R.I.P. Internet Explorer

It’s official. Internet Explorer is retiring. Speaking at Microsoft Convergence this month, all the rumours were confirmed as Microsoft’s marketing chief, Chris Capossela, made the announcement that their signature web browser will soon be replaced.

According to Capossela, the new browser, which is going by the code name Project Spartan, will form part of the upcoming Windows 10 package. Features of the new browser will include an all-new rendering engine, as well as three new features that let users:

  • annotate web pages (click anywhere and add a comment), which can be synced to OneDrive and shared with collaborators;
  • view in reading mode, which strips away the clutter and offers a reading list that syncs across devices; and
  • access an intelligent personal assistant, Cortana, that is Microsoft’s answer to Siri.

With a brand new browser, Microsoft hopes to shake off negativity that has surrounded the Internet Explorer brand over the past several years. When it was first launched in 1995, IE dominated the market boasting 95% usage share by 2002. Having squashed any competition, IE remained stagnant for a time. With the emergence of browsers like FireFox and Google Chrome, IE continued to lag behind suffering from bugs and security holes, among other things.

There’s no doubt that the Microsoft brand is still very strong. Indeed, Caposella showed off research on a new name for the browser, indicating how putting Microsoft in front of the name increased appeal to Chrome users. Whatever the name, we can expect Project Spartan to be a significant departure from Internet Explorer.

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