Today We Heard About Spartan…
ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley sparked off the internet and techie blogospheres rumor mill and speculations ran wild based on her report that Microsoft is building a new lightweight browser to run alongside Internet Explorer on Windows 10.
With thanks to the movie, The 300 for the eminently quotable phrase. Screenclip via Youtube
Spartan is not going to be Internet Explorer the unconfirmed rumors start from there and include lighter, faster, more flexible and the inevitable comparisons to Chrome and Firefox in that Spartan will have extensions or plugins.
Sites like Gizmodo, Techcrunch, The Verge and others are in a feeding frenzy of speculation and many manage to either misunderstand Foley, indulge in the usual troll-like, anti-Redmond wishing-will-make-it-so or are just link baiting. To be fair to both Techcrunch and The Verge they manage to remain mostly calm and accurate.
My prize goes to Gizmodo for their “Report: Microsoft could ditch IE for a new browser named Spartan” as if tagging Report: at the start of any title legitimizes the magical thinking involved here. Remind me to add this to my “Unicorns live in my basement” post to give it extra cred.
What Can We Learn From The ZDNet Post?
After reading Foley’s post these are the four most noticeable points about Spartan: –
- It will not be IE12.
- This may not be another Halo homage (like Cortana) but may actually refer to the design, UI or UX of the browser.
Image courtesy of the Microsoft Store and Halo: Spartan Assault Game
- Windows 10 will incorporate two browsers. IE11 for backward compatibility. Spartan will run on Windows 10 Desktop and Mobile versions.
The Warptest POV
Okay so we have an unnamed source and the likelihood that Spartan is not going to be ready for the next Developer Preview for Windows 10.
We can all take a deep breath in our respective brown paper bags, IE is going nowhere for now. Developers are not going to be left in the cold after building web apps or Add-ons for IE. That’s right, IE has add-ons which are basically a different name for Plugins or Extensions on other browsers.
A second browser in Windows 10?!?? Newsflash hotshots, there is a second lightweight browser in Windows 8 and 8.1. Search from the Charms menu or open IE in the Metro New Windows UI and presto, lightweight IE browser. Oh and BTW, both are faster than you might expect.
Mary Jo Foley does ask the very valid question of if we will see Spartan ported to Android or iOS. A year ago many of us would have scoffed at the idea but the last year has shown Microsoft investing major resources in developing for both mobile platforms. Taking that one step further, my question is will Microsoft make Spartan open source like .Net?
My advice to the Microsoft Marketing Team:
Pay whatever you need to recreate the “This is Sparta” scene and then segue into Leonidas surfing the web with Spartan.
One thing is for sure, I will be testing Spartan if and when it is released. How about you?