The web browser that everybody loves to hate is dead. Microsoft first announced the impending demise of Internet Explorer at the company’s Windows 10 launch event in January. Today, we learned what will supplant it: Microsoft Edge.
Edge, previously code-named Project Spartan, will ship with Windows 10 later this year. And it’s not just a rebranding: Edge looks very different from its predecessor, complete with a minimalist, clean interface design. The new browser will come equipped with Cortana voice control, distraction-free reading, and in-page note-taking. And, like the rest of Windows 10 and its accompanying apps, Edge will work across multiple device types, including PCs, smartphones, and tablets.
But perhaps most importantly, it’s not Internet Explorer. The default browser, which first shipped 20 years ago with Windows 95, eventually saw fierce competition from the likes of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, the latter of which surpassed Internet Explorer in U.S. usage last year.
Over time, Internet Explorer had become a sort of necessary evil for many users, and even more so for web developers, who had to wrestle with legacy versions of Microsoft’s HTML rendering engine for years. Hating on Internet Explorer became so fashionable that when a disgruntled Canadian web developer released a fake “study” purporting to show that IE users have lower IQs, people totally bought it.