back to article This is Sparta? No - it's Microsoft Edge, Son of Internet Explorer

Microsoft has announced the official name for its new, modern web browser for Windows 10, hitherto known as Project Spartan: Microsoft Edge. Microsoft operating systems veep Joe Belfiore announced the new branding during his keynote presentation at Redmond's Build developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. "The 'E' …

  1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Close, but still no cigar

    If MS has really done the decent thing and put a bullet in IE's multiple mutant heads, and developed a new standard-compliant browser that is up with the rest of them, I applaud them.

    But why only Win10?

    I mean all of the major browsers like Chrome, Firefox and the also-ran Opera (sadly now a skinned Chrome engine) manage to support various versions of Windows and also Mac & Linux. Why can't MS do this?

    1. Eric Olson

      Re: Close, but still no cigar

      From the Windows standpoint, it's easy: Yet another carrot to get you to move to Windows 10. They're already offering it free to folks who have Win 7 - 8.1 for a year after release (or so they are claiming on their website). Why keep developing for two generations of the OS when you know it will be deprecated soon enough? I mean, aside from business who took years to migrate off of WinXP, and Win2000 before that. Even free licenese aren't going to be enough, though I'm sure that's part of the carrot as well.

      As for the non-Windows OSes.... well, I would guess it's because the truth is that even with the steps forward taken by both OS X and the various Linux distros, they are still a small minority of computers in use today. Looking around, there aren't many good estimates of OS usage, but for March 2015, Wikimedia's requests show 79% of non-mobile OSes are some variant of Windows. In fact, WinXP was only slightly less common than all OS X 10.X versions (8.67% vs.10.8%). Even with an generous assumption of error, you can't really say that in the non-mobile arena there is much value to Microsoft to port their browser to Linux or Mac.

    2. Dan Paul

      Re: Close, but still no cigar @Paul Crawford

      Perhaps it is due to their want to push Win 10 and Win phone as the same platform. All the other Microsoft OS's have been announced as obsolete already. The idea of write once, run anywhere is a good concept if it can be accomplished and if continued and maintained; could be a powerful reason to upgrade to Win 10 for the enterprise customer.

      IE was always too deeply integrated into the OS in previous versions and would require major changes of obsolete OS software to work on these older systems.

      I don't see Safari for Windows coming out anytime soon. Chrome is already an OS and a browser so it can run on the older and newer Windows systems or by itself on a Chromebook.

      The idea of apps that run in both Microsofts and Googles playgrounds is a powerful advantage to the developers out there. I hope it works.

    3. hplasm
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Close, but still no cigar

      "Why can't MS do this?"

      Why would anyone want it?

      1. P. Lee
        Angel

        Re: Close, but still no cigar

        >Why would anyone want it?

        It will be fantastic! Everyone will want it, they'll all rush to it.

        Oh, wait STOP! ARRRRRGGHHHHHhhh....!

        <squelch>

        <cue harp noise>

        ME sees the Microsoft cloud

    4. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: Close, but still no cigar @Paul Crawford

      But why only Win10?

      I mean all of the major browsers like Chrome, Firefox and the also-ran Opera (sadly now a skinned Chrome engine) manage to support various versions of Windows and also Mac & Linux. Why can't MS do this?

      Like Eric mentioned, they're trying to sell a new version of Windows.

      I'd like to point out that this business model isn't unusual for all commercial operating systems. Older RHEL, OSX, Androids et. al. can/could be made to run the latest browsers and other software too. Whether it is trivial - I don't know. I know Android isn't exactly commercial but my Android 4.0 devices are without love - the burden is just with the device mfgrs unlike with other systems.

      Since consumers and many small businesses are allowed to upgrade Win7/8 to Windows 10 this is not a problem for them. Same with OSX users who can upgrade to Yosemite.

      Some may wish not to upgrade for several reasons including amount of work, incompatibilities, certifications and so on but that applies to all the other operating systems too.

    5. Test Man

      Re: Close, but still no cigar

      " Why can't MS do this?"

      Why should they?

