As we get closer to Microsoft's Windows 10 preview event Jan. 21, more details are leaking out about the new browser, "Spartan," that the company plans to roll out alongside its new operating system. While Spartan reportedly won't mean the death of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, it is likely to offer many more features and functions lacking in the little-loved and aging IE, which first came out in 1995.
Among some of the rumored highlights of Spartan are its built-in use of Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant, and new annotation capabilities that will allow users to, for example, write notes on a screen display of a Web site and then store and send that annotated display to other users. The new browser will also make it possible to better organize open tabs by grouping them into, say, work-related and personal tabs.
As reported Thursday by Tom Warren in The Verge, "Spartan is designed to be a single browser across PCs, tablets, and phones." The new browser will also reportedly be available as a Windows Store app rather than as a built-in feature of the Windows 10 platform.
IE Reputation Challenge
According to an article by Mary Jo Foley published Thursday on ZDNet, Spartan will also reportedly support extensions. Internet Explorer -- now in version 11, which was released in the fall of 2013 -- does not.
Although IE 11 has earned praise for speed, efficiency and standards compliance, it's still IE -- a brand that has won little love over the years. Microsoft's own IE platform team acknowledged the browser's reputational challenges in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" discussion this past August and said rebranding has been considered.
By offering Spartan as a Windows Store app instead of a built-in piece of Windows 10, Microsoft would be able to "quickly and easily update the browser in future," The Verge's Warren noted. The new browser will also be designed to deliver a similar look and feel across devices, which should mesh well with Microsoft's "mobile first" strategy.
The addition of Cortana to Spartan will also support that, as Cortana will enable -- for example -- voice commands for users browsing the Web on a mobile device. According to Warren, "Cortana integration in the Spartan browser is planned to replace every instance of the existing Bing methods in Internet Explorer."
Still, Internet Explorer is also expected to remain part of Microsoft's next OS for users who prefer to stick with the older, more familiar browser. Many more details are likely to emerge at the Jan. 21 preview event for Windows 10.
The Windows 10 OS itself (there will be no Windows 9) is expected to roll out sometime after Microsoft's April 29-May 1 Build Developer Conference.
Posted: 2015-03-19 @ 7:52am PT
Will MSN be offered with Windows 10, will Spartan work with MSN, which presently allows only MS IE to be used?
Posted: 2015-01-11 @ 6:10pm PT
Why create something and invest billions of dollars when there are so many free choices that work fine. They will never make a single penny and everything is a complete negative on the books, so creating another msn/bing/ie/spartan search when they still have not figured out what to do with MSN. Confusing company the last year.