The Spartan browser is Microsoft’s answer to the endless complaints about Internet Explorer. In response, IE has now been phased out, and Windows 10 will get the new Spartan browser. However, the recent Microsoft Build 2015 conference included the announcement that Spartan is now known as Microsoft Edge.
Edge is indeed quite edgy. It’s been a long time since Microsoft decided to build themselves a browser from the ground up, and Edge has several features guaranteed to live up to that edgy title. Previews at Build 2015 showed off these new features, and the new version of Edge in action.
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The main hype is around compatibility with existing browsers, and the ability to run extensions for those browsers. Often Chrome and Firefox extensions differ from each other, but using the compatibility of Edge allows users to run stuff for other browsers inside Edge, allowing all the extensions and customisations a user wants.
Build 2015 briefly showed off a simple demo which proved that Chrome extensions could indeed run inside the browser. It did require a few changes to be made, but ultimately Edge did manage it. Of course, the compatibility of Edge will mean extensions can be built for multiple browsers at a time.
Other parts of the demo showed off the inbuilt Cortana digital assistant running inside Edge’s user interface. The digital assistant can assist with search functions and reminders. The user interface itself seems quite different from other browsers as well – featuring more fluid elements that are easier on the eye.
Edge also manages to pack in a lot more features using the same amount of space – there are a lot of drop down menus and organisational tools, plus the ability to make annotations and notes on a webpage to save for later. Contrary to the name, the browser’s design seems to do away with boxes with ‘edges’ and leans towards a more modern, borderless look with sliding objects that move and reposition themselves as you browse.
The Build 2015 Conference will no doubt show more of Microsoft’s new Windows 10 features in the next few days. Check out the official Microsoft Edge ‘teaser’ style trailer below.