When Windows 10 is released this summer, Spartan, the browser the company is currently building, will be the default way to browse the web. This browser uses a modified version of the Trident engine that currently powers Internet Explorer 11. But because it has been heavily modified and been re-built for the modern web, it feels like an entirely new engine.
The company has announced today that going forward, Internet Explorer 11 will not be using this new engine; it will only be for Spartan. This is a big shift for the company as it effectively means that IE will only be used for legacy applications, while Spartan is the path forward. The announcement came at a private workshop taking place for top web site partners, enterprise developers and web framework authors with Microsoft saying the following:
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.
The fact that IE 11 will go unchanged from Windows 8.1 means that the application will only exist to support legacy partners who need the hold framework for applications. This is a big move for Microsoft as it means that Spartan (or whatever its final name will be) is the company's new browser that they will be promoting to consumers.
Microsoft cited a couple of reasons for the change including confusion about why both browsers exists if they use the same engine, streamlining of development for Spartan, and feedback that users and developers which has said that there is no need to include this engine in IE 11.
Now that Microsoft has clarified its strategy for Spartan and IE, the only thing left to do is to give consumers access to the browser and its new UI. If you want to get a closer look at the application, you can take a look at our hands on with Spartan here, or you can simply wait for the next release of Windows 10 to Insiders which should include the browser.