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Think you can hack Microsoft’s Spartan browser? You could earn up to $15,000 for your effort

In order to keep pace with the hacker community and head them off before they even have a chance to get their grips on Windows 10, today Microsoft announced it will be expanding its bug bounty program to include exploits for its new web browser, Project Spartan.

Spartan is set to replace Internet Explorer, and Microsoft knows that its reputation will be predicated on how secure it is right from the start. At anywhere from $500 to $15,000-a-pop per bug discovered, Microsoft looks to be both exceedingly confident in its web browsing product, while also remaining cautious of any hackers that might be able to ask a higher price for cracks they find on the black market.

“Microsoft’s new browser will be the on-ramp to the Internet for millions of users when Windows 10 launches later this year. Securing this platform is a top priority for the browser team,” Microsoft stated in a blog post on its TechNet website.

The new bug bounties also extend to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud storage platform, as well as its newest project-sharing platform, Sway.com.

“These important additions to the Bounty Programs reflect the continued shift and evolution of technology towards the cloud,” said blog author Jason Shirk.

In our early review of what looks to be the closest build of Spartan we’ll be able to get our hands on before its officially dropped, the browser couldn’t hold up to the competition presented by leaner, meaner browsing options like those offered by Google’s Chrome or Firefox. And worse yet, Spartan was even trounced by very own its spiritual successor, Internet Explorer 11, in Peacekeeper tests.

One can only hope this increased push will be enough to stave off the thousands of hungry hackers that are primed to pounce on Windows 10 once it gets a full release in the next few months.