back to article Spartan on Windows 7? Microsoft is 'watching demand'

Details of Microsoft’s fledgling Windows 10 Spartan browser are emerging with a suggestion of possible support for Windows 7. Redmond’s Spartan team is working on a plan for support for extensions to the Windows 10 browser. Silverlight, HTML and CSS extensions will be supported in Spartan, according to the software giant. “ …

  1. wikkity

    Oh great

    we'll soon have two half baked browsers to work around and slow adoption of the further corners of HTML5

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh great

      That's no way to talk about Chrome and Firefox.

    2. Bob Vistakin

      Clippy needs to come back

      "Hi! I see you're tying to view a standards compliant webpage any quality browser released in the last 5 years has no trouble with, but you're using instead a microsoft browser. If you insist on doing this, you now have 2 choices - you can either see it quickly, but with totally broken alignment and horribly chosen fonts, or slowly with that the other way round."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Clippy needs to come back

        Hi I see you are using a MS browser, it may be a modern one fully capable of rendering the page correctly if left untouched, but the web dev is still making it render as a ie6 / ie7 compliant, therefore it will be completely screwed.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Clippy needs to come back

        So the fact that Microsoft spoofs its browser header to say it's Google chrome instead of IE when browsing Google websites so that pages render properly is because Microsoft aren't following standards? Wake up. Google is the evil one now.

    3. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Oh great

      Windows 8 already has that.

      If they have both desktop and not-metro versions we could have 4 MS Browsers...

  2. Anonymous Coward

    If MS dont do it, someone else will.

    Remember their claims DirectX 10 and above wouldnt run on XP??

  3. N2 Silver badge

    Other OSs?

    Spartan is designed to work with Windows 10, so it won't run on non-Windows platforms – continuing Microsoft's policy on browsers.

    Down vote me to hell, but it would be nice to see support for OSx & Linux or do they get fired for even mentioning them?

    Or is single OS badly too much trouble?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Other OSs?

      I won't downvote you, but I'm curious as to why you want Spartan on Linux or OSX. It may well prove to be a good enough browser, but it doesn't seem to offer anything unique over its rivals.

      1. RISC OS

        Re: Other OSs?

        For me it would be useful, I'm a web designer and need to test on all browsers.

        1. Jes.e

          Re: Other OSs?

          Microsoft DID at one time did release their browser for Macintosh.

          Internet Explorer for classic Mac around version 7 or 8.

          It actually shipped on Apple's OS install CD's.

          Fortunately (or unfortunately) it was not the same as IE on windows.. it was better.

          It was more standards complient (which the windows version wasn't,) it also did not do ActiveX and used Apple's font technology to render web pages far more beautifully than other browsers and platforms.

          It was small, crash proof, and fast.

          It was in point of fact NOT Internet Explorer as we know it.


          As far as testing your HTML on your Mac in IE (or Sparta)..

          If you want to test web pages in various browsers on your Mac.. well that's what virtuallization is for.

          In fact, seeing how scary it is to use a Windows envirement, virtuallization is the only way to go and I'm shocked Microsoft doesn't use it themselves.

          Maybe while they are busy releasing Windows 10, they could revive their Pallidum project, and restrict running older "classic" Windows applications in virtualized cages so you could keep running your old Windows applications.

          You know.. "A better DOS than DOS and a better Windows than Windows".

          OH WAIT A MINUTE!!!

      2. N2 Silver badge

        Re: Other OSs?

        It may not offer any great improvement and may be a let down, like Safari is on a Mac - thats just my opinion

        But it would be nice to have the choice to run it.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Other OSs?

        We won't really know if it does offer anything over the competition until it's soup yet. I'm weird, I like options/choices. Currently kicking the tires with Vivaldi as default even though all the rest are still available.

  4. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Hmm does that mean

    MacOS/Droid/Linux (Other Operating Systems are available) users can demand it as well?

  5. MJI Silver badge

    Will there be 300 users?

    And I really enjoyed the film

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Re: Will there be 300 users?

      I was wondering how long before they get knocked back because the name has been used elsewhere?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Will there be 300 users?

        'Spartan' is also the model of the penknife sold on the Reg's Cash n Carrion.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Will there be 300 users?

        "how long before they get knocked back because the name has been used elsewhere"

        Perhaps they could call it "Mars Attacks"...

  6. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

    Welcome to the Matrix

    Users will confronted with a blue E and a red E. If they click on the blue one they will go straight to the internet (a.k.a. Facebook), but clicking on the red one will take them to the darknet (a.k.a. pedoland).

    1. psychonaut

      Re: Welcome to the Matrix

      upvote just for pedoland.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Welcome to the Matrix

        Downvote for finding THAT funny...

  7. stizzleswick

    I find it revealing

    that they're not even mentioning Windows 8 in all this.

