Microsoft’s Spartan browser to include Cortana, ink, group tabs and more

Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 logo

Microsoft wants to have the best web browser in Windows 10. According to The Verge, sources familiar to the “Spartan” project, the lightweight browser that Microsoft is building will include features we have not seen in other web browsers.

Although, Microsoft has yet to confirm the features coming to Spartan, the new report says that the new browser will include Cortana. Microsoft is working on bringing its digital assistant to help users on tasks such as hotel booking, flights, package tracking, and other functionality within the address bar. Adding Cortana to Spartan browser is planned to replace all the Bing implementations we see today in Internet Explorer.

Spartan will include ink support to let Windows 10 users to add notes to web pages using a digitizer pen and send the notes embedded on a copy of the web page to other people using OneDrive. Users with access to the notes you shared will also be able to scribble on the web page and share edits with the group.

Another feature unique to the browser is a new way to group tabs to declutter the constantly multiple open tabs. According to the same report, Spartan will let users group tabs in a more personal way. For example, users will be able to separate tabs related to work and those tabs with personal content.

Microsoft was also supposed to include support for themes, but it is a feature the company has put on hold for a future release.

Spartan is a browser designed specifically to be an internet software that works across desktop, tablets, and phones and it looks similar on every platform. The Verge also claims that Microsoft will make Spartan a Windows Store app and it will enable the company to deliver the app faster with quicker updates.

Early this week a mockup of Spartan surfaced on the web showing an early look of the software. According to ZDNet, this mockup is very accurate to how the new web browser is evolving, but because it is using elements of Windows 10 that hasn’t been announced, it is difficult to get a clear picture of how the final version will look like.

Making Spartan an app also suggests that Microsoft will no longer make a web browser part of the operating system, which could also mean that there is a bigger plan, such as making the web browser available in other platforms as lately we are seeing the company making available all of its products across all major platforms including Android and iOS.

As I reported previously, the software giant continues with the plan to include Internet Explorer in Windows 10, but just a backup browser for compatibility purposes. Spartan is the main web browser for Windows 10.

Although, the plan is to make Spartan a universal app, initially it won’t be. Spartan will have two versions: one for the desktop, which will be have the same look and feel as Google Chrome and Firefox, and a second version is a modern app designed for phones and tablets, both carrying the same features and regular updates.

While Spartan is just a codename, it is unclear if Microsoft will fade out the Internet Explorer name with the new browser. On January 21, Microsoft is scheduled to talk about Windows 10 and its new features focus on consumers, but there is a chance the company will talk about Spartan, the new name, and features.

Source The Verge