Microsoft announced that it plans to phase out its Internet Explorer Web browser beginning with Windows 10. The news was delivered by Microsoft’s marketing chief Chris Capossela at the Microsoft Convergence event, where he also announced the proposed replacement of the Internet Explorer. Starting with Windows 10, the official browser for Windows will be the new Project Spartan browser.
Internet Explorer will officially turn 20 on August 16 of this year. There’s a sentimental air of nostalgia for those who have grown up on the Internet over the last two decades. IE will soon be a (possibly fond) memory like floppy disks, the Sony Walkman, or Nokia mobile phones. It’s time to face the stark realization that time and technology wait for no man.
Although the most recent data from NetMarketshare shows Internet Explorer dominating the field with nearly 60 percent of the market, that is a significant fall from its glory days when IE held more than 90 percent of the browser market. Internet Explorer has suffered from a poor reputation for years, though, so Microsoft is finally killing it off.
Details of Project Spartan features are still sketchy. From what little we do know so far, Spartan will come with Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant, as well as new annotation tools and a more streamlined layout. It seems that the “Spartan” moniker is a reference to stripping the browser down to its bare essentials.
So what challenges will Microsoft’s new browser face? An NPR blog post pointed out the fact that Microsoft will face issues convincing loyal IE users to convert to whatever the Project Spartan browser is ultimately named rather than forcing an exodus to alternate browsers. Getting Chrome or Firefox users to give its new browser a try is even more daunting.
Microsoft plans to keep Internet Explorer up and running for a while still so you have some time to put your IE “affairs in order”. Now is a good time to back up those valuable bookmarks, saved pages and support tools to other platforms in anticipation of Project Spartan or whatever browser you choose to migrate to.
Challenges aside, phasing out of Internet Explorer gives Microsoft a fresh start in a battle they already lost and with a unique build and proper marketing, getting users shouldn’t prove too difficult.
I’m curious what you think of this news. The TechSpective audience leans heavily toward Chrome, with fewer than 20 percent reporting Internet Explorer as a default browser. What led you to choose Chrome over IE in the first place, and do you plan to give the new Microsoft browser a chance once its released? Let us know in the comments below.