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article imageMicrosoft's 'Project Spartan' web browser is here

By James Walker     Apr 1, 2015 in Technology
Microsoft released a new build of Windows 10 to Windows Insiders yesterday that includes the company's new web browser to replace Internet Explorer, Project Spartan. The new browser promises to be much faster than IE and built for the modern web.
Project Spartan has a brand new interface design that aims to emphasise the contents of the webpages that you view. It tries to support the page without interfering and obscuring it and has been "streamlined" to this effect, according to Microsoft.
Although only an early preview, the version of Spartan included in Windows 10 build 10049 yesterday already has many features built in. An all-new rendering engine aims to make webpages look as good as possible while dramatically improving page-load performance. Much of the legacy Internet Explorer code has been thrown out to keep the new browser responsive.
Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana, is built right into the browser. She works in the background and provides information from webpages when you need it. Microsoft has incorporated her with the aim of making browsing easier and more efficient. She offers you help when you need it and can extract data from a webpage. Currently U.S. only, she will expand to other markets as Project Spartan develops.
Project Spartan also lets you draw or type directly onto webpages. You can comment on what you find interesting and share the annotated page with friends. Alternatively, you can save it into OneNote for later or send it to a social network. It is designed to make the Internet a more thought-provoking place where questions and comments can be shared with those around you.
Finally, the Reading View of Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8 has been expanded and improved. The distracting styling of webpages can be stripped out in a content-focused, easy-to-read view that looks more like a traditional document. A built-in Reading List lets you keep track of articles you want to read for later.
Overall, Project Spartan looks set to gain popularity with users. Already many Windows Insiders have been excitedly waiting to use this build and the decoupling from Internet Explorer and its negative legacy can only be a good thing.
In the end, despite numerous attempts to convince consumers to return to the failing brand, Microsoft has been left with no choice but to create an entirely new web browser for the modern Internet. With many more features and improvements still to come, voice your thoughts on Project Spartan so far in the comments below.
More about Microsoft, windows 10, Internet explorer, Windows, Internet
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