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Spartan's rendering engine dumps all the old code that bogged down Internet Explorer

Microsoft is aiming for the Edge rendering engine that will be used in Windows 10's "Project Spartan" web browser to be a "clean slate" compared to the older Trident engine that's available for Internet Explorer.

Jacob Rossi, the senior engineer for Microsoft's web platform team, wrote a somewhat technical article on the Edge engine for the Smashing Magazine site. He stated the current version of Internet Explorer, IE11, supports many modern web standards but its Trident engine also has to deal with legacy support for sites that use older standards. The web platform team wanted to have the Edge engine use the modern standards of IE11 without the burden of legacy issues. Rossi stated:

"In the coming months, swathes of IE legacy were deleted from the new engine. Gone were document modes. Removed was the subsystem responsible for emulating IE8 layout quirks. VBScript eliminated. Remnants like attachEvent, X-UA-Compatible, currentStyle were all purged from the new engine. The codebase looks little like Trident anymore (far more diverged already than even Blink is from WebKit). What remained was a clean slate. A modern web platform built with interoperability and standards at its core. From there, we began a major investment in interoperability with other modern browsers to ensure that developers don't have to deal with cross-browser inconsistencies."

While Project Spartan itself is not available yet in the current 9926 preview build of Windows 10, the new Edge engine can be enabled for its version of Internet Explorer. But what about all those old web sites that might not work with Spartan and Edge? Rossi wrote:

"Internet Explorer will be made available on Windows 10 for some enterprise web applications that require a higher degree of backward compatibility. This version of Internet Explorer will use the same dual-engine approach as Spartan with EdgeHTML the default for the web, meaning developers won't need to treat Internet Explorer and Spartan differently and our standards roadmap will be the same.

Microsoft is currently conducting online surveys to determine the final and official name for the browser.

