Back in September last year Microsoft announced Windows 10, their new operating system. Introducing fresh and exciting features, and building on the existing capabilities of Windows 8, Windows 10 looks set to be another step up.
One of the great mysteries that came from the announcement was Microsoft's plan for a new web browser code-named "Project Spartan". Which until recently has had limited information revealed.
Recently, Microsoft published an IEBlog post announcing a simpler browser strategy for Windows 10:
"Based on strong feedback from our Windows Insiders and customers, today we're announcing that on Windows 10, Project Spartan will host our new engine exclusively. Internet Explorer 11 will remain fundamentally unchanged from Windows 8.1, continuing to host the legacy engine exclusively."
Microsoft went on to explain the reasoning behind the changes:
- Project Spartan was built for the next generation of the Web. 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.
This image illustrates the difference between Project Spartan's new rendering engine Edge, and the old Trident engine used in the current/previous Internet Explorer browsers.
What does this mean for you?
Spartan looks like an impressive step forward for Microsoft, and offers some exciting options for users who want to make use of features such as Cortana in-browser. Those who need to use Internet Explorer for compatability purposes can still use IE11. Overall then, the new features and choice of browser are good news for consumers, and a promising sign for Windows 10.
For more information on the new browsing strategy, see Microsoft's Blog Post here.