Microsoft 'Project Spartan': Hands-On Demo - InformationWeek

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3/31/2015
03:06 PM
Kelly Sheridan
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Microsoft 'Project Spartan': Hands-On Demo

Microsoft's Project Spartan, the browser designed to replace Internet Explorer, is available for testing on Windows 10.
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Microsoft released Windows 10 Build 10049 late on March 30. This iteration has only gone out to the "fast" ring of Windows Insiders, people who opt to receive updates as soon as they're available and before any bugs have been addressed.

Build 10049 is the first to contain an early version of Project Spartan, the browser that will eventually replace Internet Explorer for the majority of users when Windows 10 rolls out to the masses this summer.

Although Windows 10 will continue to feature Internet Explorer for business users who rely on the browser, Project Spartan will become the primary source for Internet access. Spartan will feature Microsoft's new Edge rendering engine over IE, an indicator that this is the browser of the future.

[Microsoft's Surface 3 Promises Windows 10, Kills Windows RT]

Users have been promised a number of upgrades when Spartan launches in full, including speedy and lightweight browsing, an improved reading mode, and the ability to comment and draw on Web pages. Cortana will also make an appearance to help users who have questions or want more information while browsing.

Microsoft is still working on a name, but Spartan is an appropriate nickname for a browser that lacks many bells and whistles in its early stages. Despite its minimalist design, it's pretty functional, with fast loading and responsiveness to swipes and scrolls. I also found that it handled plenty of browser tabs without slowing down.

Click through to see how Project Spartan is shaping up so far.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
4/2/2015 | 11:05:41 PM
Re: Looks Promising
I was on IW just yesterday with Spartan. We are Spartans! Just kidding.

The read view didn't work at the beginning, but it worked later on the same page (this page actually).  Don't know why. I'm not sure who needs to make up its mind here. In any case, pretty neat.

Spartan is certainly a work in progress. But I liked it so far. I believe it has a shot against Firefox and Chrome
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
4/1/2015 | 12:59:50 PM
Re: Looks Promising
This is obviously all about branding. MS could have made all those changes to Explorer and still called it Explorer, they just wanted to break from those that have negative perception of Explorer.

That "reading mode" is exactly kind of thing that drives me crazy as developer. Another browser dependent feature to have to code to work but also code to work in other browsers which don't have it. I'm just thankful I only code internally used apps, where I have some control over the browsers (and versions) I'm willing to support.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
4/1/2015 | 9:43:00 AM
Re: Looks Promising
@shakeeb we will; Spartan (or whatever Microsoft decides to call it) will be the go-to browser for Windows 10 on desktop and mobile devices. Hopefully we see the next mobile build rolling out soon, though I can't say with certainty whether that version will include Spartan or not.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
4/1/2015 | 9:38:19 AM
Re: Looks Promising
Re: reading view, you're right. It doesn't work for a lot of major media outlets - InformationWeek, for example, doesn't support it. But it is pretty handy for blogs and such. It doesn't just weed out ads, it takes out unnecessary images as well.
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 11:22:34 PM
Re: Looks Promising
@pccharles- Its not an easy task to bring back users to Microsoft. Microsoft will have to something extraordinary.
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 11:18:06 PM
Re: Looks Promising
@Kelly - Web note seems to be quite attractive, I am wondering if we would have a mobile version of this browser.
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 11:01:05 PM
Re: Looks Promising
Most internet browsers consume much resources, I havent seen that problem with Opera.
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 10:58:47 PM
Re: Looks Promising
@[email protected] - Finaly Microsoft decides to discontinue Internet Explorer. I am waiting to see how the new browser performs.
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 9:39:02 PM
Re: Looks Promising
@[email protected],

I think there's been a lot of damage done to make users switch away from IE. Spartan is going to have to be pretty revolutionary to make that shift back to MSFTs browser as default.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
3/31/2015 | 8:56:25 PM
Re: Looks Promising
I have a tough time getting fired up about browsers, but web note does seem like it might be very useful in a few situations. I wonder about the reading view, though -- most web ads don't bother me, and the few sites with really obnoxious ads I suspect won't support this feature. 
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