Skip to main content

Here's what's included in the first public preview of Project Spartan in Windows 10

Today's surprise release of the new Windows 10 Technical Preview build 10049 included the first public version of Project Spartan, the code name for Microsoft's next generation web browser. The company has gone over the features that are included in this version in a blog post and video.

Microsoft made a point of saying that this first release of Project Spartan lacks many of the features that will be in the final version when it's launched alongside Windows 10. That being said, the company offered a bullet list of what's been enabled in this first public build

  • Cortana is built-in and ready to assist: Cortana in Project Spartan is a personal assistant that helps make Web browsing easier for you, with whatever you're trying to get done. Cortana offers help at just the right moment, based on what she knows about the Web, about you and what you might be trying to do. She remains in the background but provides additional information when you need it, making browsing easier and more efficient. Cortana in Spartan will be available in the US versions of this build, and available more broadly later.
  • Inking and sharing so you can capture and communicate your thoughts: Everyone uses the Web routinely to share questions, thoughts, info and comments with friends and colleagues. Now with new inking capabilities, Project Spartan enables you to write or type directly on the page, comment on what's interesting or clip what you want – then easily share this "Web Note" via mail, or a social network. Researching and collecting information from the Web is just as easy, as you can save your notes directly to OneNote.
  • Distraction-free reading with Reading List and Reading View: Keeping up with information overload on the Web is one of the challenges that we all have to manage. Project Spartan helps with a beautiful new Reading List to collect everything you want to read, including the ability to save any webpage or PDF for convenient access later, and an integrated, distraction-free Reading View that keeps you focused on the content.
  • A new engine for the modern Web: Project Spartan's new rendering engine is built around the idea that the Web "just works," while being fast, more secure and more reliable. As we shared in our recent developer workshop, we made some changes to the rendering engine that you will see in this build.

Microsoft is still planning to include Internet Explorer 11 in the desktop version of Windows 10 to offer users legacy compatibility with older websites.

Source: Microsoft

164 Comments
  • Can't wait to try it out. Hopefully browsing Periscope will work with it.
  • Any news on any new updates with the actual W10 OS?
  • If it truly is great, they should remove ie11 and make it an optional download. Having two versions of IE in win 8 was confusing for users.
  • No, lots of businesses would lose their minds if MS did that. Including IE11 for legacy apps is crucial for their business partners. Unpinning it and replacing it as the default is a good start in getting users familiar with the future replacement.
  • I said optional download... I think business know how to install software and image PCs.
  • But wouldn't that be unnecessary, extra work for them?
  • No. If they require old software they should have to take steps to install or enable it. They could do it across all their PCs with group policy really easily. That's better than having something on everyone's PC that half the users don't need and would need to keep installing security updates for unused software.
  • I work for a software companies that developes web based applications. This would be a nightmare. 
  • I know how today's users can be. They'll bash MS if they even have to make a single extra click
  • Try installing a program on 4000 computers :)
  • That just goes to show how antiquated most businesses are when it comes to having web based apps. These businesses need to step they game up.
  • They said they're going to make it so its a feature that you can turn on/off similar to the way Hyper-V works.
  • That'd be perfect. Hopefully off by default.
  • without drag and drop, nobody could ever seriously use Spartan or any other modern app for work. After some play time with Spartan, I went right back to IE.
  • What do you want to drop and what do you want to drag?
  • In the mean time Windows update keep on giving me error message. I'm stuck at 9926
  • Why don't you just download and mount the ISO for build 10041?
  • reboot and try again.
  • They should make IE default and only default. IE is now far better than scroogle chrome.
  • If IE was that cool, Msft wouldn't release Spartan
  • And watch as users flood over to Chrome, Firefox barely moments after loading the OS. Even if it is better now, (which aside from add ons, IE is better) users won't bother because of IE's reputation.
  • The enterprise is their bread n butter and they all need ie so umm, no.  
