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Is Microsoft finally getting rid of Internet Explorer?

Microsoft may finally be ditching its much-maligned web browser Internet Explorer, according to the latest rumours.

ZDNet reports that the Redmond-based company is working on an entirely new browser to ship alongside Windows 10.

Read more: Microsoft’s battle for Internet Explorer users: A real uphill struggle

Codenamed “Spartan,” the new browser will hope to distance itself from Internet Explorer, which has developed a reputation for being slow, unreliable and buggy. Despite this, Spartan will still use Microsoft's Chakra JavaScript engine and Trident rendering engine, just as Internet Explorer does. The new web browser will have a more lightweight feel, however, and contain extension support, helping it to compete with Google Chrome and Firefox.

Rumours first emerged of Microsoft’s new web browser earlier this month, after Thomas Nigro, a Microsoft Student Partner lead, tweeted that the company was set to ditch Internet Explorer as its default browser.

Despite launching an entirely new browser, sources indicate that Microsoft will not be completely turning its back on Internet Explorer. Instead, Windows 10 will come with both Spartan and Internet Explorer 11, although the latter will primarily be included to maintain backwards-compatibility.

The decision to release a browser without the Internet Explorer brand is understandable considering that the user response to Microsoft’s web browser has largely been poor. It is also believed that Spartan will be made available across both desktop and mobile devices running Windows 10.

If Microsoft can solve some of the issues plaguing its Internet Explorer releases, it may ultimately be able to convince Chrome and Firefox users to switch to its Spartan software.

Read more: Google releases faster, more stable 64-bit Chrome browser

Spartan may be officially unveiled at Microsoft’s Windows 10 event on 21 January, but the indications are that a functional preview build of the browser will not be available to view until later next year.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.