Project Spartan will be a clean break from Internet Explorer 11

Microsoft's upcoming Project Spartan browser and Internet Explorer 11 are now their own platforms, and never the twain shall meet again. At a developer workshop hosted at the company's Silicon Valley campus today, Microsoft said that Internet Explorer 11 will "[continue] to host the legacy engine exclusively," while Project Spartan "will host our new engine exclusively." The company's IE Blog explains the change thusly:

  • Project Spartan was built for the next generation of the Web, taking the unique opportunity provided by Windows 10 to build a browser with a modern architecture and service model for Windows as a Service. This clean separation of legacy and new will enable us to deliver on that promise. Our testing with Project Spartan has shown that it is on track to be highly compatible with the modern Web, which means the legacy engine isn’t needed for compatibility.
  • For Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10 to be an effective solution for legacy scenarios and enterprise customers, it needs to behave consistently with Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Hosting our new engine in Internet Explorer 11 has compatibility implications that impact this promise and would have made the browser behave differently on Windows 10.
  • Feedback from Insiders and developers indicated that it wasn’t clear what the difference was between Project Spartan and Internet Explorer 11 from a web capabilities perspective, or what a developer would need to do to deliver web sites for one versus the other.

Prior to this change of plans, Microsoft intended for both browsers to use Spartan's new rendering engine, with a legacy fallback mode available in each one. This new strategy would seem to indicate that Internet Explorer is about to begin its long, slow ride into the sunset. We'll be leaving the champagne corked until we get our hands on a public build of Project Spartan, though.

Comments closed
    • Scrotos
    • 5 years ago

    Spartan is secretly just Webkit.

    • anotherengineer
    • 5 years ago

    I use 64-bit waterfox.

    Old people and their 32-bit browsers………….pfffffffffffffffffff. 🙂

      • geekl33tgamer
      • 5 years ago

      Heh, Windows 8.1 uses 64-Bit IE by default – Seems they silently moved on at some point too, and nobody noticed. 😉

        • anotherengineer
        • 5 years ago

        Win 7 Pro here. Still trying to find the time to do a backup and a clean format with Win 8.1 Pro. Might just wait for Win 8.2 ISO to come out and avoid all those little patches, updates, etc.

    • Shouefref
    • 5 years ago

    Waas ….

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 5 years ago

    Guess I’m sticking with IE10 on 7, considering all the problems IE11 has, and causes with the OS. Not that I use it anyway, and spartan will likely be the same.

    [quote<]Windows as a Service[/quote<] Oh, look. They said it. Now windows will suck even more, being a "f2p" OS.

      • Krogoth
      • 5 years ago

      You realize that all professional software has been moving towards subscription/service model?

      MMORPGS and Freemium games were the beta-test for the business model.

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 5 years ago

        Doesn’t mean it’s a good model for the users, only the publishers.

        Gaben was right. MS has become a cancer and needs to be removed from pc gaming.

          • Krogoth
          • 5 years ago

          Protip: Microsoft ceased caring about PC gaming market ever since the Xbox Classic.

          Games For Windows Live was a beta-test for XBL 2.0, nothing more. Once it served it purpose, Microsoft pulled the plug on it.

          The primary market for Windows is businesses and average joe users. They don’t care for games, except for their kids but they are probably opt for gaming consoles (Xbox One/PS4/Wii U)

          • sweatshopking
          • 5 years ago

          They’ve talked about SaaS for a while. You’re just wrong about how it is being implemented.

        • geekl33tgamer
        • 5 years ago

        Nobody is ready for their OS to go this way though.

          • sweatshopking
          • 5 years ago

          Go what way. FOR YOU IT’S EXACTLY THE SAME.

            • geekl33tgamer
            • 5 years ago

            What?

        • Grape Flavor
        • 5 years ago

        Can we stop with this subscription / microtransaction crap about Windows 10 already? It’s been debunked so many times by now that it’s pathetic how some people here just refuse to let it go.

          • Krogoth
          • 5 years ago

          It is happening to professional software in general. Windows 10 will probably implement in the form of getting “extras” and “add-ons” for the OS itself.

          Windows 8 already did this through the “App Store”. Office 365 fully embraces it. Microsoft is just easing its userbase into SaaS model.

    • joselillo_25
    • 5 years ago

    Tons of years to get a nice and fast browser and now they got it right…. they are going to build a new one! I do not understand.