  • Notice that everyone single one of these replies to the first comment had nothing to do with the first comment.
  • Lol it's always like that.
  • There was a 1st comment?
  • I really like the animations
  • Cool! What other features were they planning to add? I thought the ones mentioned were all.
  • Extensions
  • If the rumours of Spartan being able to use Chrome extensions ends up being true by final release that'll give it a huge selection right from the get go. If not, then I hope developers hurry up and make their extensions compatible after the official release. 
  • Adblock, Pin it, Baconsync and whatever else ready from the get go.
  • Adblock is already available for IE11.
  • It's going to be ultimate browser!
  • It surely will.
  • Will anyone with it installed on a Surface tell me if its touch friendly?
  • i'll start W10 TP installation on my SP3 once i'm done with my delicious meal
  • Hamburgers? :P
  • I'm downloading it now. I'm at work, and the connection is slow, but I'll update as soon as I can.
  • Download size?
  • I put it on my surface and it completely crashed it. It's outside its warranty and rendered completely useless. I'd be wary of putting it on. At least recognize that there is a real risk with putting it on your surface as I did.
  • you should have used a vm
  • I've installed it and it didn't crash anything on mine. I have SP3.
  • You can go back to Win8.1, or you didnt know what you did (and I dont why you are installing things on your tablet) or you arent saying the truth.
  • I'm going with him not telling the truth. What he's saying makes no sense. Unless the install also spilled a pot of coffee into his surface there's no way it "rendered it useless".
  • I've been running it on my SP3 without issues since release. You must be a fluke
  • I'd say yes, but it is still weird to use in ways. Like when I go into settings and can't change it to open tabs from last session instead of new tab page instead. Oh, and it sometimes lags. But the UI is nice on my SP 3.
  • It's I still prefer a lot of features from Windows 8.1 on my feature. Windows 10 is no way as touch friendly as WIndows 8.1. I hope MS really get it right for my SP3.
  • Finally although many features are missing. Only 3 months left Microsoft!
  • Its a windows store app, so they can update it without any OS updates Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Regardless of how fast they can update it, 3 months still isn't long! It's gonna be close. Especially if that means that devs only have 2 months to add extensions.
    I think they'll pull it off, but its still cutting it close.
  • Keep in mind, features that are missing in this release could be features that will be finished one week or one month from now. I wouldn't worry too much about it. Besides, the features that are missing can be poised as features in future updates. Whatever they consider finished, I'm sure it will be sweet, and there will be those who will not be happy with it, because it's MS and they feel like MS has to include every feature from current to future in one swoop.
  • 3 months? Where are you getting that? It's supposed to launch the end of summer or early fall. That means it could be as late as the end of September/start of October.
  • I say 3 months because at some point (usually 1-2 months before release) they have to stop adding features and start optimizing the code and removing the bugs. Spartan really needs to win people over and if people install it and its buggy, it won't matter what features it has because no one will use it. Also, they said summer, which runs at the latest September 21. If they wait until October they lied.
  • Gabriel said that code stabilization would only take weeks, not months.
  • I think that you dont know but there are newer builds not for public. You are testing "old" builds.
  • ^this   The builds were getting are builds that were picked out of the main branch and put through a short code stabilization period, then released, so, no matter what the build is already probably a week old right from the get go, then we have to take into consideration that they could have (and probably did) select a build that was already older as it was a more stable build.
  • You know 21 Sept. the last day of summer is 6 months away..
    Stop crying....
    MS will take its time
  • It's clear that you don't understand how software development works, which makes me wonder why you're trying to correct me when you know you don't know what you're talking about. They're not going to add features until the day of release. This thing is going out to 1 billion people. BILLION. Unless Microsoft wants a buggy mess (and the success of Spartan hinders on it not being buggy) they're going to have to stop adding a bunch of cool new features 1-2 months prior to release and start optimizing the code and cleaning out bugs (and I'd seriously bet on it being closer to 2 months). So assuming they wait until the very last day to release (which would be foolish, as they would miss the back to school season), that would give them about 3 1/2 months to continue adding new features. Is there anything else you would like to chime in with or are you done?
