Internet Explorer is dead. Long live… umm… How about some of these names?

If you believed some of the news headlines, you would think that Microsoft has announced the death of Internet Explorer.

Fox News media report

But read a little deeper, and you’ll find that all Microsoft has said is that it is working on a new brand name for the next incarnation of the web browser it bundles with Windows, codenamed Project Spartan.

If Internet Explorer lives on at all in Windows 10, it seems it will be for enterprises who have legacy requirements such as custom ActiveX controls. And most of the time you’ll be pushed to use “Project Spartan” – which has different innards – instead.

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But I can well understand Microsoft wanting to move away from the name “Internet Explorer”.

Internet ExplorerIt’s a brand that has been tarnished by a horrendous history of security holes, and anytime you speak to a web designer they’re likely to show you the IE-shaped indentation on their forehead from the hours they have spent smacking their head into brick walls trying to get old versions of the browser to render their webpages correctly.

We all remember the painful extended death of Internet Explorer 6, where Microsoft resorted to publishing adverts trying to convince the public how terrible it was, and how important it was to dump it.

And there are even webpages like, which will count down the days until the death of Internet Explorer 8.

In recent years, the once-dominant Internet Explorer has stumbled allowing Google Chrome to grab the title of world’s most popular desktop web browser.

So, it’s against that backdrop that Microsoft is looking for a new name.

I stumbled across a couple of names that Microsoft might want to consider:

WindscaleWindscale. The worst nuclear accident in UK’s history happened in October 1957, when a fire broke out at the nuclear reactor site at Windscale, releasing radioactive contamination across the UK and Europe.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the name “Windscale” hasn’t managed to find a place in the nation’s bosom in the last 50+ years, and the site was rebranded “Sellafield” in 1981.

Which means the name is up for grabs if Microsoft wants it.

Exxon ValdezExxon Valdez. In 1989, the Exxon Valdez spilled tens of millions of gallons of fuel off the coast of Alaska, devastating 25,000 square kilometres of coastline and ocean.

You may wonder, what ever happened to the Exxon Valdez? Well, first the 987-foot-long supertanker was renamed the Sea River Mediterranean, before being sold onto a Hong Kong-based shipping company in 2008 who renamed it the Dong Fang Ocean.

In November 2010, the Dong Fang Ocean collided with a cargo ship in the South China Sea, and was subsequently sold for scrap.

A sad end for the Exxon Valdez, but if Microsoft was willing the name could live on if they chose to pinch it for Project Spartan.

If you’re curious what Project Spartan looks like (and it is quite spartan) check out this video of Microsoft giving a sneak preview in January:

Microsoft unveils new browser Project Spartan

Will Spartan (or whatever Microsoft ends up calling it) manage to snatch back marketshare from competitors such as Google Chrome? Only time will tell…

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

3 comments on “Internet Explorer is dead. Long live… umm… How about some of these names?”

  1. Anonymous

    So they're integrating their version of Siri right into this project Spartan, sounds like a great way to have your privacy thrown out the window. I wonder what third parties will be given your search history for analysis like Apple have been doing with people's voice commands?

    The Windscale and Exxon Valdez suggestions did give me a chuckle, well played. Having found this: a few other possibilities could be; Zaat, Inchon or what about Gigli?

    Whatever name they settle on, I'm expecting that they'll be massively behind on browser add-ons and customizability but I look forward to one day using their creation … to download another browser.

  2. Coyote

    "…forehead from the hours they have spent smacking their head into brick walls trying to get old versions of the browser to render their webpages correctly."

    Don't forget the fact that Microsoft has this tendency to not follow standards, even going as far to making their own standard on something that they did not standardise (therefore causing confusion to some, frustration to others and otherwise making a mess of things). This is one of the reasons there are CSS (and other web stuff) that have specific hacks for IE (including version of IE checks).

    As for your two names. How is this one, on the subject of nuclear disasters, and admittedly a pun (but more so it is continuing your theme and also staying true to Windows nature …):
    Chernobyl. Or they could go with CIH, I suppose, seeing as how CIH activated on 26 April … and since Chernobyl was also a nuclear disaster, and since CIH is part of Windows history, why not continue the theme ?

  3. Too funny! Internet Explorer is dead. Long live… umm… How about some of these names? via @gcluley

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