Microsoft is finally releasing the first test version of Project Spartan, the Internet Explorer successor. The new browser is part of Windows 10 build 10049, which the company has just released to the Fast ring of updates.
If you’re a Windows Insider and you configured your setting to get new builds faster, the update will install automatically. If you’re not, you can get the instructions to change the settings and download the new build from my previous write-up.
While the software giant demonstrated “Project Spartan” and several of its features back in January, today’s version of the new web browser only includes some of the features.
Project Spartan features
The version of the Internet Explorer successor rolling out with Windows 10 build 10049 highlights the new design of the browser and what users can expect once the new operating system ships later this summer.
Furthermore, the new web browser includes the following features:
Cortana: Project Spartan includes Microsoft’s personal assistant Cortana. According to Microsoft the assistant is part of the new browser on a non-intrusive manner, she will show up only what needed, “making browsing easier and more efficient”. Initially the digital assistant for Project Spartan is only available in the United States version of Windows 10, but the company is working to bring the browser assistant in upcoming builds.
Inking and sharing: For those PCs with touchscreens and tablets, Spartan includes new digital inking capability, which means that you can now annotate directly on a web page, comment, and clip what you want, and then you can share the “Web Note” via email or on social networks. This feature is also useful for those who need to do research or simply collect information from the web, as these users can easily save these notes directly into OneNote.
Reading List and Reading View: Microsoft is also including Reading List built-in to the browser to collect everything you want to read later. You can save any web page or PDF. You can also make use of Reading View, which is a feature presents the web content on an ebook- or PDF-like experience — a distraction free reading.
Edge rendering engine: Project Spartan includes Microsoft’s Edge rendering engine. This new engine is a clean slate for Microsoft that focus on the modern internet and help developers to build better web experiences. For legacy support, Microsoft will continue to include Internet Explorer.
Microsoft’s Project Spartan opens up to third parties to improve the platform
Microsoft also details that this version of Spartan is rough, it’s ready for everyone to test, but it’s not rock-solid, as such expect things to go wrong. Users can always send feedback to Microsoft, by clicking the happy face in the top-right corner of the browser.
The company is also promising that will update its new Windows 10 web browser more frequently, therefore we can expect new features to arrive in a rapid pace. “Project Spartan will be regularly updated, and the team is engaging with customers and partners closely to tune and update plans.” – Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore said.
Previously, the company mentioned that Project Spartan will also include support for extensions just like Chrome and Firefox, and knowing that new features will be coming in future updates, it’s clear that extensions are coming.
Furthermore, a new build of Windows 10 for phones will release soon with a wider support for Lumia phones, and chances are it will also include a preview of Project Spartan.
Microsoft is also planning to make its new web browser the default in all Windows 10 devices, but Internet Explorer will continue be included in the operating system, primarily to offer legacy support. On an effort to begin fading out Internet Explorer, the company will remove IE from the taskbar and Start Menu, at these locations users will only find Project Spartan. It’s also worth pointing out that Microsoft is also looking for a suitable name for its new browser as “Project Spartan” is simply a codename.