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Two more reasons to get psyched about the Windows 10 preview

In keeping with recent tradition, Microsoft was virtually invisible during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Of course, the tech giant’s name came up a lot when invoking the onslaught of fresh Windows 8.1-powered gear, but directly, Redmond had next to nothing to showcase in Las Vegas.

Since all the attention is aimed at the industry this week, Microsoft decided to go after some of that publicity one way or another, revealing a juicy tidbit vis-à-vis Windows 10’s Technical Preview, and likely intentionally spilling the beans on the “Spartan” project.

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Starting with the more straightforward, official news, it seems the upcoming experimental build of Windows 8.1’s highly anticipated sequel will be available as an ISO download from day one. The three public betas rolled out to Windows Insiders thus far first made their way via the Windows Update channel, hitting ISO down the road.

Something else appeared in the unofficially leaked 9901 build, likely integrating Cortana voice assistance and perhaps introducing the world to a Microsoft-designed Internet Explorer alternative.

Codenamed Spartan, this abruptly popped up in the rumor mill last week, and is further detailed by BGR, which also claims to be in possession of a screenshot showing the all-new browser in action. There’s obviously no way to verify the authenticity of the pic, or report as a whole, but if it’s really Spartan we’re looking at, we like what we see.

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Clean as a whistle, minimalistic, free of clutter and unnecessary add-ons, it looks almost nothing like Internet Explorer even though it reportedly makes use of the same underlying engines, Trident and Chakra. And mind you, this is an alleged beta dating back to early November, with multiple upgrades and renovations on the way.

Let’s just hope Redmond isn’t deliberately sending us on a wild-goose chase while working at entirely different things for Windows 10 integration. Oh, well, everything should (hopefully) come to light on January 21.