next set of Windows 10 features.

And it seems that when Redmond releases the desktop version of Windows 10, it will include both the Spartan web browser, and Internet Explorer 11 “for backward-compatibility’s sake.” This could suggest that Microsoft may be considering dropping Internet Explorer altogether going forward.

Waning Power?

Internet Explorer was first included in Windows 95 back in 1995. Microsoft positioned it as a web browser rival to the then dominant web browser Netscape Navigator. It quickly overtook Netscape in terms of popularity, thanks to Microsoft’s controversial decision to include Internet Explorer in all its new operating systems.

That decision all but guaranteed Internet Explorer a leading position in the browser wars. Since 2009, Microsoft has been forced to offer European computer users a web browser choice on setup, placing browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox on the Internet set up page.

Indeed, it was only this month when Windows PCs in Europe didn’t have to offer rival web browsers to Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer when a new user sets up their machine.

Internet Explorer has also faced intense competition over the years as users migrate to different web browsers, with some users preferring the privacy options with Mozilla Firefox and others the speed of Google Chrome.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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