      • stupido
      • 5 years ago

      In software world, when your program has some ‘design issues’ that are hard to solve by patching or workarounds, often is a good management decision to stop ‘pouring money into barrel with missing bottom’ and start designing a ‘new barrel that actually has a bottom’… 😀

    • tks
    • 5 years ago
    • Krogoth
    • 5 years ago

    [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI3DlIrvoHg[/url<] > 2015 > Caring about web browsers when they are shadows of each other and ubiquitous.

    • albundy
    • 5 years ago

    [url<]http://www.quickmeme.com/img/dc/dcf0b181635c6cd9d736cf03ac3e7c4f06de6ca92f55cd7334e2528347937a91.jpg[/url<] nuff said.

    • tsk
    • 5 years ago

    I’m looking forward to trying Spartan out.
    I was a trusty Firefox user from 2003-2012 until Chrome finally won me over.
    I do think that Chrome could use an overhaul when it comes to UI and settings, altho my hopes for Microsoft making a good browser are not high.
    Also maybe Vivaldi can be the glorious power browser that Opera 12 once was.

      • odizzido
      • 5 years ago

      I was on firefox until very recently. I updated it a bit ago and the performance just tanked. I thought something messed up, but reinstalling the browser did nothing. I used chrome for a few months and then got an SSD. With a fresh install of SSD windows I installed firefox again and the exact same performance problems were still there. Still on chrome because of it.

        • raddude9
        • 5 years ago

        Firefox performance problems were invariably caused by Adobe Flash which, despite the addition of a new Flash Sandbox in Firefox, it still causes performance issues more so that it does in Chrome.
        I still use Firefox, but without Flash.

        • Peter.Parker
        • 5 years ago

        I had the same problems with Firefox, and then I heard about PaleMoon. I tried it and it’s become my “portable” browser of choice.

      • f0d
      • 5 years ago

      firefox has been around since 2003???

      never realized its been around that long

        • tsk
        • 5 years ago

        Yes it came around in 2002, and thank christ for that, didn’t take much to make anything better than the trainwreck that was IE6.

      • Zizy
      • 5 years ago

      All browsers are the same crap since Opera went down the toilet. Only IE has improved since then, mostly because it was far behind 🙂 Nobody to invent and push stuff further. Hopefully Vivaldi brings back some old glory, yeah.

        • sweatshopking
        • 5 years ago

        Opera still exists, though I agree, it’s currently less amazingt.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 5 years ago

    “with a legacy fallback mode available in each one”

    Meanwhile, at a company that’s still stuck on XP:

    “So, does it emulate IE6 perfectly because we wouldn’t spend a few million dollars on creating a new software system that works with newer web browsers?…”

    • Shobai
    • 5 years ago

    I may be out of the loop here; could someone enlighten me on the bit in the first dot point where they talk about “Windows as a Service”?

      • f0d
      • 5 years ago

      thats what caught my eye also

      • BIF
      • 5 years ago

      Subscription model.

      Adobe did it with virtually no penalty (no lost users), so now everybody wants to do it.

      Stop paying and it stops working.

      Every big business now knows what the average transaction must be in order to stay afloat. Your cable/satellite company = $150/month. Your phone and wireless phone company = $120/month.

      Adobe = $60 per month.
      Newegg, Amazon, they all have subscription deals, and Microsoft already has one for Office. The people have spoken with their wallets, and the model works.

      And now it will arrive for Windows.
      Microsoft =

        • f0d
        • 5 years ago

        if windows 10 goes subscription then i will just stick with windows 7
        windows 10 looks pretty good – but not good enough to pay a subscription

          • ronch
          • 5 years ago

          Everyone wants to give you subscriptions these days. wtf. Guess we’re living in the golden age of actually being able to OWN our stuff instead of just ‘renting’ them.

          • Grape Flavor
          • 5 years ago

          Windows 10 isn’t subscription based, it’s just a fiction being pushed by delusional haterboys to spread FUD about Windows 10.

        • UberGerbil
        • 5 years ago

        I suspect you’ll still have a choice: pay retail cost up front and buy the retail version, or pay nothing up front and sign on for a subscription.

        • Flying Fox
        • 5 years ago

        Large enterprises already pay for Software Assurance (SA), which is a form of time-based license fees.