  • They usually need some time even from the "GA" build is done and until it is released. During this time they used to produce DVDs and generally prep the distribution channels, etc. This will still occur, I bet, even today, but I bet we will see a downloadable version much faster than we used to. This whole fast ring/slow ring thing is something we have never seen before from them, hopefully they can manage wrapping it up nicely for GA.
  • Cool, that worked like a charm for Xbox Music on WP...
  • I know that you are being sarcastic but XBM devs are not the same than other apps.
  • 1) XBM is perfectly fine now and eaisly surpasses what it replaced. 2) XBM was created as a temporary app, it was planned from the get go to be replaced by the universal xbm app (the same one for PC/tablets) why would you put a lot of resources into a temporary project?
  • RTM August = some 4 months+
  • They can go all the way up to mid-September...
  • They can, but would they want to miss the back to school frenzy? I think first week of August is the sweet month to RTM. You give OEMs a month to finish up their fall lineup of devices and you can cash in from September-December best months for tech gadgets. Or they could go as you say, RTM September and have it installed on new machines by October. We'll see where they stand by Build.
  • Well, I hope I can update on my virtual hard drive?
  • DON'T. They said in another article builds 10049 breaks VM
  • If you have Virtual Machines hosted on your PC running Windows 10, you will want to move to the Slow ring and wait for the next build as this build breaks the ability to run VMs.
      I read this as if your host machine is Windows 10, then you will not be able to host VMs with the latest build.... Not sure if it means that you cannot run the latest build as a guest on another host....
  • I have Win10 as a guest on Win8.1 (VirtualBox) and it works just fine.
  • I also updated to 10049 on my VMware box and have 0 issues.
  • Goodbye internet explorer
  • ^^^^ And chrome and opera and safari and others.....
  • Maxthon..
  • Rockmelt :(
  • Netscape
  • Lol. some ppl dont know about that. Glad to see someone remembered it.
  • NCSA Mosaic
  • Gopher
  • I miss Netscape it was so simple then... Webcrawler!!!!
  • What does the app icon look like?
  • Wireframe globe. Not unlike ATT logo.
  • Rip IE.....fare thee well..
  • The project Spartan icon is like the ball with a grid
  • The official name for the browser will be Microsoft Gridball.
  • Mister you made my dai
  • Why not Grifball? That would be sweet...
  • I believe it is the same icon used for Notifications on Xbox One.
  • Placeholders everywhere (yes, explorer icons are placeholder too).
  • I want to go home now!
  • The inking ability sounds awesome! Kind of similar to rumored functionality in the Courier.
  • Thank goodness, IE ran terrible on my SP2 with previous build, fingers crossed that Spartan is the bomb.
  • You want your computer to explode?
  • Please include extensions in upcoming update its my main pivot about internet explorer
  • Taking a while to install on my Yoga.
  • I have a question about Reading List. So, one of the biggest things I've always wanted to do in IE but seemingly could not was open up a bunch of tabs (say, if I'm doing research on an obscure topic) and then save that browsing session, so that I could come back a week later and all of those tabs would be there. But I don't want to leave my computer on for a week, even in sleep mode, or leave IE open for that long. I just want to save that browsing session, open it later, read the tabs, then easily delete the browsing session. Is that what Reading List is? Or does it only save one tab at a time?
  • I'm thinking it'd be nice to be able to save several lists while doing research, name each list and then access them when you need
  • It should save multiple files.  That's how it works on W8.1
  • what a lovely browser!
  • Any way to block ads on this browser? I can't live without adblock.
  • R.I.P tunggah :-P
  • Reading list
  • Why do we need to switch to reading list mode in order to block ads? Is ridiculous!
  • Use another browser until we get extensions.
  • Doubt it will. No extensions or whatsoever. That's why I don't use IE till date.
