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Internet Explorer replacement may be '300 times better'

Internet Explorer replacement may be '300 times better'
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

I'd bet that close to 100% of you have used Windows at some point in your lives, which means you've also experienced Internet Explorer. Microsoft's default Web browser has been around since 1995 and during the last 20 years has had its ups and downs (mostly downs if we're honest).

It was only in the last five years that pressure from Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome caused Microsoft to get serious about improving IE, and between version 8 and version 11 it's come a long way in speed, usability and security. Even so, it still has a bad reputation with a lot of tech users, so Microsoft is making a change.

Reports are spreading about a new Microsoft browser codenamed "Spartan" that should be arriving in Windows 10. It's loosely based on Internet Explorer code, but it's been redesigned and tweaked to be faster, more stable, more secure and it'll include features that rival its competitors.

Want more details? Here's what we know so far.

While we don't know what the final name of Spartan will be, it probably won't be "Internet Explorer." Reports say Windows 10 will still include a version of Internet Explorer that can run to handle older websites.

That sounds like Microsoft did a little housecleaning on Spartan. IE contains 20 years of leftover code from older versions, bits Microsoft has to keep to make old websites look right and other clutter that slows it down and can hurt security. Microsoft might finally be making a clean break and getting rid of that clutter. We can only hope.

Some of the new features include tab grouping, so you can keep similar tabs, such as things to read later, always open tabs, shopping, etc., together in easy-to-find areas. When you have a lot of tabs open, this can help keep you organized.

The big feature though is the Cortana personal assistant. This is Microsoft's version of Apple's Siri and Google's Google Now.

It's already available on Windows Phone, and Microsoft says it will arrive in Windows 10 to power voice control for searching, reminders and useful information.

Cortana is also going to be baked into Spartan and replace Microsoft Bing for searching. It might even be predictive, so it will give you links to sites and information you haven't asked for yet.

The information is still vague, but we'll know more after Microsoft's Windows 10 event January 21. Check back then to learn more about the exciting future of Windows.

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Source: The Inquirer
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