Microsoft has struggled with web browsing technology for a number of years, and has found Internet Explorer lagging behind other browsers in terms of features and users.
It does remain popular, but many people cite that these numbers are largely because it comes pre-installed on devices when they are purchased. The launch of Windows 10 later this year will see a brand new web browser named Spartan included in place of IE.
Microsoft’s new browser is expected to include a number of impressive features that could see it gain market share from competitors. The first of these is referred to as “inking”, the ability for users to annotate websites and make notes similar to footnotes in Word. All annotations or notations you make will be saved in OneDrive so they can be accessed from other devices and shared. Inking will only be available for touch screen devices at first.
The second feature that could turn heads is integration of Cortana, the virtual personal assistant found on Microsoft smart phones. This has a great deal of potential, particularly when you consider that it can help you to find more about a website by clicking a single button. You could also use the assistance to find further information if you need explanations or additional details. On top of this Cortana can provide some basic things like weather forecasts so you wouldn’t need to search for them.
The Spartan browser will also live up to its name by being streamlined and minimal. This will follow in the footsteps of competitors like Firefox and Google Chrome by having a minimal user interface with key features highlighted. It will allow you to group tabs when browsing so you can keep them organised easier. It will also include a reading mode where you’ll only view the text of sites rather than all other images; this will be particularly useful for mobile browsing on smaller screens where you don’t want the clutter.
Microsoft claims that Spartan does not spell the end for Internet Explorer, and they will continue to support their twenty year old product alongside the new one. It looks increasingly likely that the introduction of Windows 10 and the new browser could see the numbers of IE users fall dramatically, meaning it is used more for nostalgia reasons than any other.