      Windows 8.1 - you're getting a free upgrade to Windows 10

      Windows 8 - why are you still on this when you get a free upgrade to 8.1? Also, see above.

      Windows 7 - old, and Microsoft are clearly pushing 7 users to 8 and 10 anyway, this is yet another carrot. If you don't want to, fine, IE11 is perfectly fine, as well as the multitude of other browsers.

      Windows Vista - LOL

      Windows XP - double LOL

      Windows 2000 - fool

      Windows ME/98SE/98/95 - *pfffffffffftpppfpfpptptpppp!*

  2. Andy Non Silver badge

    On the Edge eh?

    Will it jump or will someone push it?

    1. Tom 13

      Re: On the Edge eh?

      I have to agree. Why 'Edge'?

      While edge of the cliff was the second image to come to my mind, the first was bleeding edge. Neither of these strike me as the sort of positive vibe you'd expect marketing to be looking for. Perhaps they've been out on the edge too long.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    edgy

    just like the new windows logo

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Edge?

    Oh yes. MS getting on the 'Edge' bandwagon then? Will is be as useless as the Samsung Edge? (a solution waiting for a question IMHO)

    1. Dan Paul

      Re: Edge?

      The Samsung Edge phone is designed to showcase "bendy" display technology just like their curved Ultra HD TV's. The fact that the "Edge" of the display functions as a notification area is only a secondary benefit. All MS and Samsung share is a generic name.

      It's not a bad phone, just expensive but hardly as pretentious and useless as Apples iWatch. The only issue I see is that the curved edge of the phone will be easy to break and it will be difficult to provide a protective case for it while still seeing the notification area.

      1. Someonehasusedthathandle

        Re: Edge?

        It was also a nice attempt at doing something new.

        For 3 generations of phone it's been bigger screen curved corners, thinner. Not one decent attempt to innovate. Okay so it's a little gimmicky but fair play for trying.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Edge?

      The answer is far more prosaic.

      Edge is a setting you can put in your HTML to tell Internet Explorer to use standards mode as opposed to compatibility with a particular version such as IE8 or IE9

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call it Esmerelda if you like

    You still need to prove that you've done more than apply some lipstick to convince people who've suffered IE that this one really is a beauty rather than a pig.

  6. Nolveys
    Windows

    Microsoft Marketing

    "Spartan" sounds lean and capable, I liked it.

    "Microsoft Edge" sounds pretentious and makes me want to punch Joe Belfiore in the face.

    1. returnmyjedi

      Re: Microsoft Marketing

      It's probably due to Spartan also meaning a bit basic (from a design perspective, natch). I can't disagree with the punchability of Belfiore's head-ball, though.

    2. Metrognome

      Re: Microsoft Marketing

      Yep, count me in on the punch up. I hadn't seen the guy before but upon setting eyes on him the first thing that came to my mind was "tosser".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft Marketing

        "but upon setting eyes on him the first thing that came to my mind was "tosser"."

        Funny, when I saw the pic for the story, my first thought was "Wow, Sylvester Stallone has lost a lot of weight."

    3. Oninoshiko
      Megaphone

      Re: Microsoft Marketing

      In fairness, Joe Belfore makes me want to punch Joe Belfore in the face.

      "Edge" make me think of someone at the top of a building about to off themselves.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft Marketing

      My reaction also.

      It's strange for an otherwise peace-loving, not violent kind of type. But something about that hair just makes me want to nut him.

      Weird.

      1. Paul Westerman
        Windows

        Re: Microsoft Marketing

        Joe's hair seems to have calmed down a bit. Try an Image Search if you fancy a giggle

  7. the_LocoCoyote

    Here we go again

    It's not like Microsoft has ever talked up their "next big thing" before....and then not delivered. In fact, it is the only thing they do well across the board.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obvious really.

    Edge of course has always been the name inside IE for its mode of supporting latest standards. So you could say its just IE with all the compatibility crap ripped out, leaving just the Edge mode. So the name was obvious all along in hindsight.

  9. JP19

    "be available on one billion devices"

    Really?

