Microsoft revealed last week that it’s planning to create a new brand and name for its upcoming browser for Windows 10, currently codenamed Project Spartan. The software maker is now clarifying the role of Internet Explorer and Project Spartan in Windows 10, and has confirmed the new Spartan browser will be the "default browser for all Windows 10 customers." While Microsoft originally revealed in January that its new rendering engine would power Spartan and Internet Explorer in Windows 10, the company says it’s no longer planning to bring this to IE.
IE will hang around for legacy only, with no new changes
"On Windows 10, Project Spartan will host our new engine exclusively," says Kyle Pflug, Microsoft’s Project Spartan program manager. "Internet Explorer 11 will remain fundamentally unchanged from Windows 8.1, continuing to host the legacy engine exclusively." Microsoft says it has taken feedback from testers who were left confused over the role of two separate browsers in Windows 10. "We feel this change simplifies the role of each browser," explains Pflug. "Project Spartan is our future." This means that Internet Explorer won't get any of the new rendering changes or features of Spartan.
With Microsoft picking a new brand and name for Project Spartan and making it the default, it just leaves Internet Explorer hanging around for compatibility and legacy purposes. It’s not immediately clear whether IE will be part of every single copy of Windows 10 or just ones targeted at businesses, and Microsoft isn’t clarifying that just yet. In a carefully worded statement, the company says "we will continue to make Internet Explorer available with Windows 10 for enterprises and other customers who require legacy browser support." What’s clear is that Internet Explorer isn’t Microsoft’s future, and the company is leaving it around for legacy. When you buy a PC with Windows 10 later this year you’ll see Spartan, not Internet Explorer. IE will be hiding away like a system utility, but Microsoft’s future and browser brand is all about Spartan, not the legacy of Internet Explorer.
Windows 10 Event: Introducing Project Spartan