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Microsoft: Windows 10 to come with two web browsers

Microsoft has expanded upon its new Spartan web browser, as well as the fate of Internet Explorer in Windows 10.

On Wednesday, Microsoft showed off its vision for Windows 10 for the first time. Part of that vision involves a brand new start on the web browser front.

In comes Project Spartan, with a brand new rendering engine and a focus on interoperability, web annotation, and Cortana integration; and out goes IE. Or at least, that’s what we assumed. Microsoft didn’t really mention its old web browser brand at all.

Now the company has commented on the fate of IE through an official IEBlog post. The conclusion: it’s not done yet.

Spartan is designed to work with the websites of today, but IE will stick around for the websites of yesterday. This IE support will come in two flavours.

For one thing, Spartan will be able to load the IE11 engine instead of its brand new one for the purposes of supporting “legacy enterprise web sites when needed.”

Also, Microsoft accpets that “some enterprises have legacy web sites that use older technologies designed only for Internet Explorer, such as custom ActiveX controls and Browser Helper Objects.” For such users, Internet Explorer “will also be available on Windows 10.”

Related: What is HoloLens? Microsoft’s holographic headset explained

Confusingly, Microsoft claims that the next version of IE will use the same two rendering engines as Spartan.

It’s also not entirely clear how IE will be implemented into Windows 10. Perhaps it will be an optional install at set-up, or hidden away in some other way. Either way, two web browsers sounds like bad old Microsoft rather than the fresh new one we’ve started to like.

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