Source: Smashing Magazine

88 Comments
  • Yes
  • Please don't put that hideous old IE trash in Windows 10. It will only help me remain totally Mac and not return to Windows (apart from my beloved 920).
  • This makes no sense whatsoever.  IE is the only thing keeping you off Windows?  Its pretty easy not to use it by downloading a different browser.  You don't need Spartan for that, nor a Mac.
  • It will be there solely for legacy applications. It will not be the default, and you will have to manually find it to use it.
  • That makes no sense at all.
  • Lolwat
  • Bet you just love paying twice as much for a computer that technically has a biger app gap then windows phone suckers
  • People like you that say things like this annoys me and its the reason why small mindedness still exists, smh. Just download a different browser chump
  • Funny because msft used to make a Mac version of IE
  • Well you can download safari for windows and works perfectly well... Used it to test the new crm at my previous work place.
  • Just call it Internet Explorer 12.  Enough of this naming crap.  Windows "10" is stupid enough.
  • Such a troll, ugh
  • And a stupid troll
  • Besides, humans prefer names, not numbers. Cortana's name has really resonated with people, even non geeks. I think Spartan sexes IE up a little.  TC the troll asks for a number then says Windows 10 is dumb, that is even more contradictory- defying logic and makes me doubt his mental capacity. I am in no doubt about his lack of maturity though :)
  • totally agree!
  • the browser name should be IE spartan. instead of of removing IE name or keeping any other name
  • The name IE is the reason ppl bypass internet explorer so removing it completely would ne a reason to get ppl interested in a new browser. "we are SPARTANS"
  • Your logic makes sense. I just hate to get rid of the IE name, I have used It since my first computer. It has never been a bad name to me, but sadly others do not like it, so Spartan would be good, unless there are a lot more people like me. I will just have to wait and see i guess.
  • The real issue with the name is how a lot of website behave. If they find IE in the name of the browser, they automaticaly show you a crippled version of their website. It doesn't matter to them whether your browser is IE 6 or IE 11 - they don't care. That's the real reason why Microsoft wants a name change.
  • People specifically avoid IE without even trying it because of the name. It could piss gold and most people would think it's awful because of the name. The name Internet Explorer is poisoned, it can't be saved.
  • Though I think they should come back with it later on when the hate is gone. Internet Explorer is the perfect name for a browser, imo. It says everything
  • Not a bad idea.
  • online surveys.....the recent poll....Hmmmm
  • I know it's dumb but Spartan explorer? Anyone?
  • Nope. Just Spartan!
  • Lol just throwing an idea out their
  • Well don't, put it back in the bag - its horrible :) We are Spartans! Being a Spartan explorer makes us sound like we should be wearing khaki shorts and growning beards, that is sooo not cool brother :)
  • Lol, indeed
  • Spartan browser!
  • I second, Spartan Browser! I like the new rendering engine. It loads the pages more quickly now!
  • the idea "Warthog" just struck me, cuz you know, exploration at high speed in a nigh indestructible vehicle with guns.
  • Although Spartan also is neat since the browser has Cortana in it :D
  • Nice, I doubt many would actually get that connection... you would be surpised that alot of people are oblivious about the connection between Cortana & Halo. Hopefully the new live action series should change that unless they've been axed like the 99.9% of XES.
  • Spartan is perfect. Why would they even consider anything else. Spartan to fit with Cortana, and Spartan to demonstrate that all the old legacy baggage is dumped and is minimalistic. It's perfect.
  • I agree. Still, I liked IEs name. It just said everything. I would like to see it being named IE: Spartan. But I see that IEs name has a somewhat based reputation.
  • The IE name is damaged. People will not use the browser if it is named IE. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • For crying out loud, just call it Spartan! It totally rocks.
  • Spartan is a great name, edge is far too overused in lots if other branding
  • I agree (as I sit at my ThinkPad Edge). :-)
  • No wonder the people at MS seem schizophrenic. They are damned if they do and damned I'd they don't. Apple could release a product called "Crap On a Stick" and the fan base would go crazy for it. Let's all take a deep breath and walk away slowly.
  • Let me correct that for you- Apple would release an "iCrap on a Stick". But your point is valid.
  • Yeah I never understood that, Apple must have amazing brain washing technology
  • Steve Jobs was the brain washing machine. The magician has passed, his hypnotised captives would soon open their eyes.
  • Wasn't iCrap on a Stick released as the "iPod nano"?
  • IPod Shuffle. That ugly stick of gum player thingy back in the day. Lo
  • Used to call it the ipod truffle, as it is just a glorified mp3 player.
  • Spartan is not a good name for a web browser. They could be a little more creative in the name. Cortana was good as a voice assistant because it was actually based off Cortana in halo which was an AI. Internet explorer was not bad for a name the problem was that Microsoft never made any relevant change to the browser to make it feel better. They never added any themes or nothing of that sort to make if feel personal. And that was my problem it was a very barebones and bland browser. Which is another example of how Microsoft utilize their resources inefficiently. I really hope for a change in windows 10 mostly with mobile because that's the direction in which we are headed.
  • Spartan because of the fanfare alone would be good, but completely agree with the rest of the statement ppl like other browsers because of their speed and extensibility
  • Especially the last thing you've said! I have lots of friends who do not find IE that bad anymore but are not using it because of the lack of plugins
  • Do people really use that many plugins and extensions?  I have never used one.  Ever.  And none of my friends ever have either.  Maybe it's my age group (I'm 38) but I don't know of anybody who installs extensions and plugins into their browser.  Obviously, people ARE doing it.  But I wonder who exactly.  Is it the majority?  Or a very loud but small minority? 
  • This. (Funny, I'm 38 too...)
  • I think the very point is in actually having a choice. The colossal iOs marketplace makes you feel like there's everything you'll ever need and that's why Apple people love it, even if they don't actually install anything. I think it's the same concept
  • Running Firefox with 16. Also have 9 on my Firefox mobile install. My dad won't even consider IE because it doesn't have the add-ons that he likes, even though I have told him that it has gotten much better than in the past. Posted via my HTC One (M7)
  • @AccentAE86 - Simple, ad bloc, noscript and firebug is all the average user needs in terms of extensions. Plugins on the other hand, everyone needs those :P (flash player for example is an plug-in). Generally speaking both are the same thing however browsers like Firefox have made people perceive they are not lol.
  • Tons of people use em. IE has plugins. There are two problems with IE's pluggins however. 1. No centralized store unlike Chrome, Mozilla, Opera and even Maxthon. 2. Plugins on IE behave like virus. They get installed without your permission and many are so damned hard to remove. That's if you can even find where to take it out. BTW, all those toolbars on your browser are plugins.
  • Edge sounds supa cool!!
  • MICROSOFTᴱᴰᴳᴱ
  • They should just call it windows Spartan. Their code names are always better than what they actually employ. Case and point: Cortana.
  • Erm, what about . . . Longhorn? That one wasn't so good.
  • Ok, almost always. ;) Posted via my HTC One (M7)
  • Project Natal?
  • Spartan One.  That seems like a pretty cool name to go along with One Drive and Xbox One.
  • Meh. I'm not all to find of all this "one" stuff ... it feels a bit uninspired imo
  • spartan 117
  • Yes. That is more like it Microsoft!
  • Morover Jacob Rossi, in the comments of thos interview, confirmed that MS is working to bring support to the extensions in Spartan
  • This is Spartan! ;-)
  • @Daniel Rubino: It would be great to have a 'Like/Dislike" button for user's comments.
  • The upvote and down vote button play the same role. Just pretend the words are missing. Oh, it seems you are commenting from the mobile app. Visit from the PC and you'll see the upvote and downvote button.
  • Cool. Lets speed the world up
  • Enterprise is always there to drag your feet behind while stealing customers money
  • love how you said "Microsoft is currently conducting online surveys to determine the final and official name for the browser" and not WindowsCentral. 
    A new engine is needed since IE , though fast, doesnt load some sites properly and scripts cause it to be very slow in comparison to chrome or Firefox
  • Many times IE doesn't load sites properly because, in those sites, the developers use code that target Webkit instead of to use standard code
  • That's because MS is conducting surveys? Am I missing something here?
  • Hmmm, I have a military buddy that asked for my opinion on a laptop. Mind you though that his main concern was IE11 as he's not sure he can access his stuff he needs to. I'm guessing this will also leave them stuck as well then :/
  • This is why we have a choice in browsers.
  • Not for him.
  • Can you be more specific? My comment is based on the fact that windows and mac give you the ability to download additional browsers. Is he limited to the browser that comes as default by the military? Is he then restricted to IE or Safari?
     
