In a post on Blogging Windows, Microsoft announced that the new Windows 10 internet browser, Project Spartan, is now available for testing by Windows Insiders with the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview build. This preview version of Project Spartan is not feature complete, as Microsoft plans to add more features and many improvements to the browser until it releases alongside Windows 10 this summer.
Cortana integration is only available for US Windows Insiders at this time with the promise of a wider rollout for Microsoft’s personal assistant within the browser at a later date. The inclusion of Cortana within Project Spartan promises to offer “help at just the right moment, based on what she knows about the Web, about you and what you might be trying to do”. How useful this will be though and if this is something users will actually use remains to be seen.
Other Project Spartan features highlighted (and are included in the preview for all regions) include:
- The ability to draw and write on webpages (such as circling text in an online article).
- Simplified sharing via email, OneNote and social media.
- A new Reading List that allows saving of webpages and PDFs for later viewing.
- An integrated Reading View which essentially extracts a webpage’s text for easier reading.
Microsoft wants Project Spartan to "be an amazing browser"
So why Spartan? According to Microsoft, Spartan was necessary as it has been designed for the modern web, taking advantage of what the web has to offer in this day and age. Microsoft wants Spartan to be an amazing browser -- be fast, more secure, reliable, power efficient in the ways that you expect it. Secondly, Spartan needs to be bold and forward-looking with compatibility and interoperability. Finally, Spartan will be regularly updated.
"This led us to believe we needed to step forward into a new era of browsing at Microsoft. To build a browser that is designed for the modern Web – a browser for people that have grown up with the Web; who have integrated the Web into their lives in incredible and unexpected ways; who are no longer just exploring a new frontier, but are using the Web to get things done. After all, the world we live in is evolving, the Web is evolving, and our needs are evolving."
The new browser is also touted as having a “fast, more secure and more reliable” engine for the modern Web though admittedly this is something that’s said about every new internet browser ever, and is expected. Check out the videos below showcasing Project Spartan, including our own hands-on video of the browser:
While intended as a replacement for Windows’ current internet browser, the launch of Project Spartan with Windows 10 will not necessarily mean the death of Internet Explorer 11 which Microsoft has confirmed will still be supported in Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, but the death of the Internet Explorer brand name is a whole different arguement. Microsoft promises to "make it easy for our enterprise customers to make Internet Explorer 11 the default browser via group policy".
For those of you who have Windows 10 build 10049 installed, launch Project Spartan and give it a test run. If you have suggestions or bugs to report, fire up the Windows Feedback app and give your thoughts. Only you can make Spartan the best browser it can be.
Project Spartan will be available for all users with the launch of Windows 10 later this summer. For more information on Microsoft's new browser, check out our in-depth Project Spartan feature here.