Ding dong, Internet Explorer is dead. Well, sort of. Microsoft is planning to ditch the iconic browser bundled with Windows in favor of a new browser dubbed “Project Spartan” in upcoming Windows 10. Like it or loathe it, the blue “e” was bound for a retirement.
Like many others, I’ve also used Internet Explorer as the tool to download another web browser. Many of us have been there, foregoing Microsoft’s solution in favor of something more pleasant. Present day Internet Explorer isn’t that bad compared to the versions many have grown accustomed to. It is, however, still very far behind the curve. How far behind? Frequent users of common alternative browsers Chrome and Firefox may not even be aware that Internet Explore lacks support for extensions. There is also that pesky reputation problem.
Jokes aside, Internet Explorer still holds 60% of the market share, which can be attributed to Internet Explorer 8. It’s been years since Internet Explorer 6 was relevant, but some reputations are hard to shake. Big bad Redmond not only wants to regain lost market share, but to further integrate Internet Explorer to its ecosystem. We’re not talking the old integration where it was neigh impossible to be rid of the browser, we’re talking working seamlessly with other Microsoft devices. Apple has Siri, Microsoft has Cortana – Project Spartan is to have Cortana functionality built in. Another added feature is web page annotation which could prove nifty.
Cortana support is interesting, it’ll pop up on relevant pages where they are their most helpful. Need directions to somewhere important, have a hot date and need restaurant info stat? No problem! Also useful for travel arrangements and various other neat things. This isn’t your dad’s Internet Explorer with the millions of separate windows and a dozen toolbars. Project Spartan is an effort to make your out of the box browser remain your default.
For any curious readers, you can check out screenshots of this new project browser for yourselves. HTML5 compliance was less enthusiastic, but take this with a grain of salt as the source is Chinese and that Project Spartan isn’t a finished build to properly conclude anything performance related just yet.
Change can be a good thing. In this case, a more modern compliant web browser seems suitable for the first version of Windows that wants to unify its ecosystem. If you’re an old cat, Internet Explorer still lingers on. Within certain versions of Windows 10, Internet Explorer will be included to ease corporate worry. It’s currently unknown what Project Spartan will be officially named, but it’s clear Microsoft wants to shake off any previous reputation to start clean. What is known is that Project Spartan is to be the default web browser of Windows 10 and that certain versions will still include Internet Explorer for enterprise purposes.
This may result in re-teaching your parents/grandparents how to get online without that familiar blue letter, but we’ll adapt. What are your thoughts on Microsoft semi-retiring their browser for a new one?