Back when Microsoft announced its plans for its new Project Spartan browser in Windows 10, it also outlined how it would continue to support Internet Explorer for businesses who depended on features for older versions. Now those plans have changed.
Picture: Kevin Coles
Microsoft's original plan was that Project Spartan and Internet Explorer would be able to access both the newer rendering engine designed for Spartan and the older compatibility-focused IE rendering engine. It turns out, however, that many enterprise users weren't keen on that, and it also created difficulties for the development team. So Microsoft has now adopted a new approach, announced at a developer workshop:
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.
That does create a simpler scenario, and also gives a subtle nudge to enterprises continuing to rely on IE. If IE had been able to offer the same rendering behaviours as the newer Spartan, why would anyone ever switch?
Microsoft hasn't yet decided on a release name for the Project Spartan browser. We also don't know whether Internet Explorer will continue to be bundled in some versions of Windows 10, or whether it will only be available as a separate download. Today's announcement post notes that Spartan will be the default native browser across Windows 10 installations; enterprises that rely on Internet Explorer behaviours can use group policy to switch to Internet Explorer as the default.