Microsoft cuts its losses with Project Spartan
Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser - an acute source of pain for Web designers over the past two decades - has finally reached the end of the road.
Internet Explorer (IE) started its journey back in 1994 and from the outset adopted exclusive, non-standard functionality. This often proved useful for website designers at the time, when Web standards moved slowly and IE controlled 95% of the browser market. But it proved a short-sighted approach. As the browser market has fragmented and organisations opted not to upgrade, maintaining IE has become a tremendous thorn in Microsoft's side. Each new release has had to include "Quirks" and "Legacy" modes to support those earlier, non-standard iterations.
It has also been a royal pain in the backside for Web designers.
So there were few complaints when Microsoft announced the end for IE's Trident rendering engine. In it's place, Project "Spartan" will serve as the default browser for both PC and mobile versions of Microsoft's new Windows 10 operating system. Spartan won't support legacy technologies like ActiveX, instead using an extension system. It will integrate with the Cortana digital assistant though, to provide voice control and personalised search information.
Finally, Spartan will be auto-updating. So with any luck we've made some progress. And maybe the next two decades of Web development will move a lot faster than the past two.