Microsoft Spartan browser UI shows up in blurry leaks

CES 2015 is starting to wind down, but before we warm up the engines for MWC next month, Microsoft might have a thing or two to say first. The consumer preview of Windows 10 is due later this month, and that latest version of the OS may also bring with it a slightly different web browsing experience. Leaked partial screenshots of that new-old browser, simply called "Spartan", are making rounds over the Internet, bringing mixed emotions and hope of a slightly redesigned Microsoft web browser.

The image above is but simply a mockup pulled together by Neowin based on the two leaked screenshots below. Together, they show what the top of the browser might look like, particularly that tabs and toolbar, of the upcoming MS Spartan. It betrays a design similar to what Google Chrome first cooked up which now even Firefox uses.

The tabs stay at the very top above all else, with the toolbar located below, giving the impression that each tab has its own address bar and controls. On the left side you'll see the usual back, forward, and reload button followed by the space for URL and searches. On the other half of the toolbar you'll see the star for bookmarks as well as a new "reading mode" as well as the Windows 8 button for sharing. And at the very end you have the three dots that denote to hidden menu items.

Perhaps more interesting are the things that aren't there, which is practically everything else. The web browser is said to be spartan not only in name, with "edge to edge" content. This means that the only chrome (geeky term for UI parts such as buttons and toolbars) you'll see are the ones on top and nothing else. All the space is devoted to content. That might be perfect for fullscreen browsing, but it remains to be seen how effective or confusing it might be for overlapping windows in desktop mode.

That said, those are also the only things that are expected to be new in MS Spartan. The rendering engine will remain to be Trident though the latest version is said to be faster and smoother than ever before. So it's pretty much Internet Explorer, but with a differernt set of clothes. We still await what final name this new browser will take on, but if Microsoft is really intent on dispelling prejudices, "Internet Explorer" might be the worst choice it could take.

VIA: Neowin