Microsoft may finally retire Internet Explorer’s big blue “E” with the launch of Windows 10 next year. The company is working on a new web browser, code named “Spartan,” according to a report by Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet.
Spartan, likely named after the class of genetically engineered super-soldiers in Microsoft’s “Halo” series, is designed to be more “lightweight” than past iterations of IE. According to unnamed sources at the company, quoted by Foley, Windows 10 will still ship with IE 11 installed for the sake of maintaining compatibility.
Shipping a new browser that isn’t Internet Explorer may help Microsoft pique the interest of people who still remember IE from its bad old days, when Microsoft wasn’t focused on building a standards-compliant browser.
It’s not clear when Spartan will be available for public consumption. It’s possible that the browser will be shown off during Microsoft’s press event on January 21, but it may not be ready for prime time until later next year.