      • VincentHanna
      • 5 years ago

      Windows 10 will be the last OS. From the minute it goes live, MSFT will push new features, visual updates, even entirely new runtimes directly to you, as they become availible, rather than waiting for major revisions, or the hassle of upgrading all at once. Your license will be perpetual for as long as your computer doesn’t burst into a fireball. Windows will bundle in services: things like skype, onedrive, news, weather, Xbox, mail, facebook, Bing, even troubleshooting etc, etc. User settings, and information which they can mine from you are also being associated with windows IDs which are intended to be carried forward, and they will sell that information, and use their various services to generate revenue to offset the lost income from the old model.

      MSFT has claimed repeatedly that they have no intention of charging a monthly/yearly fee. Since they would know, I tend to ignore anyone who says otherwise.

        • ronch
        • 5 years ago

        The moment they make Windows into SaaS, the case for Linux will just be stronger specially for those people who don’t wanna pay monthly fees on something that they have grown accustomed to ‘owning’ and using for as long as they wish.

          • Krogoth
          • 5 years ago

          Not really, the real reason why Linux has never become mainstream is because the software ecology is fragmented (20 different applications that try to compete and do the same role) or just lackluster.

          SaaS is only meant for single-seat users a.k.a average joe. The business customers will still have licensing model in place.

          • VincentHanna
          • 5 years ago

          What Microsoft has proposed, would not offend the sensibilities of the person or people you have described, except when misled into believing that monthly fees are a part of it, contrary to Microsoft’s statements on the matter.

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            Yes. You can repeatedly tell them the facts but they’ll repeatedly ignore them.

          • Zizy
          • 5 years ago

          Services can be free or have one time fee, you know 🙂
          The only ones that will pay for Windows monthly/yearly are those that do so already.

      • Crackhead Johny
      • 5 years ago

      How fickle. I talk about windows as service in the “Free for pirates” article and end up modded to -4.
      A week or two later..

      • moog
      • 5 years ago

      It means Windows provides OS functionality via services. Like Windows search (uses Bing), authentication/logon, storage, etc.

      • Chrispy_
      • 5 years ago

      I already had [quote<]and service model for Windows as a Service[/quote<] on the clipboard ready for a /sigh comment before I read your post.

    • Deanjo
    • 5 years ago

    I’m always curious on projects like these how many repeated mistakes are made.

    “Remember that security hole we patched back in 2004 in IE? Well guess what….”

    • bthylafh
    • 5 years ago

    My question is how long will IE11 continue to be included with Windows? Will 10 be the last one or will it shamble on for a few more releases until enough of those crappy programs we ITers all hate get rewritten or retired?

      • Melvar
      • 5 years ago

      I’m thinking they might make IE an optional install first before cutting it altogether. That way they can get the desktop crowd on Spartan while still supporting IE for customers that require it.

        • kvndoom
        • 5 years ago

        If they had made IE an optional install, oh, 15 or so years ago, they could have saved billions in lawsuits and fines. Just sayin’.

          • LoneWolf15
          • 5 years ago

          On what planet is Microsoft a non-stubborn entity?

        • moog
        • 5 years ago

        Both installed, Spartan the default.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 5 years ago

    I’ve found a good, clean breakup is the best way to let someone go from a relationship.

    • balanarahul
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]Microsoft intended for both browsers to use Spartan's new rendering engine, with a legacy fallback mode available in each one.[/quote<] Is it just me or doing this really makes no sense?

      • Firestarter
      • 5 years ago

      in the world of IE, this makes perfect sense

      • UnfriendlyFire
      • 5 years ago

      When there are companies that are still stuck on IE6 + Windows XP or IE8 + Windows 7, MS has to offer some incentive for them to move on even if they wouldn’t update whatever that they have.

        • deruberhanyok
        • 5 years ago

        I feel like that excuse is getting flimsier and flimsier as time goes on.

        Anyone stuck on Windows XP and IE6 that hasn’t virtualized those client systems that still need said platform needs to get with the times.

          • auxy
          • 5 years ago

          That was true when IE10 came out years ago!

          And yet most businesses in my area are still using IE6 or IE8. My own employer, a huge multi-national retail chain, requires the use of IE8 on all internal sites.

            • kvndoom
            • 5 years ago

            Mine just began rolling out IE11 on Windows 7 machines this month. It was IE9 for the past 3 years.

            On the XP machines we do still have around (my lab has some… antiquated mission-critical software, of course) they killed all internet access just last week. Annoying and inconvenient, but perfectly understandable (IE7 was garbage anyway). And also years overdue, IMO.

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