Developer(s) Microsoft
Operating system Windows, Windows Phone

"Spartan" is the codename of a web browser in development by Microsoft. Officially unveiled on January 21, 2015, it is expected to be bundled with Windows 10 alongside Internet Explorer.


In December 2014, writing for ZDNet, technology writer Mary Jo Foley reported that Microsoft was developing a new web browser codenamed "Spartan" for Windows 10. She claimed that "Spartan" would be treated as a new product separate from Internet Explorer, with Internet Explorer 11 retained alongside it for compatibility reasons.[1]

In early-January 2015, The Verge obtained further details surrounding "Spartan" from sources close to Microsoft, including reports that it would replace Internet Explorer on both the desktop and mobile versions of Windows 10.[2] Microsoft officially unveiled "Spartan" during a Windows 10-focused keynote on January 21, 2015.[3]


"Spartan" will serve as the default browser on both the PC and mobile device versions of Windows 10. "Spartan" uses a new "Edge" layout engine forked from Trident[4] that is "designed for interoperability with the modern web". The new "Edge" engine will be used by default across Windows 10, and pages can be rendered in the previous MSHTML engine for backwards compatibility with enterprise-specific websites and software.[5][6]

"Spartan" does not support legacy technologies such as ActiveX and Browser Helper Objects, and will instead utilize an extension system.[7][5][6] Internet Explorer will remain available alongside "Spartan" on Windows 10 for use in scenarios requiring IE-specific functionality, and will use the same dual-engine configuration as "Spartan".[5][6]

"Spartan" will integrate with Microsoft's online platforms: it integrates with the Cortana digital assistant to provide voice control, search functionality, and dynamic, personalized information related to searches within the address bar. Users can make annotations to web pages that can be stored to and shared with OneDrive.[3] It also integrates with the "Reading List" function to sync content between devices, and provides a "Reading Mode" that strips unnecessary formatting from pages to improve their legibility.[3]


Different Benchmarks[8] show that "Spartan´s" EdgeHTML engine offers drastically improved JavaScript performance in comparison to Trident 7 from Internet Explorer 11 and that it uses the WebGL API for 2D and 3D graphics more efficiently than Google Chrome 41 and Mozilla Firefox 36.


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