Microsoft's proof-of-concept JavaScript Browser is built using HTML, JavaScript and CSS

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 29, 2015

Surprise, surprise. Microsoft released a new web browser yesterday that is not Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge.

The Windows Store page of the JavaScript Browser went live yesterday evening. The new browser is compatible with the company's Windows 10 operating system which means that Windows 8.x users won't find it listed in Store when they search for it.

The browser has been released as a proof-of-concept to demonstrate the capabilities of the Windows 10 platform.

The browser works like any other app on Windows 10: you can open it from the start menu for instance. When you do, the following screen is displayed by default.

microsoft javascript browser

Keep in mind that this is more of a tech demonstration than a browser that you may want to switch to right now.

The interface looks similar to modern browsers. What you may notice immediately is that it does not support tabs. This means that you can only display a single web page or service in it at all time.

When you play around with the browser for a bit, you will notice that other components are missing. For instance, while settings are available, they are limited to going full screen and clearing the cache and favorites.

Other missing features include extensions, web permissions, Developer tools or on-page search.

The browser uses EdgeHTML, the Microsoft Edge rendering engine, via the WebView control that Windows 10 apps can utilize.

Microsoft published a blog post that offers additional details about the development process. Source code bits and development information have been posted to Github where interested users can access them.

Basically, JavaScript Browser is a skin that implements the provided WebView controls. It is capable of displaying most websites just fine thanks to its use of the Edge rendering engine. You may use it to play videos on YouTube, or to browse sites like Reddit or Ghacks.

The browser does not support plugins which means that you won't be able to load Flash or Java apps or games on websites.

Closing Words

JavaScript Browser is a proof-of-concept. As such, it is not designed to replace existing (desktop) web browsers. The browser crashed several times on me during tests which happens occasionally with other modern apps as well.

While it worked fine mostly for basic tasks such as watching a video or reading an article, it lacks customization and control options that other browsers offer.

Microsoft's proof-of-concept JavaScript Browser is built using HTML, JavaScript and CSS
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Microsoft's proof-of-concept JavaScript Browser is built using HTML, JavaScript and CSS
JavaScript Browser is a proof-of-concept web browser built as a universal application for Windows 10 by Microsoft.

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  1. Ben said on September 1, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    So it’s just a pretty simple GUI to the real browser engine (certainly not written in JS).
    How is that a JS browser?

  2. Ken Saunders said on August 30, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Mozilla’s HTML browser will be a cross platform one, plus all of the technologies used will of course be open source. Microsoft’s are not.
    They know what open source is, but they don’t see it as being profitable so they’ll continue to use proprietary technologies. I don’t fault them for that at all. They do what they do to make money. I use and support open source products as much as possible, but I also believe in Capitalism.

    originated from

  3. Andrew said on August 30, 2015 at 4:21 am

    I went back to win 8.1 …. too much from ms in win 10 re: ads, no privacy, etc. I like the idea here though. Really neat idea

  4. TheFakeLennart said on August 29, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    It’s Chrome by Microsoft.

    Google Chrome has a unique UUID and logs on google cache – that’s why many find so fast – so Google sees anything you browse*

    Microsoft takes full advantage of JS Script, well embedded in their telemetry servers, See: (Also, see note on bottom)

    Coupled with Oracle(TM) Technology – a Database Corp. originally – this “browser” is another Terminal for Microsoft for you to use. Why Terminal? Because with JS the system UUIDs and unique identifications are even stronger than in Chrome. Please note that Oracle, founded by CIA on start, cleverly noted the powers of JS and bought Java from Sun.

    *forgot the Google DNS, too.

    * are servers running jQuery. The calls are automated and the servers respond to JS only. If you go by will at the URL you see some jQuery code that was expecting some telemetry data input. Microsoft didn’t even care to redir to the homepage… Bye.

  5. Guilherme said on August 29, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    it’s the first time i get excite about a browser in ages.
    if this is cool as it looks it is, it can be huge (and it’s open source!)

  6. vux777 said on August 29, 2015 at 10:07 am

    I can’t test it right now
    but I think this could be used as addition to Edge browser
    something like panel windows for Chrome, with always on top ability, or floating video windows etc
    …if they hook it up to Edge
    many interesting features could be pushed into it

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