'Spartan' Is Microsoft's All-New Lightweight Browser For Windows 10

Windows 8 wasn't the hit Microsoft hoped it would be, and while it could have ignored all the haters and made sure that its next Windows OS would follow in 8's footsteps, it's instead decided to be wise about things. As we've seen multiple times over the past couple of months, Microsoft really wants to make sure that Windows 10 is the best Windows OS ever. After all, it's gone as far as to skip over an entire version number to distance it from the debacle that was 8. And, I have to admit; I'm really looking forward to it.

Today, those looking forward to Windows 10 can add another reason to the pile: Microsoft will be including a brand-new browser, tentatively called 'Spartan'. According to Mary Jo Foley and her sources, Spartan will not be an Internet Explorer replacement, at least not right now. What's likely to happen is that Windows 10 will ship with IE 11 for the sake of backwards-compatibility and for those who have become accustomed to it, while Spartan will be there for those who want a browser that's much more like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

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This news is interesting for more than just the fact that we'll be seeing a new browser. We reported on a reddit 'AMA' back in August where we learned that some Microsoft employees had actually encouraged the company to change the Internet Explorer name, as a way to distance itself from its rough history.

Despite Microsoft's apparent goal of designing Spartan around similar goals as Chrome and Firefox, which is to make it as lightweight as possible and to have a robust extensions system, the company won't suddenly be adopting WebKit. Instead, it's being said that Microsoft will stick to its Trident rendering engine, but will have two versions: Likely one for IE, and the other for Spartan. Microsoft's Chakra JavaScript engine will also remain.

While I can't imagine moving away from my current browser of choice, I am very interested to see what Microsoft pulls off with 'Spartan'. With each IE release, the company has touted it as being an incredible browser, but most people would disagree. Spartan, then, seems like something long overdue - a total ground-up approach. It's about time.