Monday, December 29, 2014

Microsoft reportedly working on brand new web browser for Windows 10

By Chris Welch/The Verge

Microsoft is said to be at work on an all new web browser, codenamed Spartan, that could officially move the company away from Internet Explorer upon the launch of Windows 10. ZDNet reports that the new app is not Internet Explorer 12, the next iteration of Microsoft's longtime browser that we'd typically expect alongside another major Windows release.

Instead, it seems that the company is planning to start anew with a web browser that looks and feels "more like Chrome and Firefox" according to ZDNet. But despite a new appearance (and perks like extensions), this new browser would retain the foundations of Microsoft's current web technology. The new software will continue to utilize the Chakra JavaScript engine and Trident rendering engine, so Redmond isn't suddenly switching over to WebKit, the engine that's used by Apple's Safari. Other competitors like Google have moved off the WebKit path and created custom variants of the engine to serve their own development needs.

Don't expect to see Internet Explorer vanish, though. ZDNet says that IE 11 will still come bundled with Windows 10 for backward compatibility reasons, so Microsoft will in fact be shipping two browsers with its next big operating system. The next big Windows 10 event is scheduled for January 21st; that's when we expect to hear more about the software's new consumer-facing features and Microsoft's plans for Windows 10 on tablets and phones. Could this new web browser also be on the agenda? That's still up in the air, with ZDNet reporting that Spartan may not be far enough along in development for inclusion in beta Windows builds.

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