Report: Microsoft to Unveil New Web Browser

John Lister's picture

Reports suggest Microsoft is working on a new web browser as an alternative to Internet Explorer. Both the scope and timescale of any changes have not yet been confirmed, but it's suggested the launch will coincide with the release of Windows 10.

Most rumors reference two codenames for the project: Trident and Spartan. The two names refer to the same strategy: to make Microsoft's web browser better and easier to use on modern websites, while still being able to run web pages designed for legacy systems.

Trident is the web browser engine which already exists and is part of Internet Explorer. In software terms, an engine is a basic framework of computer code. Each new edition of Internet Explorer is based around Trident, even though it comes with numerous tweaks, updates and new features.

New, Lightweight Microsoft Browser Expected

Some reports suggest that Microsoft is developing two different versions of Trident for future use, effectively allowing the same computer to run two different forms of Internet Explorer.

One version, which will be very similar to the existing browser, will be able to handle older websites through what's called "compatibility mode". The other version will automatically run on newer web pages where compatibility mode isn't needed. As a result, this newer version will need much less code to operate. In turn, that should mean it runs faster and uses less computer resources. (Source:

Some reports go a step further and suggest that Microsoft is ready to ditch the Trident engine outright, with a new browser being designed entirely from scratch. Other reports suggest that the Spartan project may include a few parts of the old Internet Explorer, including the JavaScript engine and the rendering engine. (Source:

Internet Explorer Brand May Need Replacing

The various reports, if true, suggest Microsoft is trying to serve two audiences at the same time. On one hand, Microsoft wants to continue offering some form of Internet Explorer to users which are already familiar with the browser and use it on a daily basis.

On the other hand, having a completely new browser may be the only way to overcome Internet Explorer's tarnished reputation. Many users feel that Internet Explorer is too bloated, uses far too many resources, and is highly susceptible to malware infection.

Whatever changes Microsoft makes, the next edition(s) of Internet Explorer are expected to be unveiled in 2015 and will coincide with the release of Windows 10. It's suggested that it may take several months before any changes to Microsoft's browser go out for public testing. It's speculated that the final version of Windows 10 will ship with both Internet Explorer 11 and Spartan.

What's Your Opinion?

Should Microsoft start over again with a new web browser, or do you think Internet Explorer can evolve? If you have already abandoned Internet Explorer, would you be prepared to give a new Microsoft browser a try? Do you think Microsoft risks confusing users by fragmenting Internet Explorer?

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Average: 5 (6 votes)


ConnieB's picture

So MS may have two versions of a "revamped" IE? Then they'll be known for two horrible browsers, instead of just one.

Dennis Faas's picture

Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6 was just so incredibly susceptible to malware infection that I avoided it like the plague. In fact, I stopped using it about 12 years ago and have been using Firefox ever since. Unless the new IE offers drastically better performance, usability, and security than Firefox, I don't think I'll be changing any time soon.

gilvoice's picture

I guess I am a very lucky guy, Internet Explorer 11 has been working flawlessly for me. There is one time I had to reset it to defaults. That was almost a year ago.
I do believe MS has to change the name. the name has been beat into the ground so often, it now has the perception of failure.

doulosg's picture

Due to corporate/enterprise software choices and personal preferences, I regularly use IE, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. Except for software optimized for a specific browser, not one of the four is consistently fast or exciting. Firefox recently offered us T-Shirts, and I asked if I could get one with "A script on this page may be busy" printed on the back. That said, I stay farthest away from IE because of greater (perceived) vulnerabilities.

I might give a new, stripped down browser from Microsoft just to see how it runs (recognizing that "stripped down" with "Microsoft" has got to be a classic oxymoron on the order of "government efficiency").

gi7omy's picture

I've been working with Windows since way back (Windows 3) and have always used a Mozilla based browser (Netscape Navigator beck then). Microsoft came late to the internet - I believe that Gates thought it was just a 'passing phase' and Windows 3 had no internet capability by default (anyone else recall Trumpet Winsock?). When 95 came along (in its origina6 FAT16 version aka 95A|) Internut Exploder wasn't very good, so Netscape was usually installed and I've continued using the Mozilla based browsers since with no problems (unlike certain flavours of IE which were definitely NOT W3C compliant).

