Project Spartan

This article excerpt, written by Napier Lopez, originally appeared here:

Ever since Microsoft's announcement of Windows 10 in September 2014, one of its most anticipated features has been Project Spartan, Microsoft’s soon-to-be replacement for the much maligned, and outdated Internet Explorer.

Although technical builds/previews of Windows 10 have been available for quite some time, it wasn't until today’s release that we've actually been able to get our hands on Spartan. 

Let's keep in mind that this is the first build of Spartan released to the public (sort-of), and as such there are several bugs/glitches, and performance most likely does not reflect the final product.

So, how is Project Spartan different than what we've seen with Internet Explorer? Let's find out!
1) Design

Spartan 2 730x487 Hands on with Project Spartan, Microsofts Internet Explorer replacement
The first thing you’ll notice about Spartan is its minimalist user-interface (UI).
You have the typical navigation and bookmark buttons, made relatively large to be touch-friendly. 
It’s otherwise a pretty traditional browser layout, other than the new Reading View and Web Note buttons.

Although it’s still in a very early development stage, browsing with Spartan has been promising.

On a Surface Pro 3 with Core i5 processor, the browser loaded pages quickly and smoothly handled several tabs at once. In particular, it’s much more responsive to scrolling and zooming with touch than either Chrome or Firefox, though one would hope that’s the case given Windows tablets and phones will be running Spartan as their primary browser.

2) Reading View

One of the headline features in Spartan is the new Reading View. It’s meant to keep your browsing "distraction free" by presenting websites in an e-book like format; you only see text and relevant images.

You can also change the way Reading View looks through the settings menu. By default, it’s a parchment color with black text, but you can also choose from white, grey and black backgrounds. You can also adjust the font size to your liking, a much welcomed feature!

Not all sites support reading view, however; it seems to work best with the content it’s intended for: blog posts and other text heavy pages. That said, some pages, Wikipedia in particular, are notable omissions. The reading view option will be "greyed out" if it’s not available on a particular page.

A notable mention: after you save a page, it’ll be available from a Reading List view in the favorites menu. You can export Reading List pages as PDFs as well!

3) Web Note

Microsoft has been trying relentlessly to remove the physical barriers between our devices. Integrating "OneNote" into your web-browser is a step in this direction. When you click on the new Web Note button, the browser turns a purple hue reminiscent of OneNote, and you’re presented with a few annotation options including a marker, highlighter and a comment box.

You can then save the annotated page onto your Reading List or share your notes through other apps like Facebook, Flipboard or OneNote. 

Alternatively, you can also clip a section of the page to copy, save or share.