Internet Explorer has become something of a joke in tech circles over the past few years with a wide variety of commentators lambasting its sluggishness and unreliability. Once the world’s most popular browser (perhaps by default), it has been overtaken by both Google Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox in the usage tables, forcing Microsoft to take decisive action.
Now, it seems the software giant is ready to move on, and it’s hoping to take Windows 10 users with it. After months of working under the codename ‘Spartan’, the Redmond company has announced that Internet Explorer’s replacement will officially be called ‘Edge’.
On the edge of consuming and creating
The new name was revealed at Build 2015, a Microsoft-run developer conference that took place in San Francisco at the end of April. At the event, the company’s corporate vice president of operating systems, Joe Belfiore, spoke about the moniker’s meaning: “It refers to the idea of being on the edge of consuming and creating, and to the developer notion of being close to the modern capabilities of the web.”
Microsoft then held its first Edge Web Summit on Tuesday, where it took the opportunity to discuss its plans for the browser in more detail. As well as the minimalist appearance and previously announced assistant feature, Cortana, users can expect to see a new tab page offering useful information like weather reports and news alongside other open websites. Developers will also have the ability to port extensions from other browsers, like Chrome.
According to Charles Morris, Edge’s principle program manager, Edge should be seen as more than just a replacement for Internet Explorer. “We need to do more than just the next version of the same old thing,” he said.
Alongside the product announcement, Microsoft revealed a new ‘Edge Dev’ site, which will act as a hub for all things Edge-related. Aimed at developers, it will provide information on the browser itself as well as the team behind it.
At present, Edge is only set to be available as part of Windows 10, which is due to be released sometime this summer.