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Microsoft’s famous web browser, Internet Explorer, may not be as old as the Web itself, but it’s been around for decades. However, the company has announced that with Windows 10 it will move to a new browser – code named ‘Project Spartan’. IE will still exist in limited use for compatibility with existing corporate software.
The 19 year old browser has certainly outlived it’s usefulness, especially with competition from other firms, such as Google’s Chrome, which has a whopping 43% of market share. This successor is more along the lines of competing browsers and supposedly represents a change in direction away from the relative bulk of IE to a minimalist design.
So, what to expect with Spartan:
- Spartan will serve as the default browser on both the PC and mobile device editions of Windows 10.
- Expect Spartan to be Chrome-like, a simplified browser with a tabbed interface and the usual address bar, and back, forward, and home buttons.
- It’s expected to support extensions, like Chrome and Firefox do. Lack of extension support has been a major drawback of Internet Explorer.
- Gone will be the bulk and overhead of Internet Explorer that we’ve all come to know and hate.
- It will integrate with Cortana’s Siri-like digital assistant, and that it will have a new “inking” feature that allows people to annotate Web pages and share those annotations with others using Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud-based storage service.
- Tabs will be able to be grouped.
- A ‘Reading Mode’ will be available that strips out ads and other distractions, and displays the text of a Web page in an easy-to-read form.
The browser will ship will all versions of Windows 10. It’s not clear yet if an upgrade or separate download will be available for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users, however this is likely.