    Does he mean there are a billion devices out there that could run windows 10 and if they chose to install windows 10 could chose to run edge?

    1. Steven Davison

      Re: "be available on one billion devices"

      [Quote]

      "be available on one billion devices"

      Really?

      Does he mean there are a billion devices out there that could run windows 10 and if they chose to install windows 10 could chose to run edge?

      [/Quote]

      Maybe they are counting on the Raspberry Pi 2 + to carry that number, since it is reported to be able to run Windows 10 in some fashion.

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: "be available on one billion devices"

      It's certainly possible.

      Count in:

      - All Windows phones sold in the past 3 years. That's in the ballpark of 30 million a year, so call it 90 million.

      - All Windows PCs currently running Windows 7 or later. Practically, that probably means almost all PCs purchased since mid-2009. Given that the average depreciation period of a PC is considerably less than six years, that's probably well over 75% of all business desktops in the world.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, if I use it will I be on edge?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So Windows 10 will have an edge?

    Question is, how sharp will it be?

    Will we get cut badly like we did with Windows 8?

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: So Windows 10 will have an edge?

      "Will we get cut badly like we did with Windows 8?"

      I'd say Win8 was more like blunt force trauma to the brain.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So Windows 10 will have an edge?

        I'd say Win8 was more like blunt force trauma to the brain.

        I thought that was Windows Vista, or was it ME?

        1. Tom 13

          Re: So Windows 10 will have an edge?

          I think ME was the club, Vista was the flail, Win8 was the flail with holy water sprinklers. Having skipped 9 which would normally be expected to be the good version, one wonders if they've attached a motor to the flail with holy water sprinklers.

  12. PeterO

    At the edge or in the middle ?

    "It refers to the idea of being on the edge of consuming and creating," Being at the edge is only one step away from being an outsider or outcast ?

    Surely they should have called it "IM" (In the Middle) ?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely Roman, not Spartan?

    Microsoft is Rome -- impressive organization and bureaucracy, but almost no original ideas of their own.

    IBM is Sparta -- Authoritarian, militaristic, and rigid, but very powerful when it sets its mind to something

    Open Source is Athens -- a dozen philosophers generating hundreds of ideas and at least three contradictory answers to any question

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely Roman, not Spartan?

      I think you have it back to front.

      Microsoft is Athens. Big player. Very influential. Used "alliances" as a way to consolidate their own power and ultimately build an empire out of a federation (Delian League, cough cough). Having a bit of a Peloponnesian War moment with the Spartans right now.

      Open Source is Sparta. Populated by highly talented if crazy people who wouldn't hesitate to leave their firstborn on a mountaintop for the wolves (e.g. if little Alcibiades said he liked systemd).

      IBM is Rome. Glory days long past but occasionally news of jaw-dropping feats comes from some far-flung outpost. The Emperor (Empress) is toying with breaking the empire into two.

      Google is Mongolia. Rapid rise, intent on world domination, not just through force of arms but also by seeding their DNA throughout the online world. No one really likes them, but hot damn, they can ride horses well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surely Roman, not Spartan?

        >The Emperor (Empress) is toying with breaking the empire into two.

        Surely that makes HP Rome? HP Inc. will be the Eastern empire: serious, stable, but a bit dull; and the consumer half will be the Western empire: wild fun, hopelessly debauched, and rapidly falling apart.

    2. Gray Ham
      Joke

      Re: Surely Roman, not Spartan?

      So, Apple would be ....

      Britain! - huge empire, controlled by insisting everyone uses your own esoteric set of rules?

      See here: http://spreadofcricket.weebly.com/reason-2---deliberate-export.html

  14. jonathan keith Silver badge

    Hear that sound?

    It's Tim Langdell, weeping in to his cocoa.

  15. x 7

    Microsoft are on the Edge of the Precipice. What happens when they trip?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just more marketing drivel from MSFT

    Hasn't MSFT been making a bunch of noise over the past couple years about how amazing and fast and standards-compliant IE is?