Microsoft has been known to use non-standard coding on its browsers to try to get the internet operating to their standards - remember the lawsuit with Sun over the MS version of Java and their attempt to bypass Adobe Flash with 'Bing'

I think that I'll just keep on avoiding their browsers

Boots66's picture

Sorry all you nay-sayers but like gilvoice - I won't say I am lucky but I've had virtually no more trouble with any version of IE since even the early days - I do not find Google Chrome particularly exciting and Firefox is OK but it too will lock up like IE on occasion - If you want something so perfect - then go write your own code and set up your own browser! - I have written code in days gone by and it is not fun and for a process like IE no matter what edition - and I am using 8 at work and 11 at home, I am sure it was hell for the code writers to produce.
If your particular installation of the browser keeps crashing, maybe you have other issues happening that you need to check out first
Oh By the way - Happy New Year (almost) 2015

jlmiles8's picture

I rarely use IE - only on those occasions when it is the only choice. Unless the new browser is again cross platform, I am unlikely to be enthused or indeed use it. Reason: I work cross platform between Mac and Windows (again, Windows only when I have to) and prefer to use Mozilla or Google because those browsers are available on both. MS needs to get their head out of their ... um and join the rest of the world. I, for one, do not choose to play in the MS "box".

eternallyaussie_319's picture

I won't be using it - After testing other browsers, I'm now using Palemoon, based on Firefox. Sometimes I use Firefox, without the now (seemingly)obligatory Google home page which, (as far as my research has shown), cannot be changed - so, I found a way around that.

Before, I was a dedicated Opera fan but sadly they made major changes which could not be ignored. Opera was the best browser for many years and the most innovative. They, unfortunately, have removed a lot of great features, some of which are still not incorporated into other browsers.

In February 2013, Opera Software announced that their in-house rendering engine, Presto, would be phased out in favour of WebKit. Opera 15 saw the browser being fully rewritten, with this and subsequent releases being based on Blink and Chromium. says,"In fact, web developers fell in love with the -webkit prefix and often forget that there are other prefixes as well: -o for Opera, -moz for Firefox and -ms for Internet Explorer.

Using only -webkit means sites break in Opera even though Opera could have rendered the site just fine if the developer had bothered to include the -o prefix."

There is no other browser that I have found that has "Notes"(the file can be saved and edited and replaced in the folder from which it was copied), a very narrow panel (on the left)for quick access to Notes, etc.,* the option to save "sessions," the ability to "customize" it, create folders within folders,and turbo boost** among other things.

*Each one of these, is a toggle which gives a list and any can be added or removed from the list: Bookmarks, Mail, Contacts (for Opera Mail), History, Downloads, Windows, Search, Info, Chat, Notes and Web Panel.

It was the first browser to completely focus on adhering to the W3C standards.


Happy New Year. May it be your best yet!

Some IT Guy's picture

At home, I use mostly Google for actual browsing, and IE for streaming. I know that may amaze some of you, but I have found that Silverlight plays really smooth video on my HTPCs. I look forward to seeing what is up MS's sleeve.

That being said, the unfortunate reality is that the majority of websites are only coded and tested for compatibility with Internet Explorer. Especially in the government sector, it may only work with one or two versions (currently for NYS that is IE 9 and 10.) That is not to say it might work with another browser, but in order to provide support efficiently, they can only support what they actually tested it on. Our support staff routinely have to ask customers to use IE 9 or 10, because they get calls from Safari users, Fire Fox users, etc. in the non-profit sector who use web applications with State Agencies.

On a side note, I do like Opera and never cared for Fire Fox. Maybe it is my surfing habits, but the pages I frequent the most seem to work great with Opera and not so much with Fire Fox. I suppose if I were worried about bandwidth caps and such, I would use Fire Fox because (at least it used to) block many advertisements, keeping the actual size of the requested pages to a minimum. Not sure about that anymore.

Anyway, have great New Year, and thanks to Info Packets for some really great IT coverage.