Microsoft reportedly is integrating Cortana, inking support into the “Spartan” web browser that will replace the modern version of IE, as well as the desktop version too.
According to The Verge’s close sources to the company’s plan, the web browser will have several new features, compared to its rivals, such as Cortana integration and inking support that lets users to annotate web pages and send notes to their friends. These notes will be synced with OneDrive and will also be accessible from other browsers on any operating systems.
The most interesting feature is the integration of Cortana that will replace Bing search from Internet Explorer. The digital personal assistant will allow users to open websites using voice commands as well as display various types of information such as flights status or hotel reservations, etc.
Additionally, there’s a neat feature that allows users to group open tabs and split them like personal tabs and work tabs.
Despite sharing the two engines with IE11, the Spartan browser will be “lighter” with a new UI similar to Google’s Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, and will also support extensions.
By going the leaked images by cnBeta, the Spartan browser looks a lot like Chrome and Firefox.
From the top left, open tabs are stacked horizontally with its own close button. Below the active tab, there are traditional back, forward and refresh buttons followed by address bar/URL-cum-search box. At the end of the address bar, you can see favorite button as well as reading mode switcher. At the right side, the Spartan has OneNote shortcut, a mysterious folder button (maybe bookmarks), and share button, followed by three dots button that pops up the settings of the browser.
The Spartan will replace the modern version of Internet Explorer but will also be available as an alternative to IE’s desktop version. Both versions will be kept up to date through Windows Store. However, a version of Internet Explorer will reside in the OS for backward compatibilities. The new browser will work on PCs to tablets, and smartphones and will be the default web browser in Windows 10.
Microsoft has already scheduled a Windows 10 event to preview some eye-candy consumer features of the OS including its phone and tablet features later this month, and the company may take the opportunity to give the first glimpse of the Spartan browser.
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