Microsoft working on new Chrome-like browser: Report

The logo of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 is displayed on a computer monitor in Washington, March 15, 2011.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Microsoft is reportedly building a new "light-weight" web browser for its Windows operating system, a move that could allow it to distance itself from its flagship Internet Explorer browser, ZDNet reported Monday.

Code-named Spartan, the new browser will look and feel more like rivals Chrome and Firefox and will support extensions, the report said, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

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Spartan will be bundled with the desktop and mobile versions of the forthcoming Windows 10 OS, the sources told ZDNet. The desktop version will be equipped with both Spartan and IE 11.

The new product could be unveiled as early as January 21 at Microsoft's Windows 10 preview event, according to ZDNet.

Google's Chrome recently surpassed IE as the overall most popular browser in the U.S.. Chrome's market share rose 6 percent, year-over-year, to 31.8 percent, while IE's dropped 6 percent, year-over-year, to 30.9 percent, according to industry analysis by Adobe.

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Apple's Safari browser rounded off the top three with a 25 percent share on desktop and mobile combined, boosted by its dominance in the mobile sphere, the Adobe report said.

Microsoft declined to comment on the matter.

Click here to read the full ZDNet report.