Microsoft is shipping a brand new browser, with a new rendering engine, with Windows 10, on PCs, tablets and smartphones.
The company debuted Project Spartan — the browser itself doesn’t have a name just yet — at its Windows 10 event this week, and the first thing you think when you see Spartan is its namesake sparseness: this is a very lightweight-looking browser. At first glance, it resembles Chrome and Firefox, but Microsoft has added a number of features that will hopefully separate Spartan from the pack.
Not only does the browser render pages faster, and with more accuracy — no longer will pages look wonky on Windows phones due to Internet Explorer not being fully supported — but Spartan has markup support, with a stylus and digit. Like Skitch, Spartan has the ability to change pen tip sizes and colours, and there are plenty of sharing options. Spartan also comes with PDF annotation support.
Joe Belfiore also introduced a new Reading List mode that will allow people to optimize longer articles for reading, and to save them for offline perusal later.
Finally, Cortana is coming to the web. While Cortana is built into Windows 10 on both smartphones and tablets, the personal assistant will exist in the browser itself, and allow users to get more context-specific information based on the content on a given page.
Spartan will ship with Windows 10, and will come to a future build of both Windows 10 Insider on the PC and smartphone.