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Microsoft downgrades Internet Explorer to a ‘legacy’ browser for Windows 10

Microsoft has confirmed recent reports that it will fade out Internet Explorer, announcing that the browser will only be a “legacy” service.

Instead, the Redmond-based firm will make its new browser, codenamed Project Spartan, the default platform for Windows 10.

Read more: 5 reasons why Microsoft is on to a winning formula with Windows 10

The company confirmed that the new rendering engine behind Spartan will also no longer be coming to Internet Explorer.

Kyle Pflug, the Project Spartan program manager at Microsoft, sought to clarify the role that each browser will play in the company’s upcoming operating system.

"On Windows 10, Project Spartan will host our new engine exclusively," he explained. "Internet Explorer 11 will remain fundamentally unchanged from Windows 8.1, continuing to host the legacy engine exclusively. We feel this change simplifies the role of each browser."

Microsoft confirmed that it had taken user feedback into account when deciding to relegate Internet Explorer to a legacy platform. Although Internet Explorer has maintained decent enough user figures, the web browser has often criticised as for its speed and security issues.

Now it seems as though these problems could be a thing of the past, providing Project Spartan is a success. Microsoft has not yet revealed the brand for its new browser, but there’s no doubt that it carries the majority of Microsoft’s focus at this time.

Some of Spartan’s new features include the ability to annotate a web page with hand written or typed notes, and full integration with Microsoft’s virtual personal assistant Cortana. The tech giant will be hoping that the additions will prove enough to entice users away from competitor software such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

For Internet Explorer it seems as though Windows 10 could be the browser’s farewell – and it is likely to be muted one. In a statement released online, Microsoft even suggested that the general public may not receive Internet Explorer at all when they purchase a Windows 10 device.

Read more: Reasons to get excited about Microsoft’s Spartan web browser

"We will continue to make Internet Explorer available with Windows 10 for enterprises and other customers who require legacy browser support,” the company explained. For Microsoft, it is clear that the future lies with Project Spartan and Internet Explorer remains firmly in the past.

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.