    1. psychonaut
      Paris Hilton

      Re: I find it revealing

      thats because (puts on jedi robe)

      "This is not the operating system you are looking for"

      paris, because, well, she knows how to look at the mantelpiece whilst stoking the fire.

  8. Buzzword

    It's the app store, stupid

    Forget the browser - it's the app store that needs back-porting to Windows 7. Look at Google - they don't own the operating system, yet they've managed to get their app store (Chrome) installed on millions of PCs worldwide. It even works on Windows XP. Microsoft haven't a clue about strategy.

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: It's the app store, stupid

      Go wash your mouth out with soap.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's the app store, stupid

      Good Point:

      I hear-by ask that Microsoft start using Adobe and Java to push out their browser and having it automatically be installed and set as default browser every-time the aforementioned programmes do their updates.

      Wouldn't surprise me 50% of the Chrome install base was done this way. My parents have chrome installed and they have no idea what it is.

  9. BrownishMonstr Bronze badge


    Perhaps I'm being hopeful, but hopefully there's some hope in Spartan being good and not-so-bloaty. For a long time I have hoped they would do this, oh and rewrite their OS -- but that isn't gonna happen but here's hoping.

  10. Otto is a bear.

    The thing is....

    To Microsoft other OS do not exist, apart from being a Sales opportunity. I also wonder if they really will go for a Windows 7 version, if it's a good product surely using it as a leaver to move people to Windows 10 makes more sense, rather than allowing Windows 7 to become another XP.

    Mind you you could take the line, why do I actually need Windows 10, or Spartan.

    1. Big_Ted

      Re: The thing is....

      You don't need them unless you have XP and can't find a copy of 7 to upgrade to.

      10 ? the default best option will be a sort of 7 lookalike desktop and spartan is just chrome done by MS.

      Save time and money, stick with the current OS unless XP for support or 8/8.1 for better UI and install chrome.

      Or better yet buy a chromebook and use that

      1. dogged

        Re: The thing is....

        > buy a chromebook

        if you live in Starbucks and never use anything outside of a browser.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The thing is....

          >Save time and money

          Ug? Windows 10 is free to all Win 7 users... I've been meaning to spruce up my Win7 machine by reinstating a system image, so I haven't got anything to lose by taking Win10 for a spin first.

          1. Tom 35 Silver badge


            I thought it was free for a year? then pay a subscription.

            Would not be surprised if if eats your win7 license so you can't go back.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Free"?

              I read it as free to install for the 1st year, i.e.. if you are an early adopter, it's free. If I recall they did a version of Win7 for the first 6 months or year that was heavily discounted.

          2. Anonymous Coward

            Re: The thing is....

            Do pay attention to the caution on the Windows 10 blog that installing it can mangle your system image restoration.

      2. cambsukguy

        Re: The thing is....

        Chrome on (my) Windows (7) is a serious memory hog, worse than IE.

        I assume Spartan will be less so, or there will be no point (and the name will be a misnomer),

        Personally, even on my older, never re-installed Win7 core i5 laptop, it runs quite fast enough for me, and the video doesn't freeze like it sometimes does on Chrome.

        Still, if Spartan is also faster, yay!

    2. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: The thing is....

      "rather than allowing Windows 7 to become another XP."

      I think it's already too late for that.

  11. Big_Ted

    Couldn't care less

    about this TBH, I use chrome as it syncs with my phones and tablet chromebook and pc perfectly, same reason I use gmail for all my mail accounts, yeh I know but I do nothing Google or anyone else would be interested in and I use IE for banking etc so it never sees any but a couple of sites. If there was a better vpn than Hola (works with andoid phone, tablet, chromebook and chrome browser for US netflix etc) that was also free I would use another browser however chorme is the default forme now.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can we please all agree to call it $crotum instead as this is very very funny.

    1. dogged

      that's nearly as funny as "M$", AC. What a droll man you are.

    2. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Yeah! And while we're here can we do something for the other side and agree to call you know what LinSux? That'd be hilarious.

  13. Bob Wheeler

    Just Asking...

    I seem to remember that someone from MS stated in court evidence that they [MS] could not uninstall/remove IE from the Windows OS as it is so embedded in the spaghetti like haystack of code. Or words to that effect. Will Spartan be embedded in a similar way?

    Just asking ….

    1. dogged

      Re: Just Asking...

      No, because IE is still there for that.

    2. cambsukguy

      Re: Just Asking...

      Was, past tense of is.

    3. h4rm0ny

      Re: Just Asking...

      IE being embedded in Windows isn't due to "spaghetti" code. OS's and browsers are growing ever closer and we are reaping the benefits of that. Why implement HTML rendering and vector graphics and javascript at the browser level when you can build support for this directly into the operating system and gain the benefits of direct use of graphics hardware and other performance gains. With Windows RT (the API, not the OS) you can code apps directly in HTML5, CSS and JavaScript if you want, no browser needed. Tight integration is one reason Metro IE11 is so quick.

