Spartan is new web browser for Microsoft’s Windows 10


Feb. 2 2015, Updated 4:05 p.m. ET

Microsoft’s Windows 10 has new web browser

In its Windows 10 release, Microsoft (MSFT) announced that Windows 10 will include a new web browser called Spartan. With Windows 10, Spartan will be the default browser. It will feature both a refreshed interface and other improvements that were not included in Internet Explorer (or IE).

The Spartan web browser is equipped with inbuilt Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant with its contextual searching. So if a person looks up  a restaurant on Spartan, Cortana will throw in a map, a menu, and contact details. We’ll see in a later part of the series how Microsoft with its IE is placed in the web browsing space along with its peers Google (GOOG) (GOOGL), Mozilla Firefox, and Apple (AAPL).

If Microsoft’s (MSFT) Spartan turns out to be a preferred choice in the web browsing space, it will not only benefit its investors but also ETFs such as the Powershares QQQ Trust (QQQ) and the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK), which have 8.00% and 9.61% exposure to Microsoft, respectively.

The above chart shows the percentage share of desktop browsers in 2014.

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Spartan is a universal app

As mentioned in the earlier part of this series, Microsoft launched universal apps so apps can move from one device to the other without much hassle. Spartan is also a universal app meant to work across all Windows 10 devices, from smartphones to desktops.

Spartan allows its users to annotate a webpage using a stylus or touch interface, click on any section of a webpage to type a comment, and then share the page with friends or coworkers.

According to Microsoft, “Spartan loads the IE11 engine for legacy enterprise web sites when needed.” Essentially, enterprise websites that older technologies designed only for Internet Explorer, custom ActiveX controls, and Browser Helper Objects will load on IE as well as Spartan.

According to a Microsoft blog post, Internet Explorer will use the same dual rendering engines as Spartan, ensuring that web developers can consistently target the latest web standards.


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