Project Spartan goes official: Windows 10's new browser for the modern web (farewell, Internet Explorer!)


The unthinkable has happened: Microsoft is killing Internet Explorer and switching to 'a new browser for the modern web' (as opposed to you-know-what). Welcome Project Spartan, the official browser of Windows 10.

With a brand new rendering engine under the hood, Project Spartan comes with a fresh new look and feel: simple, flat, modern, it feels right in the context of Windows 10 and the new universal applications.

Project Spartan boils down to three significant new features, and we'll start with what we liked most.

Cortana integration with instant results


Yes, Microsoft's smart assistant is everywhere in Windows 10, and - luckily - Project Spartan is no exception. Cortana will kick in when you write something with contextual significance. Just start typing weather and you'd be able to see the weather forecast midword. Type 'Delta' and you'd get info about your upcoming Delta Airlines flight without the need for an actual search. Sounds familiar to Google’s custom search snippets? It is, but it looks even faster, and we'd say that the team at Mountain View has a lot to be worried about. Cortana even pops up to show you more info about places: directions, contacts, restaurant menus and more.

Note-taking


You can now write notes right on top of web pages in Project Spartan, which is a neat feature. Best of all, you don't need a pen to do this - you can just jot down notes and draw on the screen with your fingers. Plus, you can add comments anywhere on a webpage. All of this doodling gets saved and can be easily synced with OneNote, and shared with others.

Reading mode


Most good browsers nowadays have some form of a reading mode that formats out all but the article you're reading so you can focus easier on what’s important. Microsoft, however, has gone one step further and brings a reading list like what you have in apps like Pocket. That list syncs across phone and tablet, keeping a neat cabinet of all your yet-to-be read pages.

And the final awesome touch that we want to highlight is that you can also right click on words to get a definition right in the Project Spartan browser. Not quite Google Translate (and we're curious to see whether there'd be an option for automatic translation of pages in different languages), but very useful.


Project Spartan release date?


All of this awesomeness will take a while to ship on actual devices, but luckily we're not speaking about years here. Rather, Microsoft is promising that Project Spartan will arrive to Windows 10 devices in 3 to 5 months.

source: Microsoft
Images courtesy of TheVerge.

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19 Comments

1. chistoefur

Posts: 103; Member since: Nov 05, 2012

Already sounds better than IE. Honestly, IE has so much hate that just killing off the name was a necessity. I definitely try it when I can, but it's gonna have to do a hell of a lot to stop me from using Chrome

2. Tziggy14

Posts: 624; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

I heard rumors that they will allow Chrome extensions. Will that convince you?

3. juandante

Posts: 679; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

The problem is that we find that they changed the name AND now they have to convince us to use a new browser Incredible

4. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Just changed the name?

6. Veigald

Posts: 290; Member since: Jan 13, 2012

Glass half empty, anyone? Stop spamming articles with baseless criticism. Or are you paid to?

19. bachir8k

Posts: 153; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

only 2 months ago, I have released a new policy in my work to remove IE7 and IE8 from the cross-browser compatibility check list, as we were wasting our time in modifying codes to run on IE 7 and 8, even 9 and 10 we still face many problems but way much less, I JUST WISH THAT SPARTAN WILL BE MORE CLOSE TO CHROME AND FIREFOX as they are the most popular browsers.

5. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

I stopped using Chrome after I found out its battery bug. Honestly on my tablet nothing is smoother than IE. I can see extensions being key, and with how Cortana is integrated, that alone will let me never use chrome other than to check to see if my html code works.

11. sbw44

Posts: 433; Member since: Dec 04, 2012

dude I have a transformer book t100 but noticed how crap chrome is this. but IE is also the desktop one which is a pain in the ass for touch screens I've read there's a modern IE on windows 8.1 but I can't find it. any ideas?

14. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

its in the modern apps...it comes preinstalled. You will know you are using it when you have the nav bar at the bottom. Your probably in desktop mode because of the keyboard.

12. engineer-1701d unregistered

from what I seen on the demo I think I'll take spartan over Chrome

7. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Looks like a good browser, for sure. Limited actual user experience improvements, but I do like the ones they focused on. Marking up pages is useful for me, and Cortana integrated into the browser is a really smart and useful idea.

8. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Well played microsoft. Samsung had the same thing on their note 3 back in 2013. Nicely done. You've finally cought up.

9. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Right, having a feature available on one series of devices (Note), and requiring the use of the stylus, and having it be more limited in mark-up functionality, and not having other features like built-in voice assistant, is the same. Right.

10. Kakarotto

Posts: 255; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

The end of an era.

13. ilani

Posts: 90; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

I dunno why everyone is always knocking on Internet Explorer??? I love it, it's great for downloading Chrome or Firefox! lol

15. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

I would use Chrome more if it didnt have its battery bug that infects my current tablet. Nor its mem hog resources on my already limited ram.

16. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

I dont remember in the press conference them saying they were killing IE or that IE wouldn't be the name. Only that project apart was the name of the new browser. Companies often call a product new, and its just an improved or revamped version. This may very well be IE.

17. tigermcm

Posts: 861; Member since: Sep 02, 2009

i remember last week something being said from the MS camp that the same way IE 10 and IE 11 are now one desktop one modern thats the same that will happen with spartan and IE 11

18. 51things

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 22, 2015

New browser can't wait to try google the same with other browsers mozilla, safari, opera etc.

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