Microsoft’s new Project Spartan browser is getting some new tools for rendering images thanks to contributions Adobe made.
The two companies are teaming up to add advanced graphics features to Spartan natively, something that Internet Explorer hasn’t done in the past. It’s a move that brings Spartan closer in line with the other major browsers – Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Opera. One of the major differences between those competitors and Internet Explorer/Spartan is that they’re all based on open source software, so it’s easier for Adobe and other firms to contribute.
Spartan is far from open source, but the work announced today shows that Microsoft may be opening it up a little bit to take advantage of contributions from other firms. Doing that will help Microsoft improve the browser to increase its compatibility with new web standards and features while potentially Microsoft’s engineering workload for adding those features.
With the March update to Windows 10, Spartan gained support for CSS gradient midpoints (something included in the new CSS Images specification), thanks to code that Adobe added to the browser. With the new feature, developers will be able to pick a location in between the color stops of a CSS gradient, and the location in question will always be the color between the color of the two stops.
In addition, Adobe added full support for the <feBlend> blend modes, which brings Spartan up to parity with competing browsers when it comes to handling image attributes like color-dodge, color-burn, soft-light, hue, saturation and color. It’s a marked difference over Internet Explorer, which only supported 6 <feBlend> modes.
Members of the Windows Insider Program who want to try out the new features on Windows 10 should go to about:flags in Internet Explorer, and set “Enable Experimental Web Platform Features” on.
Overall, this is good news for the web. With Spartan (the main browser in Windows 10) supporting more features, more web developers can adopt them knowing that they’ll be supported by a wider audience.