Microsoft’s New Halo Inspired Web Browser ‘Spartan’ Gets Features Leaked

Usman Pirzada
Posted Jan 9, 2015
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Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is the most unpopular of all present web browsers out there today, and while newer iterations have claimed stability, it remains as unintuitive as ever. Thankfully however, Microsoft will be putting the familiar visage of IE to rest once and for all, while introducing a new browser by the name of Spartan. As Halo fans will notice immediately, this is no coincidence, infact this is the second Halo inspired codename for an upcoming Microsoft product.

Spartan Browser MicrosoftA screen grab of Halo showing Cortana and Master Chief interacting. @Microsoft

Internet Explorer, RIP – Spartan Browser takes the reigns for Windows 10

There is however, the very slight problem of a vast majority of the Windows code utilizing IE based features which means that for backward compatibility, Microsoft will still have to include a compiled version of Internet Explorer, although I very much doubt it will be accessible by users. Basically, MS is going to ship Windows 10 with two browsers, one that will only be used by the OS to run (IE) and the shiny new Spartan browser. This new browser will retain the foundations of Microsoft’s current web technology: for e.g it will continue to utilize the Chakra JavaScript engine and Trident rendering engine among other things.

However, and this is where it gets interesting, word is that this browser is aiming to be a revolution in the browser market, with never-seen-before features, some of which have leaked out. Thanks to an article published on the Verge, we now have a fairly good idea of what to expect. The first thing is Spartan-Cortana integration, something which is very fitting for the codenames employed by Microsoft. Just like Cortana was ever present at Master Chief’s side this new browser will have integration with Microsoft’s (upcoming) digital assistant at a very fundamental level. Honestly speaking, I dont really have any idea what that entails but from what the Verge is suggesting, it seems like Google’s intelligent search results combined with a crude AI.

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Another ‘never-seen-before’ feature is the ability of users to annotate a webpage and then send it to a friend just like that. The service will be cloud based and multiple users can doodle on webpages with the same result visible to all of them at the same time; sort of like a real time website-cum-chalkboard. Microsoft also seems to have solved the (non-existent?) problem of tab cluttering where it will allow users to group tabs according to their own methodology such as home and work. Finally, the Windows 10 event will be taking place on January 21st so we will learn the final details at that date.

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