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Windows 10: The Birth of a New Browser
Microsoft plays a significant role in the operating systems market. Let’s be honest here, with Windows 7, 8, 8.1, XP and Vista and then the Microsoft Office phenomenon, it is little wonder that Microsoft is again launching another Windows version – Windows 10 (skipping Windows 9).
It is clear that Microsoft Office is closely tied to sales of Windows devices and overall, this combination accounts for around 80% of Microsoft’s profit. So apart from increasing Microsoft’s coffers, what difference will Windows 10 make to our lives?
What is Windows 10?
First of all Windows 10 is a single operating system for all devices – PCs, phones, tablets and the Xbox One gaming console. Currently all of these products require different operating systems, but with Windows 10 you will have a seamless flow between all of these products.
This is a huge step forward and means that Microsoft is aiming to garner a much greater share of the mobile marketplace and is set to increase its competition with the leading players in the area – Apple and Google. Microsoft is also hoping to capture the attention of developers, because the apps created for Windows phones will also be of use on Windows PCs. In fact, Microsoft has created a wide range of universal apps which will work across all devices including laptops, PCs, smartphones and tablets.
Another boost to Microsoft’s mobile aspirations (it is lagging behind in the mobile space) is its acquisition of Nokia, which it is hoping will increase its reputation in the mobile hardware market. Windows 10 therefore, with its cross-operating system fits nicely into their future marketing plans.
What else is new about Windows 10?
Windows 10 has a new web browser (it’s actually a Windows app) which is called Spartan. So with Windows 10, Spartan will be the default browser and it will apparently be a much better version of Internet Explorer (IE) and have lots more features than other browsers. For example here are three features of Spartan:
- Spartan will have a web note service, where you can annotate a live webpage with a stylus, store it to Microsoft’s OneDrive, which can then be accessed from any browser across multiple platforms. Friends and colleagues can access this page, make their own comments, edit yours and share it with others.
- Cortana is Microsoft’s digital assistant and is inbuilt into Spartan. So what does this mean? Well, this is all about contextual searching. So if you search for a restaurant on Spartan for example, Cortana will show you a map, menu and contact information as well.
- Apparently Spartan will also provide a better way to group browser tabs together so your screen isn’t all cluttered with open browser tabs.
Spartan will also load IE 11 for legacy enterprise web sites on an as needed basis, as there are many websites that still run on older technologies and can only operate on IE. It seems very unlikely however, that there will be an IE 12 and that Spartan will be the new IE of the future.
Finally, it appears that anyone using Windows 7 or above will receive a free upgrade to Windows 10. There is talk of a free 12 month upgrade with a payable subscription thereafter, but that has not been confirmed or denied as of yet. Whatever they decide, Windows 10 is set to launch by the end of 2015.
Do you think Spartan is the end of IE? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Jason is a Web Developer at Cornerstone who appreciates building websites that delight and inform. He is a curious person, and enjoys work that challenges him to learn something new and stretch in a different direction.