The browser, formally known as Project Spartan after the protagonist of Microsoft’s Halo game series, is completely new according to the company. It announced the new name as part of its Windows 10 presentation at its Build developers conference in San Francisco.
Edge is meant to give Microsoft a clean break from the negative connotations attached to the Internet Explorer brand by millions of people forced to use old, decrepit versions on work computers.
Although for some business customers, Internet Explorer isn’t totally dead. It will live on for many of Microsoft’s customers as the centrepiece of much software as a services packages, often required by administrative applications and point of sale.
For the consumer, however, Microsoft wants to rebrand around a faster, leaner and more advanced new browser platform. It will be the default browser for all Windows 10 devices, including computers, tablets and smartphones, and will feature integration with Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant similar to Google’s Now and Apple’s Siri.
Testing of preview builds of Windows 10 released by Microsoft have shown Edge to be considerably faster and leaner than Internet Explorer, more akin to Google’s Chrome or Apple’s Safari.
Whether anyone will actually notice the change, given the barely changed logo has yet to be seen. For many the big blue “e” is the internet. Edge will be no different.
Microsoft also announced that iPhone and Android apps would run on Windows 10 using a kind of emulation that allows developers to reuse existing code, accelerating development for Microsoft’s platform.
This article was written by Samuel Gibbs, for theguardian.com on Thursday 30th April 2015 16.07 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010