In Short

Microsoft Edge (formerly Project Spartan) is the name of Microsoft's next-generation web browser built into Windows 10. The browser both in name and its core rendering engine are set to replace the aging Internet Explorer, although parts of IE11 remains for legacy websites.

Project Spartan was first reported on back in September 2014. However, it was not until early January 2015 that the exact nature of the program was understood.

Microsoft officially announced the project on January 21, 2015 during their Windows 10: The Next Chapter event in Redmond, Washington.

Project Spartan's main features as a web browser so far include:

  • Universal app that is updatable through the Store (instead of an OS update)
  • New Edge rendering engine to parse HTML markup that has an "interoperable UA string designed to get today's modern Web content and to avoid old IE-only content"
  • Cortana integration for search
  • Note-taking mode: Ability to markup web pages using a stylus or traditional Word text entry
  • Enhanced reading mode that only shows text of an article

The web browser will be available on Windows, Windows Phone, and possibly even the Xbox One since it is a universal app. Since Spartan can be updated through the Store as an app update, Microsoft can quickly change or improve the browser without having to link it to a deeper OS upgrade.