Microsoft is committed to providing a first-class Cortana experience tailored for the PC in Windows 10, and from what we’ve seen, Cortana is rather impressive and Microsoft is definitely on the right track.
One of the new ways you’ll be able to interact with Cortana is in the new Spartan browser Microsoft is building specifically for Windows 10. In the video from WinBeta (embedded below), you’ll notice some pretty small but powerful features which everyday users could grow to love and how Cortana can significantly improve your browsing experience.
One of the neat ways Cortana will be very useful in Spartan is when you’re looking up a website pertaining to a business and want to know everything that’s important to you about this particular business. Cortana’s avatar will jump up and down to let you know she has important information ready for you, and when clicking on her avatar, a menu on the right of the screen will appear providing you with all the relevant information pertaining to the business such as the location, hours of operation, reservations, reviews and more. This all happens behind the scenes while you’re still browsing with a single mouse click.
In addition to that, you’ll also be able to right click any word and select “ask Cortana” in the sub menu, which will provide you with all of the information about the word or its definition in the side bar to the right of the screen. This feature can also be used to select places, which would provide you with a map and details about the particular place rather than opening up a separate tab and searching for it the traditional way.
This is a fantastic example on how Microsoft is tailoring a first-class browsing experience for Windows using Cortana, and with features such as these, Cortana has a good chance to be loved by the masses.
Screenshot shows a glimpse at Microsoft’s new Windows 10 browser
Last week we reported that Microsoft is working on a brand new, slim and much improved web browser codenamed “Spartan”. Initial reports claimed that Spartan will be introduced at Microsoft’s January 21st consumer event and the new web browser is also said to be light-weight, Modern UI-oriented and closely resemble Google Chrome.
We now have fresh information from The Verge and Neowin who reported that Spartan will ship along-side Internet Explorer in Windows 10 as a Windows Store app which would enable Microsoft to easily push updates to the browser app. Additionally, Microsoft plans to have two versions of Spartan – one for Desktop and one for Tablets and Phones, so the browser will initially not be a Universal app but Microsoft does plan to keep the look and feel as well as update cycles identical between all Spartan versions. Perhaps Microsoft will eventually transform it into a Universal app but it’s unclear if Spartan will eventually find its way to Android and iOS as did Office and other Microsoft apps/services.
The first known major feature that Spartan is reported to come with is inking capabilities-which will allow Windows 10 users with a stylus or pen to easily annotate a web page and send it along with written notes to friends or colleagues through the seamless integration of Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage. The shared notes will potentially be accessible cross-platform by any device/browser and collaborators will be able to make changes and share edits between their groups.
The second key feature that Spartan is said to bring is a full-blown Cortana digital assistant integration within the browser. Cortana will apparently be integrated into the address bar on top of the browser and she will provide useful information on flights, hotel bookings, package tracking and more. Tom Warren from The Verge says “If you use Cortana to track a particular flight and start to search for “American Airlines” in the browser address bar, it will automatically display tracked flights and allow Spartan users to view the status of the flight directly.”
Other improvements we expect to see in the new browser include a whole new way to group tabs together as having many tabs open can often lead to clutter.
Lastly, it’s not yet clear whether Microsoft intends to eventually replace Internet Explorer with Spartan or what the official name of this new browser will be.
Microsoft is working on a new web browser that will eventually replace Internet Explorer on desktop and mobile devices running on the upcoming Windows 10 O/S, according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley‘s insider sources.
Design-wise, the browser will reportedly be flat and resemble newer versions of Chrome as well as FireFox in many ways.
Although still in early development stages, the new browser doesn’t have an official name yet and it’s reported it will definitely not be “Internet Explorer 12”. It does however have an internal codenamed – “Spartan”, a Halo reference to UNSC super-soldiers.
Windows 10 is slated to be released in late 2015 and Foley’s unnamed sources claim the O/S will come with both the new web browser as well as IE 11 for backward-compatibility. We also expect to see the same new browser to make its way to Windows 10 Phone O/S.
It will be interesting to see what this browser will offer to the consumer as Microsoft is perhaps looking to shed more light on this project at their upcoming Windows event in Redmond, WA on January 21, 2015. Just as Windows 10 is a giant leap from its predecessor, Windows 8 which got a bad reputation, Microsoft seems to be eager to bury Internet Explorer in the same casket and turn a new page.