If you haven’t heard by now, Microsoft’s new upcoming and highly anticipated operating system, Windows 10, will come with a brand new browser codenamed “Spartan”.
Windows 10 will still ship with Internet Explorer “for legacy reasons” but Microsoft is keen to let everyone know that Spartan will be the next big thing. As the codename suggests, the new browser is obviously designed to be minimal:
- bare-bones, plain, simple, clean ~ synonyms for Spartan from Thesuarus.com
Another new feature in Windows 10 will be “Cortana”, an artificial intelligence-based personal assistant along the lines of Siri for Apple, and named after a fictional character in the Halo video game series. Put the two together, Spartan + Cortana, and the result is a simple yet highly intuitive browsing experience.
The best way to describe it is that Cortana is your surfing companion, accompanying you wherever you go – when you open up a web page, Cortana will pull additional information based on the page’s content and display same, on demand, in her sidebar, which is normally hidden at the right side of the browser window by default.
One of the main benefits of Cortana’s integration is that you won’t necessarily need to leave the current web page for such things as looking up the meaning of a word or identifying a particular geographical location. Just highlight and right click any word or phrase included within the page, choose “Ask Cortana” and that additional information will then be presented in her sidebar.
Will Internet Explorer also come with Cortana integrated? I seriously doubt it. Microsoft will no doubt see a ‘Spartan only’ approach as an inducement to wean users off the old browser and onto the new. Plus, those privacy-minded users who may not appreciate Cortana surfing along with them, will still have the Internet Explorer route as an option.