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Monday, July 13 12:00 AM ET

Microsoft Announces Browser Based on Vista Operating System

By Brian Briggs


Redmond, WA - Microsoft announced that the company would be creating a new browser based on Windows Vista called Vista Browser.

The announcement follows Google's recent news that they would be releasing Chrome OS next year, which is an operating system based on their Chrome browser.

Charles Workman from Microsoft said the browser would be cross platform as it could run on Windows Vista and Windows 7.

"We've turned the browser world on its head by turning a complete operating system into a browser," said Workman. "The three-minute loading time, security warnings every 30 seconds, and the most advanced DRM available in a browser."

Running what will be the equivalent of two operating systems simultaneously, system requirements will be high. "You won't see this on netbooks or differently-able computers. We're targeting supercomputers and other powerful machines," said Workman.

One of the neat features of Vista Browser is the browser's ability to replace "404 page not found" errors with "blue screens of death."

The browser will also come in multiple versions including Vista Browser Ultimate, Vista Browser Family, Vista Browser Home Plus and Vista Browser Student Edition Gold and Silver.

All the browsers will be available for free download and have no noticeable differences between them, but the different names will lead to more market confusion. "A confused customer is our best friend," said Workman.

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To add to the confusion, the user interface will directly mimic Window Vista's. "It'll be like having a Vista desktop on a Vista desktop," said Workman. "Instead of your applications, a press of the Windows button will reveal your bookmarks and similar web pages will group together on the Vista Browser taskbar. Those are just a couple of the innovative approaches to user experience we've incorporated."

The reaction from the Internet was extreme confusion. "So they're making the browser bigger and bloatier? I didn't think that was possible," said one message board poster on Ars Technica.

Microsoft shares were down on the news.

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