    I remember them making a big deal about how IE is the only browser that has hardware-accelerated rendering, or somesuch, with the implication that it's the fastest browser. (Getting from point A to point B in that argument requires a big leap of faith IMO...)

    And I remember Microsoft announcing that IE was so phenomenally standards compliant that they actually had to make it less standards-compliant on purpose to be compatible with more web pages. (Something about supporting special Mozilla language for gradients in CSS or something...)

    Somebody write a story when it's independently verified that this new Microsoft thing is any good.

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Re: Just more marketing drivel from MSFT

      Yes, IE 11 is very standards-compliant. Unfortunately being standards-compliant can be scuppered by idiots who write stuff like this:

      div.i-am-a-css-god {

      -webkit-super-css3-attribute: wow;

      -moz-super-css3-attribute: wow;

      }

      There are lots of stylesheets around that don't have the non-prefixed CSS attributes in them, and the very worst offenders only have the "webkit" prefixes, especially on mobile sites.

      These days, the people who bitch about IE are the ones who haven't used it since IE8, if they ever did at all. "Internet Explorer is crap" is a shibboleth - it lets know-nothings appear knowledgeable to other know-nothings, but it's not true today. (Compare with the 1990s version: "Macs are toys")

      Don't get me wrong: before IE9, IE was a basket-case, and was a royal pain in the hole. However, now it's no more or less trouble than Chrome or Safari... once you write to the actual standard, not the vendor-specific extensions...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just more marketing drivel from MSFT

        >>These days, the people who bitch about IE are the ones who haven't used it since IE8, if they ever did at all. "Internet Explorer is crap" is a shibboleth - it lets know-nothings appear knowledgeable to other know-nothings, but it's not true today.

        Or is it the opposite? Because IE is still not good. I use the latest version on my HTPC. It doesn't respect system-wide high DPI settings. There are pretty frequent multiple-second delays to do basic things like switch between tabs. And once a week or so the program crashes completely, which seems like it shouldn't be possible if all the tabs are in separate processes.

        IE may be better than before but there's still a lot to bitch about.

  17. Captain DaFt

    Microsoft never learns

    Microsoft Edge? Really? So that'll be an icon with a big 'ME' on it on the desktop? After how well their last ME did?

    It looks like their people in marketing do best selling bad names to upper management.

  18. Big-nosed Pengie

    Classic.

    "Hey - this product we've got really stinks. People hate it."

    "Well, we'd better fix it then."

    "You mean make it work better?"

    "Don't be stupid - we'll do what we've always done!"

    "Ah. Change the name. Gotcha."

  19. largefile

    It's almost as though not a one of you has actually seen Spartan/Edge in person nor Windows 10 nor any other technology mentioned today. Microsoft may well stumble but you know what....I'm betting they don't. Things have really changed in Redmond. You can hate them forever but the momentum is building, the partners are lining up, the collaborations are happening and all the venom in your veins will not slow it down. You folks are living a decade ago.

  20. Terafirma-NZ

    sly??

    $20 says that it is a universal app using some backdoor API that allows it to have access back to the old Windows desktop not bound by the "Apps for Windows API" it will then also have some integration into the OS that causes it to be horrible and require constant updates.

    Call me skeptical but if it is truly universal and independent then it would run on W8.1 at least as well as being fully and wholly removable from Win10.

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Re: sly??

      It wouldn't run on 8.1 if it uses UI controls that are unavailable on 8.1, which it does.

      And I'd take your $20 if there was ever any hope of you paying up...

  21. Yugguy

    Microsoft's Joe Belfiore announced the new branding for Project Spartan at Build 2015

    This man dyes his hair.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I the first ....

    to suggest the name suggests it will facilitate "edging" (look it up in Urban Dictionary for yourselves)?

  23. adam payne

    While I applaud them for finally starting to kill off IE I don't see why it's only for Windows 10. Edge is not going to make me upgrade to Windows 10 anytime soon.

    I think i'll stick with the fox.

  24. PapaD

    Shame

    Shame, I liked the name Spartan for a browser

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