Mink Machine

Microsoft unveil Project Spartan

Never thought I’d see the day when Microsoft pulls the plug on IE. If I had told anyone about this ten years ago, they would laugh out loud and say that it would be too absurd to take seriously. I remember the day when Microsoft released the first version of Internet Explorer in 1995, by acquiring Spyglass Mosaic and rebranding it. And for a decade it seemed that nothing could withstand the onslaught of Internet Explorer. Even the name and desktop icon have become synonymous with the web for a lot of people.

The new browser to be shipped with Windows 10 is codenamed “Project Spartan” and started as a fork of the classic Trident engine. Spartan is powered by a new rendering engine, but it’s not quite time yet to say farewell to Trident. Parts of the old engine seems to live on in some way, since legacy web sites will be rendered with the IE11 engine. According to Rey Bango, the IE11 legacy engine (mshtml.dll) is included but the new engine (edgehtml.dll) will be default.

This seems like a desperate attempt by Microsoft to turn the tide. Today many web developers build sites and apps for WebKit and Blink (the engines of Safari and Chrome) and consider IE compatibility to be of lesser importance, since Microsoft’s desktop marketshare has dwindled in the last years. So this switch would appear to be more about marketing values than technology details for now. It’s probably easier to release a new browser than to get rid of the bad reputation of Internet Explorer.

Hopefully they won’t need 300 Spartans to hold the pass against overwhelming odds.

Spartan This. Is. Spartan!

Update: On April 29, the final name of the browser was announced: Microsoft Edge.

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