Windows 10: Two Web Browsers, Different Focuses

Windows 10: Two Web Browsers, Different Focuses

There's been much made already over Microsoft's Spartan browser project. If you're just tuning in, Microsoft is building a new browser that is much different than Internet Explorer. It will sport a new name (Spartan is just the codename), offer better performance, provide a cleaner and more streamlined interface, contain OneDrive integration for web markups, enable Cortana functionality, and support browser extensions, much like Google's Chrome web browser.

Extension support has been rumored since the beginning, but the IE Developer team officially revealed on Twitter extensions are being worked on…

But, I think it's also important to remember that boring, old Internet Explorer will still be around. In fact, when Windows 10 releases, it will come with both the as-yet-officially-named Spartan and Internet Explorer. Microsoft has yet to give Internet Explorer an official number scheme (the current version is 11), but let's assume it will be IE12. Microsoft has been playing around with potential names for Spartan, things like IE Edge, EVO Entourage, or IE Evex. Personally, I wish they'd stick with Spartan. Spartan is much cooler.

Internet Explorer will most likely work in the same fashion, though provide updated features and bolstered security as always. But, Spartan will be different and its focus will be consumers. The IE Developer team also confirmed this on Twitter…

So, if you look at this logically, Spartan is for consumers and Internet Explorer is for business users.

But, will Spartan be a Windows 10-only browser? Will Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users be able to eventually install Spartan?

The IE Developer team had an answer for that, too…

Incidentally, though a full Spartan version is not part of the most current Windows 10 Build (9926), you can enable what's there. Microsoft has been working on Spartan for a while, so some of the bits are already part of the Windows 10 Builds. Build 9926 has the rendering engine cobbled together, and you can turn it on for testing. To get the full experience, do this…

  1. Open IE11.
  2. In the address bar type about:flags and hit enter.
  3. Change the Custom User Agent setting to Enabled.
  4. Change Enable Experimental Web Platform Features to Enabled.
  5. Change Standard Document Scroll Properties to On.
  6. Click Apply Changes and restart IE11.


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