Spartan-New Browser from Windows

Windows 10 will have a new browser that’s not Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s venerable but often despised web browser, may be on its way out.

Thomas Nigro, a Microsoft Student Partner lead and developer of the modern version of VLC, mentioned on Twitter earlier this month that he heard Microsoft was building a brand-new browser. Nigro said he heard talk of this during a December episode of the LiveTile podcast. Hi twetted,

Ok so Microsoft is about to launch a new browser that’s not Internet Explorer and will be the default browser in Windows 10. Wow.

Spartan is still going to use Microsoft’s Chakra JavaScript engine and Microsoft’s Trident rendering engine (not WebKit), sources say. As Neowin’s Brad Sams reported back in September, the coming browser will look and feel more like Chrome and Firefox and will support extensions. Sams also reported Monday that Microsoft has two different versions of Trident in the works, which also seemingly supports the claim that the company has two different Trident-based browsers.


Microsoft is due to reveal many of the new features in Windows 10 at a Jan. 21 event in the company’s hometown of Redmond, Washington. Spartan may make its formal debut there, but the general release of Windows 10 isn’t expected until the fall, so it may come at a later date. Windows 10 (at least the desktop version) will ship with both Spartan and IE 11. IE 11 will be there for backward-compatibility’s sake. Spartan will be available for both desktop and mobile (phone/tablet) versions of Windows 10.

Rebranding the official Windows browser makes a great deal of sense. Internet Explorer has a poor reputation among developers and users, much of it rooted in Microsoft’s traditional preference for proprietary tools over open standards. Although that stance has changed considerably since the early days of IE, the stigma is so great that Microsoft recently made an ad explaining that the browser’s poor reputation isn’t deserved.

In addition, the longtime head of IE, Dean Hachamovitch, left Microsoft earlier in December.

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