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Goodbye, Internet Explorer! Hello, Project Spartan

spartanEarlier this year, I blogged about the 7 Reasons You Should Be Fired Up For Windows 10!  Number 5 on the list was Project Spartan.
Today, Microsoft announced they will officially discontinue the Internet Explorer brand. (Cue to every web developer in the modern world jumping up with excitement.)
Project Spartan, the product has yet to be fully-named, will be a brand new browser rolled out with Windows 10. According to the release, the new browser will not be associated with the Internet Explorer brand.
We don’t know anything about the new functionality or how it works under the hood, so it will remain to be seen if the new browser is like other rebranded products – same same, new cover. Or if it really is a completely new code base. Obviously, we hope for the latter. It’s like in the episode of “The Wire” when Stringer Bell changes the name of an inferior product to increase market share. Microsoft’s share in the browser market has been falling for years.
As a developer who has written countless amounts of HTML and CSS, I couldn’t be more happy they are killing IE. IE8 is one of the worst software disasters I have ever encountered. We are still creating custom CSS sheets specifically for that browser. In fairness to Microsoft, it wasn’t all their fault. Open source projects and new frameworks were designed by people that had a dislike to IE and would program things in a way that broke it on purpose. Microsoft’s mistake was not catching up their code base quick enough, or in the case of Silverlight, trying to create their own standard.
Microsoft has seen the light, however. In the last few years, we have seen a dramatic shift in the way Microsoft embraces open source. Visual Studio now contains everything you need to develop on any platform using any language or technology. The proprietary barriers have been completely removed. I can now use jQuery, Handlebars, Knockout, and Razor all in the same project. And get intellisense support, which is huge!
Much is yet to be seen with Project Spartan. We know it will have Cortana – voice activated commands. We assume the UI will be tailored for touch and mobile. And let’s hope the engine under the hood is new as well!
Don’t worry, IE won’t completely go away. IE will still be supported on Windows 10 for legacy applications. Microsoft just won’t be producing any new versions.
Fellow web developers, three extra cheers on this St. Patrick’s Day!
 
 

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