The desire of the software giant to create a new browser and put an end to the 20-year history of Internet Explorer development is due to several reasons, the most important of which is undoubtedly the upcoming release of Windows 10. With the release of "tens", Microsoft intends to offer the market a single platform For various devices, the ecosystem of which is inconceivable without a unified Internet browser, equally well functioning in desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, Xbox game consoles, TVs and other el Electronic computer technology. It is this universal application that Spartan should become (this name, by the way, is not final – it's just a working variant).
With the release of Project Spartan, Microsoft Corporation plans to distance itself as far as possible from the legacy of the past in the person of IE, which has long been notorious among many Internet users and is associated with a large number of vulnerabilities, as well as slowness in work and insufficiently developed support for modern web standards. For example, last year Internet Explorer was recognized as the most vulnerable component of Windows: in versions from 6th to 11th of this product, Microsoft eliminated 243 "holes" in 12 months. This is almost twice as much as in 2013. Not surprisingly, with the beginning of work on a new project, the company hastened to officially announce the abandonment of the legendary Internet Explorer brand in favor of a new product, which, it is promised, will most fully meet the expectations of the user audience and the evolutionary concepts of the modern Web.
Finally, another reason for the re-branding of IE has been the year-to-year competition in the global browser market. If among the users of personal computers Internet Explorer still remains the most widespread web browser and, according to Net Applications, controls 56.5% of the global market (largely due to the huge park of Windows machines with preinstalled IE), then in the mobile segment the presence of the browser Microsoft is a modest 2.5%. In the era of mobile technology – the indicator is more than modest, especially for such a transnational monster as Microsoft, who understands perfectly well: in order to catch up and play market share, a new-generation web browser is needed that is not a continuation of the Internet Explorer series.
The first thing you pay attention to when getting acquainted with the test assembly Spartan is the interface, executed in a minimalistic style and "sharpened" under the control of your fingers. According to the developers, the simplification of the interface of the product was done in order to focus users' attention directly on web pages and content, rather than on the browser itself. By the principle of "cut off all unnecessary" now work many interface designers, and Microsoft's desire to be in the trend is understandable.
In accordance with the latest trends in fashion, Spartan integrated a virtual voice assistant with artificial intelligence Cortana, which offers its services at the most suitable moments, based on the contents of the web page viewed, history and user preferences. Cortana analyzes the actions performed in the browser and automatically displays the information the user needs. The assistant can search the information on the Web, show the weather and stock prices directly in the address bar, explain the meaning of words, route routes using geolocation tools, and show the user various hints depending on the context of the pages viewed. At the moment it is only available to US users, in the future Microsoft plans to adapt it to other regions.
Another innovation is the Spartan function of handwritten notes. With its help, you can make signatures directly on the web page using a keyboard, mouse or stylus, leave comments, make annotations, copy individual page elements and save notes in OneNote. This is in the current version of the application. In the future, it is promised that you can also send notes to the OneDrive cloud storage and social networks.
Not without other innovations. In particular, the references deserve the functions of Reading List and Reading View. The first one allows you to save any interesting materials in a separate list for later reading and is an advanced analogue of the bookmarking system available in any browser, the second one translates the browsed pages in a user-friendly manner, focusing the user's attention on text content and eliminating distracting factors Site, navigation panels, menus, banners and the like). It is also interesting to have a mechanism for preloading content that maximizes the speed of displaying pages. The existence of this is indicated by the corresponding item in the browser settings menu. The latter, by the way, are implemented in common with Windows 10 and the interface of Modern UI stylistics and are deprived of that pile of tabs that was present in the settings window of Internet Explorer.