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Microsoft reveals Windows 10 will ship with two browsers

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Spartan and Internet Explorer

Microsoft unveiled its new Windows 10 browser, codenamed Spartan, at a press event yesterday, but the company didn’t discuss the fate of Internet Explorer. While Spartan is a new modern browser, Internet Explorer isn’t going away just yet. In a blog post detailing some of the changes with Spartan, Microsoft confirms that Windows 10 will ship with two browsers. "We recognize some enterprises have legacy web sites that use older technologies designed only for Internet Explorer, such as custom ActiveX controls and Browser Helper Objects," says Jason Weber, program manager of Internet Explorer. "For these users, Internet Explorer will also be available on Windows 10."

Internet Explorer will use the same "dual rendering engines" as Spartan, but it’s clearly positioned as a browser simply for legacy support. It’s not clear exactly how this will be implemented in the final version of Windows 10, but it’s possible Microsoft may choose to only ship Internet Explorer with enterprise copies of the operating system. "Windows 10 Enterprise Technical Preview with Internet Explorer" could be seen on several screens at Microsoft’s corporate campus yesterday, suggesting that a separate version of Windows 10 will ship with Internet Explorer.

Given the confusing mix of a desktop and "Metro-style" version of Internet Explorer in Windows 8, it would be equally confusing to have both Internet Explorer and Spartan visible to consumers in Windows 10. While Microsoft is clear Internet Explorer will be available on Windows 10, we suspect it will be limited or hidden away unless you really need it. Microsoft’s confirmation also hints that its next browser will likely drop the Internet Explorer moniker, especially as the company is referring to each browser separately. Spartan is just a codename for now, but Microsoft sure does love its Halo references.