By now, everyone has heard or read that Microsoft has given up on their old web browser, Internet Explorer, and a replacement built from scratch has been in the works. In development, the new tool intended for rollout with Windows 10 has been know by the code name, Spartan. Many doubted that the final version would be called that, and indeed it is not. The company officially announced to day that the new browser is called Microsoft Charade.
"Charade will be a different kind of browser," says CEO Satya Nadella. "Unlike other browsers that look and feel the same to everyone, users can customize their Charade experience by applying any one of several dozen Facades to put forth a more pleasing appearance. Change colors, put the buttons in the middle of the screen, hide the address bar, You can do anything in Charade with Facades, anything at all! The only limit is yourself." He also went on to say that when Windows 10 ships, Charade would be sent by automatic update to currently supported versions of Windows all the way back to Vista, and that an uninstaller runs along with the update. I expressed concern that some people would not want Internet Explorer taken away, and the uninstaller could face a serious backlash. "Nonsense!" Nadella insisted. "Once people experience Charade, they will never even think of going back to Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari or any other obsolete browser. Every trace of them will be removed from the system, and good riddance."
He showed me some screen shots of the default version of Charade with no Facades installed. " I think you will notice that it has a very retro theme, reminiscent of the time when the Internet was first offered to the public. Everyone at Microsoft is really enthusiastic about this thing of ours, and how it will revolutionize the web. We just can't wait to let it out into the wild!" In spite of his statement that they can't wait, Microsoft Charade is not included in the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview. It still has Internet Explorer.
While there may be some who are nostalgic for the earliest days of the Internet, I do not like the look and feel of Charade. It reminds me of Mosaic to be honest. I suspect that this is the next Windows 8, or even worse, Windows RT.