Internet Explorer Retires – How will this affect your online store?

Microsoft’s new project codenamed “Project Spartan” will replace the Internet Explorer brand, which will be officially retired by Microsoft. Internet Explorer has been a thorn…
  • Caitlin Mekita
  • Customer Success Manager
  • April 20, 2015 Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

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Microsoft’s new project codenamed “Project Spartan” will replace the Internet Explorer brand, which will be officially retired by Microsoft. Internet Explorer has been a thorn in the side of web developers since it’s launch twenty years ago, and has been experiencing a consistent decrease in market adoption and usage share since it’s peak in the early 2000’s.

Internet Explorer’s short success was due to it’s bundling with the popular Windows Operating system that experienced a boom in the 1990’s. After defeating it’s major competition in Netscape, IE reigned supreme until flashier, faster, and standards compliant browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Safari emerged throughout the 2000’s. Internet Explorer’s lack of mobile compatibility ultimately proved to be the final nail in it’s coffin.

When Project Spartan is renamed and ultimately launched, Microsoft will need to do some major brand development to overcome Internet Explorer’s terrible reputation and low usage rates. A web summit for Project Spartan will take play May 5 – 6, at which time we’ll know more about what’s next for Microsoft.

What does the end of IE mean for eCommerce?

With the upcoming launch of Windows 10, Project Spartan will replace Internet Explorer as Windows default and official browser. Project Spartan has only been seen so far in the Windows 10 Technical Preview, but we have a good idea of what Project Spartan will bring.

1. Cortana

Cortana is Microsoft’s virtual assistant and helps your search and browsing by thinking ahead and giving you extra information when you need it. Cortana is essentially an entry point for Bing, so growing popularity for Cortana searches, if that happens, it may mean an SEO strategy that caters to Bing as well as Google.

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2. Web Note

A web note button on Project Spartan allows you to draw directly on web pages using your touchscreen, and then translate those notes into an email or OneNote. Microsoft is essentially allowing users to edit and send screenshots directly on the screen.

3. Reading List and Reading View

Here’s where it starts to get interesting for eCommerce. Project Spartan will offer a reading mode that allows users to strip out anything “unnecessary” on the page and render a more readable version of the page that can be saved as a PDF. Other browsers offer read-only extensions, and they aren’t incredibly prevalent right now, but Read-only view may become an important part of your testing routine once Project Spartan launches.

In conclusion

The web community is understandably skeptical about Microsoft’s new web browser, currently named “Project Spartan”. Developers and website owners are waiting with baited breath to find out whether Microsoft’s new browser will be able to achieve the wonderfully compliant standards, good looks, and popularity of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

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