  • IE has built in adblocking and doesn't need third-party tinkering...
  • Tracking lists. Which have been in IE for a long time now. 
  • How did you manage to do that in Spartan?
  • Try use AdGuard, it blocks ads in every app.
  • Thanks, Karol. I'll look it up. :)
  • I'm looking forward to having a touch friendly browser again. W10 almost usable on my surface (now it just needs non-terrible access to app menus via touch, and tethering without going through 3 wifi screens to wake up bluetooth tethering in the old win8 wifi menu). Downloading now.
  • Nice, clean, and responsive. Love the annotation.
  • I'm already missing the transparent header in IE11. Hope they change in final release.
  • There's not a "desktop version of windows 10"....its just "windows 10"....now there is a "Mobile version" for phones and tablets....which is not the same OS.
    Microsoft tells Windows Central...to call it that.
  •     You are wrong and right, there is a Windows 10 for desktop (the one we have in our machines), Windows 10 for mobiles and Windows 10 for IoT (Internet of Things). The "official" name is Windows 10, but there are that denomination for each one. Source: http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsofts-windows-10-how-the-skus-will-skew/    
  • Man what are you talking about.. Calm down.
  • Totally agree. No IE 11 by default!
  • Too slow MS. Where have you been in the past 5 years?
  • Building an OS that will work on PC, tablets, mobiles, consoles and IoT? 
  • I smell a release for phone tomorrow.
  • Installing............
  • I just hope Windows 10 turns out to be the light at the end of this very long tunnel, so far, Spartan seems promising, but I'm hoping for a mobile revolution
  • Sounds good so far, an add blocking extension after it's done and it'll be perfect. I don't understand why they're keeping IE11, maybe it's similar to the time they switched from flash to html5 on mobile.
  • If you don't want IE just dont use it.
  •  I don't understand why they're keeping IE11
    Legacy compatibility. It is a bit hard to understand if you don't work in company IT. Just take it from an IT guy, it would be a huge issue if they would not include IE.
  • Can I do a clean install of build 10041 by the iso file?
  • Yup did it just a few mins ago
  • Thanks!
  • Can you give me the link to the 64 bit version
  • Surprise, atm you are forced if u want to use Spartan to use bing
  • Bing is pretty clever than Google. I was using it for bing rewards but I stayed (I got banned for bing rewards) because it gives relevant results than paid results. It's been good 2 years with bing now.
  • I don't write on the browser. More importantly, does it support extensions like Firefox or Google Chrome does? Don't tell me that it is not available due to security reasons.
  • Well we write on the browser..
  • I scribble on the browser
  • I think I'm about to download this on my computer tonight.. Now I will need to look at how to download videos lol.
  • It's super buggy and laggy so far, but hopefully that will change as it gets updated. It's not nearly as fast as IE yet, and basic things like alt+d are missing. It also isn't connecting to credential manager so don't expect it to have any of your passwords. On tablets the UI is a big step back from metro IE but it's better than desktop IE for touch.
  • To be honest, I'm really most excited about the first and last reason listed; Cortana integration and the new engine. The engine mainly because it's speeding up the experience and showing Microsoft (at least a littlke) can break away from legacy stuff to make something new.  The other items, I feel if you use firefox or chrome already, you've had access to features like these via plugins for a while (light ones at that). Including cortana like search to some degree, but I prefer Cortana integration due to it's depth to the ecosystem.
  • internet explorer is crashing so many times on my Windows 10 pro tech preview that I want to remove it form the OS.I never had it work that bad on the the other tech previews before the next build will come this April I hope they have a ISO version so I can do a complete clean hard drive install 
  • I've tried the displaying of the favorites bar on multiple machines and it cuts it off and has the icons misaligned on each. 
  • An Indian is behind this project., Hurray :) Proud moment ....
