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Microsoft Spartan to replace Internet Explorer in Windows 10


Microsoft will finally scrap its infamous Internet Explorer browser as it will ship with a browser codenamed Project Spartan in Windows 10, reports Quartz India. Internet Explorer will continue to exist on Windows 10 for compatibility purposes, although it won’t be the default browser anymore.

Microsoft officially unveiled the ‘Spartan’ browser in January earlier this year. The new browser will sport features like a ‘Reading List” function that can sync content between devices, a “reading mode” that strips unnecessary formatting to improve legibility and Cortana integration among other things.

With this development, Microsoft has confirmed that the new browser will not be based on Internet Explorer or be a successor to it. Instead the company will scrap IE entirely and replace it with the new browser. Note that Spartan will use the ‘Edge’ layout engine, which has been forked from theTrident engine used for Internet Explorer. It’s not clear if the company will continue the development of ‘Trident’, but it is clear that the company wants to disassociate itself with anything related to Internet Explorer.

Interestingly, ‘Spartan’ will not support legacy technologies such as ActiveX and Browser Helper Objects, but will instead utilize an extension system. The browser will serve as the default browser on both the PC and mobile device versions of Windows 10. The new Edge engine will be used by default across Windows 10, although pages can be rendered in the previous engine for backwards compatibility with software.

Fall from grace:

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Internet Explorer held close to 70% of the market share in early 2009, which dropped closer to 18% by January this year. Google’s Chrome browser overtook Internet Explorer usage in May 2012 as IE’s market share continued to decline steadily in the market. Similarly, in India, Chrome and Firefox overtook IE users in July and August 2011 respectively. Currently, IE accounts for only about 9% of Indian users, while Firefox comes in second with 22.5% users and Chrome tops the list accounting for over 61.5% users.

Given these circumstances, it makes sense for Microsoft to completely disassociate with Internet Explorer and start fresh. A new platform unburdened by archaic technologies like ActiveX, complete with a new branding and cross platform compatibility, might help Microsoft finally regain some of its long lost market share.

Image source: Flickr user T.R.G.

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