It was in August 1995, that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser got released along with Windows 95 Plus pack, nearly two decades ago. Last time a popular browser brand got introduced was with Google Chrome 6 years ago, even the humble Mozilla Firefox is 12 years old. If you add Apple Safari to the mix, there are good number of choices in the marketplace.
With the upcoming launch of Apple Watch lacking a web browser and popular E-Commerce brands & Facebook focusing their development efforts on Mobile Apps (iOS, Android), Web Development looks relegated.
In this context, does the world need one more web browser?. Microsoft thinks so.
One reason for Microsoft’s decision might be aimed at shedding the negative (false) image of Internet Explorer not being modern and standards compliant, a perception that Google and Apple managed to paint successfully with their WebKit browser rendering engine.
Microsoft has released a new browser codenamed Project Spartan with the latest build of Windows 10 Technical Preview build 10049. I am playing around with the browser today and it appears to be an interesting rethink. On the basics, Project Spartan scores well – it renders the pages I visited correctly and fast, the UI looks clean and minimal. In the current build there are no bookmarks (favourites) and other features. For me the most interesting feature is “Web Note”, which allows you to circle a portion in the webpage, type comments and send it to OneNote or you can take a screenshot like the one below and share it to others.
Currently Microsoft has announced Project Spartan will be made available in Windows Phone as well, I wish they will extend that and make it available for Non-Microsoft platforms including iOS & Android.