Microsoft Planning A New Browser
Written by Alex Armstrong   
Tuesday, 30 December 2014

There is a rumor, but with an impecable source, doing the rounds at the moment - Microsoft is going to introduce a new browser as part of Windows 10. 

IE is the browser we all love to hate, if only because of the terrible waste of time and effort IE6 caused. Of course IE10 and 11 aren't anywhere near as bad as IE6, and Microsoft has come a long way in making up for the damage, but IE still carries a lot of legacy baggage with it.

 windows10

Originally we were led to believe that project Spartan was the next release in the IE line of browsers, but now it seems that it is going to be a new and separate browser line. Of course, it would be mad for Microsoft to abandon all of the code that goes into implementing a browser and you can expect to see the Trident rendering engine and the Chakra JavaScript engine as part of the new browser. The idea, however, is that Spartan will be lightweight and an alternative to IE11. Mary Jo Foley has gathered most of the new information and according to her Windows 10 will ship with both Spartan and IE11 for backwards compatiblity. Also Spartan will ship on both desktop and phone/tablet. 

Few other details are available, apart from the suggestion that Spartan will have Chrome-like tabs and support extensions of an unspecified technology. Overall the rumor is that Spartan will look like more like Chrome and Firefox than IE. 

We probably should regard the "Spartan" code name as being part of the desire to make a small efficient browser - isn't this how every new browser starts out? For example, both Chrome and Firefox were once small and fast, but over time browsers simply acrete the clutter that is needed to support so many standards and options.

IE has a lot more clutter than most. As well as the standards that the others have to support, it has to be backward compatible with the "standards" that Microsoft thought up - most notably ActiveX. Could this be a chance for Microsoft to ditch all of its old browser technologies? If not, then it probably isn't taking full advantage of a restart. On the same lines, why stick with Trident and Chakra? It would be much cheaper in the long run to drop them in favor of open source engines. I doubt that Microsoft will go that far, but it should.

In the first instance at least, whatever Spartan turns out to be it will most likely be a rebranding exercise - if only to test the waters.

 

More Information

Microsoft is building a new browser as part of its Windows 10 push

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 December 2014 )