Today at its annual developer conference, Microsoft revealed “Microsoft Edge” as the name of its latest web browser that you won’t use. Previously codenamed “Project Spartan,” Microsoft Edge is a streamlined Internet Explorer successor that will bring features such as built-in annotations to Explorer’s customer base of confused senior citizens and corporate worker bees who are not allowed to install software on their work computers.
Microsoft hailed the newly christened browser with a “sizzle reel” video that invites users to “blur the edge … between standing still and moving forward,” an act formerly known as leaning. The video shows glimpses of the many enhancements that you will blithely forgo as you instead browse the web using Chrome, Firefox, or maybe even Opera. Those innovations include integration of Cortana (Microsoft’s digital assistant) and tabs that show you pictures of webpages as you mouse over them. The Cortana features look somewhat handy: In Microsoft’s demo, for instance, Cortana finds the hours and location of a restaurant that the user is researching, and the assistant does so seemingly without being asked. That’s sort of creepy, but all the inoffensive browser features have already been invented; the only ones left are the creepy ones. Hell, Chrome is basically Google spyware that happens to also function as a web browser.
Less practical than Cortana are the aforementioned annotations, which allow you to draw notes on web pages as you view them. These scribbles are shareable, a welcome feature in the theoretical universe where 1. you actually use Edge and 2. anyone on earth gives a shit that you circled a picture of a shoe and drew a smiley face next to it.
Kyle Alden, a member of the Edge development team, posted the new browser’s logo on Twitter, and as The Verge notes, it looks a lot like the old Internet Explorer icon. This shrewd marketing move means that the innovative, daring, fresh, forward-looking, paradigm-shattering Edge will not disturb the routines of those who cling to the belief that “the internet” is wholly contained within the blue “e” on their computer. Microsoft knows its audience.