Even if Spartan is only a new browser in name and cosmetic user experience, it’ll make a monumental difference in convincing users to give it a try. Perception is a powerful force in the market. It’s the basis for the advertising industry. A shiny new desktop or dock icon, marketed the right way, could make all the difference.
Microsoft as a company has undergone a period of rapid, pronounced cultural and technological change under Satya Nadella, so it’s mildly surprising the CEO has taken this long to OK an update to a Millennial relic the company openly parodied in its “Escape from Windows XP” browser game.
Spartan isn’t even an official name, though playing off the signature soldier of the popular Halo franchise, a la Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana, is not a bad idea. We may learn more during Microsoft’s next Windows 10 event on Jan. 21. Beyond the rebranding, an even more encouraging sign would be plans to release mobile versions of the Browser on Android and iOS.
Internet Explorer has had a good run, but it’s been asked to keep working well past middle age. The old-timer is long overdue for retirement.