Microsoft: Internet Explorer Is, Mostly, Dead - InformationWeek

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3/17/2015
03:36 PM
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Microsoft: Internet Explorer Is, Mostly, Dead

Microsoft is killing the Internet Explorer brand in favor of Project Spartan in Windows 10.

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Microsoft has confirmed that a new browser will move into the Windows 10 spotlight. Internet Explorer, which has seemingly run its course, will take a back seat to Project Spartan

Internet Explorer isn't entirely dead yet -- businesses that need to access the old browser for software compatibility will still be able to do so after Windows 10 launches later this year. However, most people seeking Internet access on Windows 10 will use Project Spartan, the browser currently in development. It doesn't yet have an official brand name. 

"We're now researching what the new brand, or the new name, for our browser should be in Windows 10," said Microsoft marketing chief Chris Capossela at this year's Convergence conference, as quoted in The Verge. "We'll continue to have Internet Explorer, but we'll also have a new browser called Project Spartan, which is codenamed Project Spartan. We have to name the thing."

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Internet Explorer has been around for two decades, and Microsoft has tried to keep it up to speed. Yet despite its upgrades, Microsoft just can't seem to shake the negative connotation that most people associate with a legacy browser that seems dated and clunky compared with competitors Chrome and Firefox. Now Microsoft has confirmed its decision to retire the brand.

The successor will be available as a universal app, in a new move for Microsoft that will deliver the browser to Windows 10 and Windows 10 for phones. Users can download updates directly from the Windows Store and access new features without a full OS update. Project Spartan will also contain extension support and Cortana, the voice-activated "personal assistant" that has been touted as a key browser feature.

Microsoft is conducting extensive market research in an effort to settle on a final name. So far, data indicates that a title starting with the word "Microsoft" has far more appeal than a name that starts with "Windows," according to a survey group of Chrome users based in the UK. "Internet Explorer" was the least popular choice.

"Just by putting the Microsoft name in front of it, the delta for Chrome users on appeal is incredibly high," Capossela said. While Microsoft didn't give a release date for a final name, it’s evident that Microsoft is ready to take a new direction with its new browser.

If you were in charge of naming the new Windows 10 browser, what would you call it? Personally I like "Spartan," but am curious to hear your thoughts. Feel free to share in the comments.

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Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
3/19/2015 | 3:48:04 PM
Re: Speed and more Windows/Tabs
@TerryB it's pretty easy to do! You're right, though, most of the tabs I have open are related to different articles I'm writing. Since I'll often be working on a few stories at a time, those can add up. Then I have tabs for email, Google docs, images, social media... would make a pretty long list if I turned it into a story, ha.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
3/17/2015 | 11:25:53 PM
Re: Speed and more Windows/Tabs
@hho927 When I log out for the day I usually get a notification that says something like "You have 27 tabs open, are you sure you want to exit?" Something tells me IE definitely couldn't handle that...
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
3/17/2015 | 10:35:38 PM
The scourge of Netscape Navigator is on the way out?
Hard to believe that Explorer was at one time such a huge threat to Netscape Navigator that Netscape threw in the towel. The life expectancy of software on the Web seems to be moving in Internet time, not the time we're accustomed to.
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