Microsoft plans to ship a brand new web browser with Windows 10. Code-named “Spartan,” the new browser won’t replace Internet Explorer right away — both web browsers will be included in the next version of Windows. But it’s pretty clear that Spartan is the future and IE is the past.

Spartan has a new rendering engine, a simpler user interface, and optimizations to let it run equally well on tablets, phones, and notebook or desktop computers.

For the first time Microsoft is also working with third-party software developers to improve the code of the web browser.


Spartan won’t be an open source project like Mozilla’s Firefox web browser. Independent developers won’t be able to inspect or modify the code.

But Microsoft has announced that it’s working with “other major Web entities” who are contributing code. The first company Microsoft is naming is Adobe.

Why partner with Adobe at a time when the company’s Flash plugin is rapidly being replaced by HTML5 and other web technologies? Because Adobe is more than just Flash.

The company contributes to open source projects such as WebKit, Blink, and Gecko (used by Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, respectively) and now Adobe can contribute to Microsoft’s closed-source web browser as well. Microsoft is highlighting some CSS design elements that Adobe has contributed, giving web developers more control over how colors are displayed in your web browser.

The end result is that web content stands a better chance of looking the same in Spartan as it does on other popular web browsers.

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11 replies on “Microsoft’s “Spartan” web browser to include code contributed by Adobe, other software makers”

  1. I’m not sure why many people here seem to be so down on Microsoft and Adobe on this. As noted in the post Adobe contributes to Webkit, Blink and Gecko. I can see how some may be wary with the fact that “Spartan” won’t be fully open source, but this opening up by Microsoft to at least some companies who can contribute to the code seems like it would be a good first step to eventually opening up more in the future.

  2. 1. New computer comes saddled with WinX. 2. Immediately uninstall Spartan.

  3. Adobe providing code… Are they sure they didn’t mean to name it Trojan?

  4. I wonder if the NSA is among those “major Web entities” contributing code to Spartan. Since we’re locked out of the source code, we’ll just have to trust them, I guess.

  5. First they screw up every update and now they cooperate with the godmother of security issues. They dig their own grave…

  6. Nothing good will come from MS laying with Adobe. Two wrongs do not make it right. So far I have not heard a single reason why I would want to abandon FF for Spartan.

  7. I’m not sure how to interpret this: “Microsoft is highlighting some CSS design elements that Adobe has contributed, giving web developers more control over how colors are displayed in your web browser.”

    Does that mean Adobe is helping MS get in line with existing standards, or are they contributing “extras” that aren’t part of existing standards? The former is fine, but the latter sounds like more of the bad old days….

    1. MS, if Spartan isn’t 100% compliant with current web standards as of the first day of general availability for Windows 10, I’ll be coming to Redmond to tie up everyone working on Spartan and read them verbatim all of the relevant specs. It will take as long as it needs to.

    2. Maybe it’s just case of the Blind leading the Blind. 🙂

      Nothing good can come out of it, sadly.

  8. No Spartan in the latest build of Windows 10 (fast channel). I was hoping to get at least an Alpha version of it to see what direction Microsoft is going. Guess we have to wait a bit longer.

    1. Spartan and new system icons appear to be the last two elements that need to be added before the final release of Windows 10. I am predicting interactive tiles will be set aside.

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