Farewell, Internet Explorer
August marks the twentieth anniversary of Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s flagship web browser. On the eve of such an anniversary, many were caught off-guard at the end of March when Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer would take a backseat to a new browser—tentatively titled Project Spartan. Die-hard fans of IE shouldn’t worry quite yet, as Microsoft noted that Project Spartan will serve as an alternative to Internet Explorer, rather than as a replacement.
What can we expect?
So far, information on Project Spartan is still being kept under wraps. According to The Register, a Microsoft spokesperson stated, “Project Spartan is Microsoft’s next generation browser, built just for Windows 10…We will continue to make Internet Explorer available with Windows 10 for enterprises and other customers who require legacy support.”
One promising aspect of Project Spartan is that it will use a new rendering engine, new user interface, and support for extensions, much like Google’s Chrome browser. For example, this means that Project Spartan will not support legacy technologies such as ActiveX and Browser Helper Objects. Spartan will also integrate with Cortana, Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistant, similar to Apple’s Siri.
According to one report, Project Spartan functions more quickly than Internet Explorer, placing it on the same performance levels as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
When will Spartan be made available?
Since a release date for Windows 10 hasn’t even been made official, there is no release date for Internet Explorer’s new sibling Spartan. In fact, Microsoft hasn’t even released a Windows 10 Technical Preview containing Spartan to developers. Currently, Spartan’s only incarnation is a rendering engine for Spartan available as an option within Internet Explorer. So, if you’re a little nervous about being thrown into a new web browser from Microsoft, don’t worry—Spartan is still a ways off.