Microsoft to shelve Internet Explorer in re-branding

The tech giant confirmed that Internet Explorer will not be part of the upcoming Windows 10 and it will use a new name for its web browsing successor at a conference in the US.

Although hints were dropped previously about a re-branding of the iconic web browser – part of Windows since 1995, the firm’s marketing chief Chris Capossela said: “We're now researching what the new brand, or the new name, for our browser should be in Windows 10.”

“We'll continue to have Internet Explorer, but we'll also have a new browser called Project Spartan, which is codenamed Project Spartan. We have to name the thing.”

Internet Explorer will not vanish completely, but mainly for the benefit of enterprise compatibility, similar to when the firm agreed to extend support for the Windows XP operating system for government and businesses in the UK and Netherlands last year, giving them more time to migrate away from the software that was released in 2001.

Spartan was given a demonstration on stage in January at a Microsoft preview for Windows 10, with new features that include the ability to edit, annotate and make notes on web pages with the option of saving and sharing them with others.

Microsoft wants to make a centrepiece out of Project Spartan, likely in an attempt to end web-based jokes about Internet Explorer and its negative image over the past several years – famously known for being the top web browser for downloading other browsers.

The arrival of competitors such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple's native browser Safari has seen Explorer and its user numbers steadily decline.

The permanent name of the web browser is yet to be confirmed, but Mr Capossela said it might include the word “Microsoft” as their polling suggested Chrome users preferred including the company name in the re-branding.

“Just by putting the Microsoft name in front of it, the delta for Chrome users on appeal is incredibly high,” he said at the Microsoft Convergence event.

Sign up to the E&T News e-mail to get great stories like this delivered to your inbox every day.

Recent articles