WD World

The Death of Internet Explorer

Microsoft has confirmed that Internet Explorer will be going away. They’re dropping the IE brand and moving on with the code-named Project Spartan.

Unfortunately, Windows 10 will continue to have Internet Explorer, and users who still use IE for some reason will probably continue to use it for as long as they’re allowed. Internet Explorer 11 may be the last version they’re calling IE, but Project Spartan could be no more than a rebranded IE12.

To convince us otherwise, Project Spartan won’t be using the same rendering engine as Internet Explorer. Call us pessimists, but we see trouble around the corner.

Microsoft is not switching to a WebKit rendering engine for their new browser, and they aren’t using the old Trident rendering engine from Internet Explorer. They’ll be using EdgeHTML — technically a fork of Trident — instead. That means there’s going to be one more rendering engine out there to consider, and the Microsoft name doesn’t make us hopeful about it. Among the list of reasons Internet Explorer has been so demotivating for so long is the lag in implementing web standards and the lingering of the older non-compliant versions of IE.

EdgeHTML is already being used in Windows phones, and a review of the engine in the latest Windows 10 by AnandTech, showed that it was better than Trident in many ways, particularly in Javascript and WebGL API performance. But that’s the brand-spanking new version of EdgeHTML, and Internet Explorer 6 was great when it first came out. New browser performance has never been Microsoft’s downfall.

In short, this development may be good for users who want a better browser but are somehow unwilling to download a better one, but it’s an oncoming problem for anyone coding for the web.

Maybe they’ll force updates as Chrome and Firefox have done for years, and we’ll finally see the death of out-of-date browsers — and the dawn of a new age of Web Development.

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