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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?

Anthony Lee

Gamer since the NES era, computer nerd since 2001. Happily in a loving relationship with a happa who has been a gamer since the Sega Genesis era. Who says Sega does what Nintendon't?

  • Rasen

    >click the link
    >takes me to The Verge
    brb committing sudoku

  • Ten Penny

    If Microsoft has Cortana, Mac has Siri, then GNU/Linux needs GLaDOS.

  • StereotypicalBadger

    Internet Explorer is over. It’s not my browser. It doesn’t have to be yours. There is no ‘side’ to be on, there is no ‘debate’ to be had.

    There is what’s past and there is what’s now. There is the role you choose to play in what’s ahead.


  • dsadsada

    As a software tester who has had to work with the various versions of IE, I’m a bit mixed here.

    For one, good riddance. Early versions of IE were a mess and it was often way too damn slow. The fact that some people, mostly in Europe it seems, still use IE6 to 8 is an annoyance both myself and the web developers here have as it’s almost always IE that has the problem.

    But on the other hand, I’m a little sad. Yes, early versions of IE were shit. But come IE10 and IE11, you could see a lot of effort had gone into the browser. With the exception of not having extension support, it was close to on par with the other major browsers in its basic functionality. Even the jump from IE6 to IE7 was huge and sometimes it was nice for me to just see how much the browser improved over time. If nothing else, it was endearing.

    Well, not like I’ll actually be rid of it anytime soon. Not everyone will upgrade to Windows 10 just like that so we’ll still need to provide browser support for IE in our projects.

  • Bailey NaGeL

    If GLaDOS would be on linux, i would never switch from it, or dual boot it, in the faear that she might just fry my HDD….

  • MaskedCuccos

    “Internet Explorer Dead”
    Your title contradict your writing. Well, sort of.

  • cptk

    Is everything MS now develop named after something in Halo to help it seem cool?

  • Ten Penny

    It would be a “huge success”.

  • Well, good riddance. Haven’t used it for nearly 10 years. I am interested however if the new thing they are working on will be any good.

  • Montana

    Internet Explorer:
    Good for downloading better browsers.

  • Thadypus

    I use IE11 at home as my regular browser. Why? Because Chrome and Firefox are memory hogs and crash on me all the time.
    Sure, there was a time when IE was slow but, in my experience, it is faster on Windows 8 than any other browser.

  • Ben Jeanotte


  • Ben Jeanotte

    I favored IE the best for a very long time… but eventually it became too much of a security risk as it is prone to the most vulnerabilities and I’ve had it corrupted several times. Firefox works for me now, though it was a bit of a transition. Hopefully Spartan is not lame, but I’ve grown accustomed to firefox and its open-sources that allows me to install extensions that normal browsers might not let me.

    Anyhow, good luck, hope you find the browser of your dreams once IE is dead.

  • Ben Jeanotte

    IE had extensions, but they were called exclusively “plug-ins.” Granted IE used this term more broadly than the other browsers. Unfortunately trying to find custom plug-ins for IE was a virus-ridden adventure and there were few safe places to find quality plugins. While it was good that virtually anyone could create plugins for IE, and these plugins were not locked down by some exclusive webstore like Chrome-Extensions, it was also a bad thing. Hopefully Spartan can make use of some form of extensions while still allowing a variety of creators to make them.

  • Thadypus

    I’ll probably upgrade to Windows 10 and use whatever they come up with. First thing I’ll do is run a speed test to compare it to what I have now and all of my other options though.
    When I was using a wireless card (instead of a 75′ cable) I needed every bit of speed more than I cared about extensions. Now that my web browsing is significantly reduced overall, security really isn’t a concern for me. That is why I ended up with IE as my main browser on Windows 8 and why I’ll probably use the native system on Windows 10. Now, if only HBOGo would drop Flash and switch to Silverlight like Amazon instant streaming…

  • dsadsada

    Yeah, just realized there was a “Manage add-ons” tool in IE for toolbars and extensions.

    I’m anxiously awaiting Spartan’s arrival. Because I feel I’m going to find a lot of problems in its early days when we add it to our list of supported browsers. Here’s to hoping MS treats it with the love and more that they invested into late IE.