Microsoft introduces Project Spartan, Windows 10's new web browser that replaces IE


At the Windows 10 event today, Microsoft had a lot to talk about -- not least that Windows 10 itself will be free. But Windows 10 is all about the details, and on top of the likes of Cortana and the new notification center, Corporate Vice President of Operating Systems at Microsoft, Joe Belfiore, also revealed Spartan, the web browser that will replace Internet Explorer in Windows 10.

That's not to say that Internet Explorer is dead and buried. You'll still find the famous blue e icon waiting to be clicked if you want, but Spartan will be the new default browser. So what does Spartan have to offer that will act as a lure away from Chrome and Firefox? To kick things off, there's Cortana support.

In fact Cortana is not just supported, but integrated into Spartan. As you type within the web browser, the digital assistant is on the lookout for key words and phrases so it (or she if you insist) can chime in with helpful information. Think weather, directions, travel data, restaurant information and so on.

There are lots of interesting new features for users to enjoy, including page annotations. Without the need for plugins or extra software, using Spartan you can draw on a website, add comments and share them with others. OneNote syncing makes this a useful tool for research and collaboration.

The likes of Pocket and ReadItLater have proved incredibly popular in recent years, but Spartan goes one better by including a built in reader tool. This can be used to save articles to read later, and the list will be synchronized between devices, including Windows Phone handsets.

While there is a new build of Windows 10 promised for the coming week, it will be a little while until we are able to officially get our hands on Spartan. Belfiore says that it will be made available in the coming months and new features will continue to be added. At this stage we don’t know if the project name of Spartan will stick, or if there will be a new moniker.

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