Microsoft working on new web browser?

Over the years, Internet Explorer has been a synonym for "crappy, non-standard browser". IE has been the punching bag of web-developers for at least a decade, and deservedly so (IE 6, anyone?). Over the years, Microsoft made things worse with thoughtless upgrades like IE 7 and 8. By the time IE 9 and 10 (which, in my opinion, is the first decent release from Microsoft since IE 5.5), rolled out, it was too little, too late.

Project Spartan

It appears that Microsoft has gotten weary of the negative connotation associated with the IE brand. So much so that they have been working on a hush-hush project, codenamed Spartan, to roll out a new browser. Early speculations were that this may simple be Internet Explorer with a new name sticker.

If we are to believe this tweet by Thomas Nigro, a Microsoft Student Partner lead and developer of the modern version of VLC, Windows 10 will ship with an all-new browser!

Reports from across the web say that Windows 10 will ship with both Spartan and IE 11, (for backward-compatibility). Microsoft will continue using their Trident rendering engine, and not Webkit, for the new browser. It is likely to support browser-extensions too.

How does this change the web-development landscape? I would rather see Microsoft sunset IE once and for all, and make all users switch to Spartan. Else, we end up with one more browser to run comptibility tests.

All eyes will be on the Windows 10 January Technical Preview event, scheduled for January 21, 2015, when Microsoft will showcase Windows 10 features. If Spartan is demo-worthy by then, we may get a sneak peek.