Microsoft recently let slip on Twitter that its new Spartan browser will support extensions. During the same chat the company also discussed possible Windows 7 support for Spartan. The answer? Maybe.
“Spartan is currently targeted at Win10. We’re focused on getting ppl upgraded (free) but will watch Win7 demand,” Microsoft said via its IE Dev Chat account on Twitter during an online discussion under the #AskIE hashtag.
Spartan is Microsoft’s attempt to fast-forward its built-in browser for Windows to a more modern and lightweight platform. The browser will debut in Windows 10 alongside a version of Internet Explorer meant to accommodate users (mostly enterprises) that require IE’s legacy technology. Spartan is one of many reasons Microsoft hopes users will take advantage of the free upgrade from Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 to Windows 10.
Why this matters: The last thing Microsoft wants is for Windows 7 to become the next XP: A popular version of Windows that millions of users refuse to abandon for years. The possibility of a more Chrome-like browser with support for extensions and Cortana integration understandably has a lot of legacy Windows users interested in Windows 10.
In a previous era, Microsoft almost certainly would have created Spartan for more than just its latest platform. But Spartan is all about abandoning Microsoft’s legacy to help it move into the future—so it makes sense that support for previous versions of Windows aren’t in the cards, at least immediately. Don’t hold your breath for a Windows 7 version.
I am…Spartan? IE? What?
While the IE Dev chat on Tuesday gave us a few tidbits of information about Spartan, it still didn’t clearly answer one nagging (albeit minor) question: what will Spartan ultimately be called?
Reports suggest the browser will not carry the title of IE in order to sever Spartan from IE’s reputation. It would also make sense for Microsoft to rename its browser since a legacy version of IE is set to ship alongside Spartan; however, Microsoft is not exactly known for making sensible decisions when it comes to naming products.
When asked about browser nomenclature during the #AskIE chat on Tuesday, IE Dev Chat would only say it was an account for the engineering team, not marketing, while repeating that IE will still exist for users who need it for legacy reasons.
All of that would certainly suggest that Spartan won’t be called Internet Explorer, but we hardly have a definitive answer at this point.