Skip to main content

Project Spartan is official and coming to a Windows 10 copy near you

microsoft loops adobe spartan web browser project spartanbrowser
Spartan has been officially announced as a feature in Windows 10. It’s not yet ready even for the Technical Preview, so some of the specifics remain cloaked in mystery, like the new browser’s relationship with Internet Explorer. Rumor has it IE will be kept on as a (poor man’s) alternative, until PC and mobile Microsoft fans become acclimated with the fresh look and improved functionality of Spartan.

What we can vouch for is Project Spartan’s tight Cortana integration. The voice assistant will pop up on the web whenever you might need it (or want it), like on a restaurant’s page to offer directions. Any questions you have while browsing, Cortana will answer. It can, for example, tell you how many calories are in an item you’re considering on an online menu.

Obviously, Redmond could have just as well tied IE and Cortana together, so some of Spartan’s appeal lies elsewhere. In a clutter-free reading mode, for instance, which aims to eliminate the unnecessary bells and whistles of certain news websites, and focus on the information.

The browser’s customizable reading list is cross-platform, and can be saved for offline viewing. From an aesthetic standpoint, there are elements “borrowed” from Google Chrome, but it’s more a vibe Microsoft is duplicating than actual details and features. Indeed, the blocky look of Spartan shares a heritage with Internet Explorer even if the two function differently.

Spartan also supports in-browser note-taking via touch or stylus, and comments and annotations that can be added to webpages whenever, wherever. These features will not be connected with the web, but will rather “freeze” web pages as a local version.

Microsoft hinted there’s more to Spartan that what was shown, but we’ll have to wait until it hits Technical Preview before we can see for ourselves.

Editors' Recommendations

Adrian Diaconescu
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Adrian is a mobile aficionado since the days of the Nokia 3310, and a PC enthusiast since Windows 98. Later, he discovered…
Top 10 Windows shortcuts everyone should know
An individual using a laptop's keyboard.

Windows shortcuts are a constantly-used feature by practically all PC users. Apart from saving you time from carrying out the specific command without having to perform a few extra clicks on your mouse, it’s simply more convenient to refer back to shortcuts via your keyboard.

Although you may be satisfied with the Windows shortcuts you already know about and utilize on a daily basis, you can enhance your general Windows experience in a big way with these 10 shortcuts everyone should know.
Ctrl + Z
Tired of always having to use your mouse to find and click the Undo button on a program like Microsoft Word or, say, entering details on a website or editing images? Ctrl + Z will basically undo whatever your last action was, providing you a convenient way to reverse edits and changes within a second. From personal experience, this shortcut proved to be especially useful for productivity applications.
Ctrl + Shift + T
We’ve all been there. Nowadays, our browsers are inundated with multiple tabs, and as such, it’s hard to keep track of at times. Eventually, you’re going to close a tab on accident when trying to select it. Instead of trying to remember what it was or spending a few seconds accessing it and reopening it via the Recently Closed feature (on Chrome), simply hit Ctrl + Shift + T to restore the last closed tab. Similarly, Ctrl + N will open a new tab.
Alt + Tab

Read more
After 10 years of headaches, I’m finally a believer in Windows on ARM
The Microsoft Surface 3 with its blue keyboard.

Almost two years in, Apple is on the verge of completing its transition to ARM. It might surprise you to know, then, that Microsoft started its own journey to ARM chips long before Apple.

But Windows' support for ARM has been far less smooth. There aren't many more Windows devices with ARM chips than there were five years ago -- and I can attest to having personally used every failed attempt along the way.

Read more
Windows 11 might pull ahead of Windows 10 in one key way
Windows 11 and Windows 10 operating system logos are displayed on laptop screens.

Windows 11 has been around for nearly a year, but the debate on how it stands up against Windows 10 is still going strong. That's why custom computer builder Puget Systems revisited that very topic, with the results finding that Windows 11 might pull ahead of Windows 10 in one key area.

This one key area involves content creation, and Puget Systems detailed that in several tests, made gains over Windows 10 in the last year. Those gains are mainly due to monthly Windows 11 patches, and the launch of new CPUs. Yet Windows 10 also performed faster in some tests, too, where the hardware running the tests were the same.

Read more