When Windows 10 launches later this year, it’ll include a new web browser designed to run on phones, tablets, notebooks, or desktops. Code-named Project Spartan, the new browser is a Universal Windows App, and it includes new features include support for annotating web pages and integration with the Cortana personal assistant feature of Windows.

But Spartan won’t be the only web browser included with Windows 10. Microsoft says the next-gen version of its desktop operating system will also include Internet Explorer.


That’s because there may be some users that need to access websites that use custom ActiveX controls, Browser Helper Objects, or other features that are only available to Internet Explorer users. Rather than force developers of those web apps to update their software before the year is out (and risk having users decide not to upgrade to Windows 10 when developers fail to do so), Microsoft is including IE in Windows 10 for users that still need it.

The Spartan web browser has an entirely new rendering engine, but it can also load the Internet Explorer 11 engine for older websites that might not be optimized for Spartan and other web browsers. Interestingly, the version of Internet Explorer that ships with Windows 10 will also use dual rendering engines: it will also be able to use the Spartan engine to render web content.

Microsoft is positioning the new rendering engine as the default for Windows 10, while keeping IE11’s rendering engine available as a fallback.

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14 replies on “Windows 10 will ship with two web browsers (Spartan and IE)”

  1. IE is the only Windows browser I know of with responsive and smooth touch-screen performance. Every other Windows browser I’ve tried is laggy and jumpy, making tablet web surfing horrible. Without IE, Windows touchscreen devices would be severely hampered. Until this dearth of touchscreen viable browsers changes, I want IE to stick around.

    1. You’re right about that. IE is a better browser than it’s given credit for.

      Most people who hate it do so based on its previous versions.

  2. I remember media coverage of the anti-trust case againt Microsoft in the late 90s for bundling IE with Windows. The PBS News Hour’s Jim Lehrer had to keep asking for an explanation of what a “browser” was. LOL.

  3. Seeing windows 10 look like Windows 8 doesn’t excite me. Wow two browsers. Ya know if this thing ran faster than Windows 95 that would me happier. The startup times of a pc are still unusually long.

      1. Yes have a machine with Ssd . The readout is caused by hardware such as nic cards taking forever to start asking with apps from Ms. I can be sitting at the log in for minutes but until u log in the wait nothing is ready to go. The pc is just a big slow pig

        1. i dont know what nic devices youre using but on all my machines/tablets etc both wired and wireless with 8.1 ive had the best boot to internet times that i can ever remember so i cant relate. on your main work machine if you have loads of startup services and devices why not just leave it on 24/7 instead? a few reboots here or there may not matter so much

    1. My Bay Trail tablet boots in about 8 sec. I depends on what you are asking it to do on boot. The OS itself is fast.

  4. As long as I can uninstall either them, they can include as many browsers as they wish.

      1. i think so but i havent tried in case i f#ck something up

  5. Dear MS:

    Please get rid of IExplorer soon, better yet a.s.a.p., just drop it like a bad habit and lock it in an empty warehouse and then loose the key forever.

    Yours Truly:
    A friend.

    1. It’s a bit of a rock and a hard place situation. Speaking as a web developer who by rights could bill Redmond for thousands of pounds of wasted time working round Microsoft’s “standards”, it’d be great to see IE dumped for sure. But then we would undoubtedly experience a repeat (and perhaps worse) of the infamous IE6 tie-in situation where many corporate users were locked into ancient and insecure versions of Windows and IE because their expensive web apps used features not supported by or validated for anything later.

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