Thursday, January 22, 2015

Microsoft Corporation Unveils Spartan Browser To Compete With Google Chrome And Firefox


Microsoft Corporation Unveils Spartan Browser To Compete With Google Chrome And Firefox

It seems Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is finally departing from Internet Explorer as the its primary internet browser, realizing that it is futile to try to turn it into a worthy competitor against Google Inc.'s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Chrome or Mozilla Corp’s Firefox. Internet Explorer, for the past few years now, has been relegated to the point of only being used to download other fast and efficient browsers by most tech savvy users.
To claw back its lost glory, Microsoft is introducing "Spartan", which will be much faster and dynamic, and will focus on putting content at the forefront. It will also be equipped to handle modern web-programming standards.
The new flagship browser will work in conjunction with Cortana (a Windows voice-enabled search assistant), which will have an intuitive ability to forecast users’ actions. Spartan will also allow the annotation on web pages through a mouse or a stylus (depending on the platform used), and share these thoughts via social media and swiftly save them on the cloud; Microsoft Azure, the company’s cloud-computing system can play a role in this. Cortana can have a huge impact on Spartan’s popularity especially if it can successfully compete with Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Siri voice-command system and Google’s “Google Now.”
Spartan will make its appearance on the new Windows 10 operating system. The new Windows 10 was launched yesterday (January 21) at an event in Redmond, Washington. Internet Explorer will be included in Windows 10 to cater to corporate clients who still use it, although Microsoft will put Spartan in the spotlight on the new OS.
A report from Bloomberg mentioned a comment on Microsoft’s development by Wes Miller, an analyst at Directions: “With Spartan, we will wind up with a modern browser experience that behaves more like what users have shown themselves to like in Firefox and Chrome.”
It is hard to understand the relationship between the two browsers that will be present on Windows 10 and whether there will be any convergence or feature-sharing between the two. Microsoft is currently taking user feedback on the dual-browser method and has not yet disclosed whether there will be a default option or not. Spartan will primarily be used as a voice command search browser while Internet Explorer will be packaged as a stand alone browser

The Need For Spartan

Internet Explorer has had a glorious past where it surpassed Netscape’s Navigator in 2000, after spending a huge amount of funds to outdo it in the ‘90s. As Explorer became dominant, Microsoft slashed funds and reduced the staff until new competition, especially Firefox, compelled it to focus on its operations again.
Internet Explorer has seen a large plummet of its share in the market for browsers from a high in mid-2000. The browser held an astounding 97% share in the desktop browser market in 2003, which was reduced to 59% in December 2014. The information from NetMarketShare, a Web-analytics firm, puts the share of Chrome at 23%, while Firefox stands at 12% as of last month (December 2014).
On the mobile platform, Apple enjoys the largest share with its Safari web browser occupying 44% of the mobile browser market. This first spot can be largely attributed to the immense popularity of Apple’s flagship iPhones, which have recorded stellar sales. Consequently, Android-based systems being used by the likes of Samsung, Sony, and HTC, have allowed Chrome to gain a 24% market share. Internet Explorer, on the other hand, has a mere 2.3% share in mobile browser market that includes both smartphones and tablets.
With an increase in smartphone computing, the introduction of Spartan on mobile devices will enable Microsoft to capture some of the browser market.

What’s In The Name?

Many users are stumped as to why Microsoft chose Spartan as the name for its new browser. Some suggest that the name is a continuation of Microsoft’s trend of borrowing names from its Halo game franchise. Even the voice feature of Cortana is taken form the game’s real-life voice enabled digital assistant. Gamers would be familiar with Spartans, which are human super soldiers, genetically modified to battle aliens in the Xbox Halo game series.
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