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Project Spartan: Microsoft’s answer to Internet Explorer on Windows 10

A reputation can be hard to shake and whilst Microsoft has spent a lot of time and effort making Internet Explorer a genuinely awesome browser, it hasn’t exactly shifted the public’s perception. Project Spartan however, just might.

At this stage in the game Spartan isn’t set to replace Internet Explorer, but sit alongside it. Officially revealed at yesterday’s Windows 10 briefing, Spartan has been built to run across all types of devices, from desktop PCs to smartphones.

The interface looks extremely minimalist, with a single search bar at the top and not much else, aping the offering Google Chrome dished out when it hit first the market. It aims to bring a different focus to the more feature-packed experience of IE 10 and instead boasts a few unique tools Microsoft has pulled from its other applications and services.

There’s a unique annotation-like function, which lets you ‘freeze’ a webpage and mark it up with a stylus (no word on whether your finger and any old touchscreen will support this feature, but we’ll find out soon enough) and you can simply click to add a note too, much like you can with a Microsoft Word document. All of these annotations and comments will sync via Microsoft’s OneNote service, saving them to the cloud and allowing you the ability to share with friends and colleagues.

Cortana is also baked into the search bar, so you can pull in flight information when you search ‘British Airways’ or have the option to book a table when searching ‘restaurants on Soho’.

Behind the scenes there’s a new rendering engine too, which should dole out faster page load times and a reading view which strips away the chrome of the browser, leaving nothing but the webpage you’ve loaded to look at. Again, it’s a similar feature to Focus View in Word or Reading View on Apple’s Safari web browser.

As and when Project Spartan will make its formal debut to users isn’t entirely clear. It’s expect to launch as part of Windows 10 on computers, but the modified experience for smartphones and small tablets will take a little longer to make an appearance.

Do you think Spartan is the solution to Microsoft’s tainted browser reputation? Leave your thoughts in the comments down below.

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