Microsoft is preparing to launch a new browser for Windows 10 with an updated interface. Codenamed "Spartan," the browser's UI has tabs and other features that make it seem more parallel to Firefox and Chrome than to Internet Explorer.
One of its key features is the ability of its web pages to be annotated with a stylus. Users will also be able to send notes and annotations to others.
Powered by Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage, the notes will be stored on a web page copy and will be accessible through any other browser using multiple platforms. Users can also doodle on a web page and will be allowed to share their work between groups.
Spartan is also expected to have a new tab interface where one can easily find Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana. Cortana can help users in getting a number of information, such as flight details, hotel reservations, package tracking and other important data.
In addition to this, Spartan will also allow users to group tabs together as a way to keep multiple browser tabs organized. One example is the ability to split up tabs between those that are for personal browsing and those that are work-related. There's also a huge possibility for users to customize themes in future updates.
Designed as a single browser, Spartan will be available across PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Microsoft will make Spartan one of the apps in its Windows Store to allow easier and faster future updates.
Microsoft wants to keep an identical look and feel of Spartan among PCs, tablets and phones. The desktop version is said to be geared more toward Chrome and will come with a tabbed interface on top of the address bar. Familiar options such as Back, Forward, and Refresh can also be viewed alongside the bar.
The objective is to keep the design as lightweight as possible, which users familiar with the older versions of Internet Explorer may easily distinguish.
For now, Spartan is simply a codename for the browser. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft plans to continue with the branding.
One thing that should be noted is that Spartan is not designed to replace IE. The latter will remain an option for Windows 10 users who want to use it on their PCs and desktops.
Spartan may be formally unveiled on Jan. 21 on the occasion of Microsoft's press event. The company will show off the consumer details of Windows 10, including its tablet and phone features.