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Project Spartan now available in the Windows 10 Technical Preview

Few features in Windows 10 have been more anticipated than Project Spartan, but the high-profile replacement to Internet Explorer 11 has been missing from the Technical Preview. Until now.

Build 10049, released today, has the full Spartan browser. That means it offers not just the rendering engine, which was technically accessible before if you knew the right trick, but also the interface with its hotly anticipated features.

These include Cortana integration, the ability to markup web pages, and a reading mode that simplifies pages so that distracting page elements are no longer an issue. In addition to this trio, Microsoft has added a feedback feature into both Spartan and Internet Explorer. An emoji icon in the interface of both lets users quickly “send frowns” that provide feedback about the company’s progress and any issues impacting the browsing experience.

Related: Is Microsoft’s Cortana the start of an AI revolution?

As previously announced, Spartan is meant to be a full replacement to Internet Explorer, and as such it replaces the well known (but not well loved) browser on the task bar. IE can still be accessed, but Spartan is now the default.

Of course, while Build 10049’s highlight is the new browser, it’s not the only change made. Several bug fixes are included as well. The Windows Blog details these, and they include:

  • An issue from Build 10041 for when the Photos app on your PC crashes when you tap on the circular icon at the top left to view the photo you just took.
  • An issue from Build 10041 where you might end up in a state where windows open on your desktop are accidentally visible behind the Start Screen, Task View, Snap Assist, and when rearranging windows in Tablet Mode.
  • Users no longer get stuck when they manually lock a PC (Windows Key + L) during the initial out-of-box experience.

On the other hand, users will also have to deal with a few new bugs, including a potential blue-screen at login (but not the Blue Screen of Death!) Microsoft has provided some workarounds until the issues are fixed.

Have you given Project Spartan a try yet? What did you think?