It may seem strange, but it’s true: the newest competition to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser is coming from the tech company itself. Microsoft Edge, previously nicknamed Project Spartan, was announced by Microsoft at the Build 2015 conference earlier today. According to VentureBeat, the new browser introduced by Microsoft will have support for extensions, those friendly little mini-apps that do just about anything you can imagine for your browser. Joe Belfiore, the Vice President of the company’s operating systems group, explained the name choice, saying it refers to being “on the edge of consuming and creating,” VentureBeat added.
Let’s face it: IE was probably dead long before Microsoft decided to stop fighting the good fight, but this just makes it official. The program, which many ditched in favor of the faster and more powerful Google Chrome web browser, was known for having slow loading times and (until recently) didn’t have the support for extensions that Chrome and Apple’s Safari were able to boast. VentureBeat noted that all Windows 10 devices will come with Microsoft Edge out of the box — IE will still exist on these new devices, but mostly for nostalgic purposes.
Inquisitr reported on the status of Project Spartan/Microsoft Edge last month, mentioning that some of the changes to the new browser included a new rendering engine and the ability to have Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana built right in. The YouTube commercial for Microsoft Edge also shows that it gives users the ability to annotate web pages, as well as being able to show graphical previews of a site the user has open in another tab just by mousing over that tab. Similar to Google Now, Cortana also appears on relevant webpages and offers to, for instance, get directions, hours, and other information about a given place whose website you might happen to be perusing.
The video also makes it clear that Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, will now give users results in an “answers-before-you-ask” sort of way, the same way Google has begun to do. As an example, type a stock’s ticker symbol and the information about that company will pop up almost before you can even finish writing a sentence (which is equal parts awesome and creepy). Microsoft Edge also has a clean new look that will remind Chrome users of a thinner, brighter version of Google’s browser. The tab interface is sharp and crystal clear, with plenty of features packed tightly into a browser that looks to be easy to use.
Along the same lines, CNET added that Microsoft has more plans for updates to its operating system, including a feature called Windows Hello that will allow users to log into their computer using either optical, fingerprint, or facial recognition. As the war to be the most innovative tech company continues heating up, there’s no telling what we’ll see from the major companies that control the market. To date, Apple, Google, and Microsoft are all fairly tied up in terms of features for their respective browsers and OS versions, but the introduction of Microsoft’s new browser could give it a leg up on the competition.
[Image Credit: Geek]