Another nail was placed in Internet Explorer’s coffin today as Microsoft announced that, contrary to early rumors, the Spartan web browser will not utilize Internet Explorer’s browser engine, not even for legacy support.
This decision, made public at a developer workshop and clarified on the Internet Explorer blog, indicates that Microsoft intends to boldly break away from its previous web browser instead of hedging its bets.
Leaving IE behind is a move that has roots in practical reasons. Redmond’s developers were apparently worried that adding a legacy mode to Spartan, or attempting to intertwine the engines of the new browser and IE, would cause confusion among developers, who might be undecided on which browser they should target. There was also some confusion about how the capabilities of each browser differed, and cleanly separating the two should help clear that up.
Does this mean Internet Explorer is completely dead? Not exactly. The browser will remain as a legacy option, primarily intended to support enterprise customers who need the old browser engine for their customized infrastructure. IE won’t receive the updates found in Spartan, though, so it’s essentially being locked away to perish of neglect.