Microsoft steps to 'Edge' with new browser name

Drops 'Project Spartan' code name for 'Microsoft Edge,' or ME

microsoft edge

Microsoft today named its new browser Microsoft Edge (ME) after using the "Project Spartan" code name for the last three months.

Edge will be the successor to Internet Explorer (IE), particularly IE11, and will be the default browser in Windows 10 on all devices, from PCs to smartphones. IE11, however, will continue to be packaged with the new OS.

"Microsoft Edge is the browser built for Windows 10," said Windows design chief Joe Belfiore near the end of a long keynote address that opened Build, the company's developer conference.

In hindsight, the name choice was obvious: The new browser's rendering engine had earlier also been dubbed "Edge." That engine will be one of two bundled with Windows 10. (The 18-year-old Trident engine will continue to power IE11.)

Edge sports a minimalist user interface (UI) somewhat reminiscent of Google's Chrome, integrates Microsoft's Cortana personal assistant, and offers annotation tools for page markup and later retrieval or sharing. Belfiore also showed off the browser's reworked new tab page, which stressed not only the usual frequently-visited sites but also will put a heavy emphasis on Windows Store app discovery for users.

Even more interesting, Belfiore said that Edge would out-of-the-box support add-ons crafted for Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox if they were built using only HTML and JavaScript. Chrome extensions -- all kinds -- will also work with Edge, but will require code tweaks.

Microsoft will update Project Spartan to Edge in a future build of Windows 10 preview. The final release date has yet to be set -- currently it remains "this summer," although Microsoft said what it showed on stage today was "pretty close" to the end result.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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