Reports are circulating that Microsoft are about to announce the end of troubled Internet Explorer, and replace it with a new and faster web browser, similar to Firefox and Google Chrome.
Internet Explorer was released in 1995, and was the most commonly used web browser in the early 2000’s, enjoying a staggering 95% share of the market at its peak. But then competition such as Firefox and Chrome came along and users starting dropping IE.
In order to gain popularity IE has gone through 11 different versions, with Microsoft working hard to improve browsing experience, but its bad reputation has meant that people have stayed away. It got so bad that Microsoft considered changing the name of IE, in order to separate the current browser from “negative perceptions that no long reflect reality”.
They even made a commercial which poked fun at themselves using the numerous complaints about IE, but the damage had been done and today it amounts for only around a quarter and a half of all browsing.
Microsoft are now planning to ditch IE for good, when they reveal their new Windows 10 operating system on January 21st. However, insider reports state that the new browser, codenamed Spartan, might not be ready in time for the Windows release. It would appear that Microsoft would rather take their time and get it right than rush out a product that isn’t quite up to scratch.
When it is ready the new browser will work on both desktop and mobile versions of the operating system, but whether it will work with Android, iOS or any other non-Windows operating systems, experts are not sure.
One such expert, Mary Jo Foley, who writes for ZDNet, commented:
“The IE team said a few months back that Microsoft had no plans to port IE to any non-Windows operating systems. But Spartan isn’t IE. And these days, Microsoft is porting much of its software and services to non-Windows variants. So I’d say there’s a chance that this could happen somewhere down the line.”
It is thought that once Spartan has replaced IE it become the customary browser for Windows 10, and all future operating models. It may retain some of the better qualities and technologies of IE, but feel a lot faster, have a streamlined look and will support extensions.
One of the first people to reveal the new browser was Thomas Nigro, a developer on video app VLC and a Microsoft student partner, who tweeted on December 18:
‘Ok so Microsoft is about to launch a new browser that’s not Internet Explorer and will be the default browser in Windows 10. Wow.’
After his tweet came a flurry of internet messages which confirmed the news of the Spartan browser, putting paid to the one-time held rumour that Microsoft may have been planning an overhaul to IE and not a total replacement.
As such, all will be revealed on January 21st, but the actual operating system and browser won’t be available until 2015 late fall.