  • As far as I know is he's restricted to IE. I'm not sure which one though. I do know the era of windows 7 through 8.1 of IE he cannot use. As his programs are locked down. But I know he can run his windows 7 machine IE that came stock in compatibility mode and access his stuff. That's all I really know though.
  • Definitely keep Spartan!
  • wow, that was quick!
  • Spartan365 should be the new name. Added an extra 65 Spartans for good measure and deter law suits.
  • Does that mean that it wont have any of that legacy identifier crap that are completely necessary because all the other browsers identify as some extension of Netscape or opera? You know the same issue that caused is on Windows Phones to display webpages incorrectly and are the reasons that WP currently identifies as an iOS/Android browser...
  • After firefox decided to wreck their UI, I moved to Opera, which in general, I'm quite happy with except for their web page bookmarking system, which is completely bonkers stupid.
  • I don't know if its a good idea to keep IE live with Sparta Browser running at Windows 10. Maybe users just think "oh, a new browser, ok, I'll try it another day", and never try. Just kill the IE completely, set Sparta as default and only one available browser, and there'll be a chance to beat Chrome.
  • But it will be the default browser, the one windows will point towards for internet browsing. IE will only be there for legacy support.
  • I don't care the name, just change that ugly interface. IE interface is the worst as a browser, I am a Microsoft fan but I can't ignore it.
  •    Sometimes, to make things better, you have to get rid of the old and start from scratch.