Could it? Would it?
All you Chrome and Firefox fanatics, keep reading. Could it be true Microsoft is making final funeral arrangements for Internet Explorer? Would they really ditch such a beast of a browser that tethered together all things online beginning in 1995?
Yes and no.
If you’re a techie you may have heard all the rumors. In a news release last week, it became official. Microsoft will be launching their new-fangled Spartan browser in the upcoming Windows 10 OS. For all you IE loyalists, don’t worry about running out to buy a copy of Spartan. IE isn’t going bye-bye quite yet.
IE vs. Spartan
Digital critics have long been advocates of a browser free market. Those over 30 remember the dynamic duo dance turf war between IE and Netscape in the late ’90s. So why abandon such a flagship friend?
In the last ten years, IE has lost considerable market share to Firefox and Chrome. 2014 brought dominance to Chrome with more than 55% of users globally, while Firefox captured nearly 25% of the market. IE? Less than 10%. With these stark numbers, it was time for Microsoft to dig in and retool IE. Hence, Spartan will eventually become their flagship browser, yet the jury is still out as to when.
Competing with Chrome Groan
Think extensions. They’ve driven the browser business for years for both Chrome and Firefox, allowing users the freedom to customize their user experience. Although IE offered some extensions dating back as far as 1995, they lacked ones allowing users to fine tune their browsing preferences such as adblock and video download apps. Spartan will bundle not only custom extension functionality, but also offers coders markup features for website development.
Hmmm…is this really news? Yes. Spartan will eventually offer consumers critical hot buttons with mass appeal. For instance, Firefox’s one-click video download from YouTube gives all of us the ability to nab and grab HD videos saving them locally. Who cares? Millions of users. Online video has driven the Internet architecture since 2012.
Browser speed has long been critical for users demanding to get what they want fast. Do you hate to wait? IE users sure did and abandoned the Microsoft browser for speedy alternatives such as Chrome and Firefox.
Spartan will feature robust speed enhancements which may sway former IE fans to come back to Microsoft. One enticement is their integration of their new rendering engine, EdgeHTML code, included in Spartan. Designed to help developers process cross-browser interoperability, EdgeHTML will no doubt improve application processing.
IE bye-bye? Not quite yet. With millions of users not ready to give up on their old surfing friend, Microsoft has not yet announced plans to squash the browser any time soon. However, with user experience trends changing every year, Spartan will offer Microsoft more advanced flexibility to keep pace with user preferences which both Chrome and Firefox have supported for years.