Out with the old, and in with the new: the new browser from Microsoft that will make its debut in Windows 10 is to be called Microsoft Edge.

That’s the word out of the Build conference keynote address that took place last night, straight from the mouth of Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore. Naturally, Twitter immediately exploded with sniggers and references to U2’s guitarist, but the more mature among us shut up and listened.

Three months ago, the browser was announced as Project Spartan, and it had two stated goals: to be the default browser in Windows, and to replace Internet Explorer.

But Microsoft clearly has loftier ambitions than just those: during the announcement Joe Belfiore showed how the browser is able to use browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

He even showed how it’s possible to port over existing extensions quickly and easily, as doing so requires only minor modifications to each extension’s code. That should please a lot of developers, and encourage more to bring their work over to the new browser.

For people who make extensive use of those other browsers, this should come as rather intriguing news. It means you can still use your favourite extensions in Edge, but with added Edge functionality and the new browser’s slick, minimalistic interface.

The reason it’s called Edge is because it uses a brand new rendering engine called EdgeHTML, which Wikipedia describes as “a proprietary layout engine developed by Microsoft for its Edge web browser. It is a fork of Trident designed for improved support of web standards”. Supporting the newest web standards has not been Internet Explorer’s strong suit, making this a rather significant development.

Edge’s other big features include distraction-free browsing, extensive Cortana integration (Cortana is Microsoft’s built-in helper, sort of like their Siri), a new tab interface, the ability to write on and share any web page and quite a bit more.

The browser will make its official debut as Edge and not Project Spartan in the latest build of the Windows 10 technical preview, build 10105.

Curious? See Microsoft touting its new browser here:

https://youtu.be/iH1D31YHsgY

[Source – Buildwindows.com]