      You make it sound like careless coding when it's actually design with good reasons behind it. If you don't agree with all that and think that browsers and OS's aren't growing closer and closer, just look at ChromeOS - that's an operating system that actually IS a browser.

  14. CaptainBanjax


    That is all.


    1. Lyndon Hills 1


      MADNESS are/were a band.

      This is a quite sane idea, to start again with a standards-compliant browser, giving the opportunity to remove all the code that does non-standard stuff.

      Potentially the new browser should be fast and lightweight, and the redesign should make future development easier and quicker.

      1. cambsukguy


        It is like a Linux fork.

        Take all the stuff you think is good, do a code save with all the conditionals set accordingly, find all 'ifs' supporting stuff you don't wanna support anymore and then go over it with a fine toothcomb to optimise it.

        Or, rewrite from scratch with new classes etc. designed precisely for the job.

        The latter is definitely tempting but requires more bug removal I expect.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't these Windows 7 users realise they can still use IE to download chrome/ff?

    1. dogged

      do you recommend they then use Chrome to download Firefox? After all, it has less cruft in the form of spyware and phoning all your searches back to Google and it doesn't keep asking you to "log in" to your Google account. It also renders hi-res text and images better than a 1970s American TV. Unlike Chrome.

      I can't argue if that's where you were going but I would strongly suggest cutting out the middle man.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Chrome does a better job of sandboxing the insecure Flash than FF does.

        1. dogged

          I have that one solved. I don't install Flash.

          1. Jes.e

            "I have that one solved. I don't install Flash."

            However, apparently certain sites require it.

            By coincidence I rendered OSX and my Linux machines flash free just this morning.

            However if you do need to run Flash, there is always Chrome.. Google maintains their own version.

            And as for Linux users, they are stuck back at version 11 unless they install Chrome.

            Sadly, there was some good media which was created back in the old days. Comic book interactive.. "things" which though hard to find, will become almost impossible to play.

            Sad that..

            RIP Mr. Snoozelberg.. .. Hey! It's on Android! (probably wants your contacts...)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Chrome does a better job of sandboxing the insecure Flash than FF does.

          The down-voters are obviously a couple of disgruntled bot-net owners or identity thieves.

  16. DrXym Silver badge

    Don't put it on Windows 7

    Don't even bother. It would be far better that web devs learn to code their HTML to work with lots of different browsers across disparate operating systems and environments. If they code to a monoculture (in this case some browser engine called Sparta) then the same will set in that made IE4/5/6 so hard to get rid of.

    Just leave Windows 7 alone.

  17. Naselus

    Putting it on Win 7 would be a pretty bad case of MS's right hand not knowing what the left is doing... The entire 'free for a year' thing is meant to get people off Win 7 so MS can tombstone it. Back-compating Spartan onto it removes a reason (however small) to take the freebie.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Doesn't matter if Win 10 is free, people won't update

      Unless the update comes through and happens automatically via Windows Update, in which case they better be damn sure it doesn't break anything more than the automatic update to SP1.

      Even if Windows 10 is the greatest OS ever known, only a small minority of people will go to the trouble and risk of upgrading their OS. Besides, knowing Microsoft they'd require you upgrade from 7SP1->8->8.1->10 which would really cut down the number of people who care.

      1. RealFred

        Re: Doesn't matter if Win 10 is free, people won't update

        You really don't know what you are talking about do you. Do some research before you post

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Doesn't matter if Win 10 is free, people won't update

          You certainly haven't given any indication that you know what you're talking about, since you've basically told me "you're wrong, but it is up to you to 'research' randomly to find out why I say so because I can't be bothered to tell you". Hardly surprising you got all the downvotes you did, you deserved more.

  18. fishman

    To kill ActiveX

    If Microsoft wants to eventually kill ActiveX they need to bring Spartan to Windows 7. I would not be surprised if Microsoft keeps doing updates for Win7 after 2020, and Win7 will still have a good chunk of the market then (just like XP now).

  19. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    There was no word on whether Spartan would back-track to work with ActiveX controls, thereby bringing in support for legions of legacy applications. Microsoft has said there will be no ActiveX support in Spartan.

    They never will: it's been going nowhere as a technology for years and is one of the biggest attack vectors in IE.

    Unfortunately, even keeping it around in IE 11 doesn't even solve all the legacy (read crap) applications that enterprises have lying around. One place I know reckons that around 10 % of such apps won't run in anything more modern than IE 8. Virtual machines spinning up to run IE 8 are probably the best solution in such situations.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Spinning up IE8 as a container would probably be their best solution period which might be a significant component in Microsoft's interest in Docker.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spartan Heavy

    Microsoft should follow the lead of Space X and rename the old IE browser the Spartan Heavy.

  21. Gis Bun

    Not for Win 7

    By Microsoft's own support policies, no Spartan for Windows 7. It is in extended support.

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