According to a new report from ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is preparing a new browser as part of its Windows 10 push. The new browser, dubbed IE Spartan, will look and feel a lot like Chrome and Firefox, supporting plugins and opting for a much lighter build than Internet Explorer. However, according to Foley, this Spartan Browser is not just a new Internet Explorer, but rather a completely new product:

It turns out that what’s actually happening is Microsoft is building a new browser, codenamed Spartan, which is not IE 12 — at least according to a couple of sources of mine.1

Internet Explorer

All that said, according to Foley, the new browser will still utilize many components and resources that were built specifically for IE:

Spartan is still going to use Microsoft’s Chakra JavaScript engine and Microsoft’s Trident rendering engine (not WebKit), sources say. As Neowin’s Brad Sams reported back in September, the coming browser will look and feel more like Chrome and Firefox and will support extensions. Sams also reported on December 29 that Microsoft has two different versions of Trident in the works, which also seemingly supports the claim that the company has two different Trident-based browsers.2

Though the new browser is code-named Spartan, it is unclear whether or not Microsoft will drop the Internet Explorer branding completely. For whatever my opinion is worth, this is new browser is symptomatic of Satya Nadella’s tenure as Microsoft CEO. Slowly but surely, Microsoft has re-focused its efforts in the consumer, phasing out what doesn’t work, and focusing on what they do well. It is easy to discount a lot of the company’s moves over the past year or so. However, that would be a major mistake. As more info is available, we will add more to the development of Spartan.

  1. Mary Jo Foley, ZDNet, “Microsoft is building a new browser as part of its Windows 10 push,” 29 December 2014  
  2. Ibid