Microsoft’s marketing chief confirmed at the company’s Convergence conference yesterday that the long ill-spoken Internet Explorer web browser brand will be killed off with Windows 10 and replaced with the company’s new “Project Spartan.”
Although not many expected the Internet Explorer name to be retained for Windows 10, its death has now been confirmed. The old web browser will not be immediately going away in Windows 10 but will not be the primary way of browsing the Internet.
Microsoft marketing chief Chris Capossela explained that IE will still be included for use in some enterprise situations, saying:
“We’ll continue to have Internet Explorer, but we’ll also have a new browser called Project Spartan, which is codenamed Project Spartan. We have to name the thing.”
Codenamed Project Spartan, Microsoft’s new web browser is currently under very active development for Windows 10. Although not available yet to Windows Insiders, it is expected to be included in the next released builds for both desktop and phone.
Integration with Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant will also be a prominent feature of the new browser. A new reading mode will be offered to make it easier to interpret lengthy articles online and it will be possible to annotate websites with notes and drawings for later sharing with others.
Microsoft has tried for years to shake off the negative image of Internet Explorer acquired when the company let the brand stagnate and become mired in its own original success. It quickly fell behind competitive rivals such as Google Chrome when little improvement was made from IE6 right up to the release of IE9 with Windows 7.
The company is likely to include “Microsoft” in the final name of “Project Spartan” as market research on Google Chrome users — a browser which also has its maker’s name in its title — revealed that including the Microsoft brand significantly increased appeal.
We are unlikely to know the name of the new browser for some time. Work has now begun on the difficult decision but an all new brand must be created to bring Microsoft’s web browser forward and keep it popular in the years to come.