  • So, I broke down and just bought an Android... the Lg g3 and all I can say is WOW! I was a WP fan for yrs & wouldn't consider any other options but that was foolish of me. I can do things on this phone that weren't possible on WP. Especially with the apps. I have my local apps, my Chase app, and a ton of apps that will help me run my business more efficiently and more profitable. Also, the quality of apps are unbelievable compared to WP apps. I feel foolish for blindly supporting WP. Google and Android do everything WP does but 10x's better. Even Onedrive and Onenote are better on Android. Yes, I miss Cortana but Google Now does the job and usually understands me better than Cortana. Not to mention, Cortana is expected to be on Android soon. Windows is going to have to do something extraordinary for me to switch back and with their past history, I'm not too optimistic that will happen. I'll always be a fan of MS but I'll never be so blindly loyal to them when there are other companies that do so many things better than them. I'm still rooting for MS & WP but we'll just have to wait and see. As of right now, the only regret I have is staying with WP for so long and missing out on all this great technology out there! Good luck everyone! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Troll that talks to much??
  • @jssm650:
    Your permission to access this site have been revoked.
  • why is that? Ive been here since the beginning and Im a huge MS fan. I was just amazed at how much more I can do on my new lg g3 android. Ive been blindly loyal to Wp and never used android or apple but there's no denying that they are lightyears ahead of WP. Where am I wrong? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Kinda off topic in regards to the article, but I want to buy the G3 as well. Might wait for the next generation though, since it's been out for a while, but it's a beautiful phone.
     
  • It is amazing phone! you won't be disappointed. The g4 is coming in april or may but g3 is plenty capable of lasting well into the future. Display is better than 1520, it also has 3gig RAM, 32 g storage and accepts sd cards, has snapdragon 801, etc. All around great phone! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Don't forget that the software will age and you might be getting one update before your phone is abandoned.
  • 1) This article isn't about Android.
    2) We don't give a rats ass about you or anyone else switching platform.
  • Hehe... Welcome to the honeymoon... I can tell you from experience that it will not last.
  • Did you actually just come on here to talk about how you left and how awesome it is? It's cool that you like your new phone but to come on here with something that is beyond off topic on an article about something new and exciting for the people here just smacks of trying to rain on someone else's parade. Shame on you. And before you reply, most people here know what Android can and can't do and they still chose Windows because it works for them.
  • Just downloaded. It's really fast.  Liking it so far.
  • THe update poochef some xbl games, but otherwise seems nice. It will ne interesting to see how it turns out in its final iteration at release.
  • Are we just going to ignore how GTA V predicted the Spartan icon? http://cdn.gottabemobile.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/GTA-5-Windows-Ph...
  • Haha, cool!
  • There is so much diversity at Microsoft, thats a theme I saw in that video.
  • I understand that microsoft is trying to start all over with their browser, but honestly I love the IE design on my windows phone. its clean, sleek and simple. I wouldnt want any other design for a browser on my phone.
  • I think this is the old internet explorer modern app with some extras. They promote it so much just like Cortana, but to be honest I don't know any person that uses cortana
  • Cortana has been my saviour every day since she was unleashed in the UK :)
  • Good, build 10041 was rather poor IMHO
  • You can't even change search provider, nor add filters/lists (like easy list) manually, so I won't be testing it until they get their shit together. Not interested in being force fed both Bing and ads.
  • I am interested in a Windows app that can be stacked like having for example four browsers in the screen, but they keep restricting the height of each window to like 80%of the height of the screen, so it ruins a lot of use cases, like for example you could have several windows showing live games in small windows (full screen mode), thinking in grand slams tennis games or several football games at the same time, full screen in a Windows app will use the whole available window, but the restriction of height mess the use case.
  • Windows Central, can you post a image gallery of Spartan?
  • decent performance for a first public release, but spartan still suffers when a bunch of ads are loaded... aside from that the future looks bright...
  • Can we run multiple instances of the new browser? Is there any domain auth included? Maybe someone has tested this...
  • It's funny that I can't use Spartan to take notes on this page.  
  • I can't even get Spartan to open..