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If you’ve been dying to take Microsoft’s new web browser, Spartan, for a spin, you can do so right this second—but only if you’re a Windows Insider. Membership is free in terms of money, but you will have to install the Windows 10 Technical Preview on your computer. If you’re okay with using an experimental, constantly changing, somewhat unstable operating system on your machine, get going on that. Otherwise, you’ll probably have to wait until Windows 10’s official release later this summer.

Project-Spartan-2-620x349
Spartan on Windows 10 Phone looks pretty good so far. Hopefully it’ll be even more impressive on a full PC.

So what’s Spartan got that Internet Explorer doesn’t? The image at the top of this post says it all. Spartan is built with tablet-PC hybrids in mind, namely devices like the Microsoft Surface line of computers. Equipped with touchscreens and stylus support, tablet-PC hybrids offer different kinds of opportunities for web interaction, and Spartan seems to have been created with those opportunities in mind.

Web Note offers stylus and typing support, which will allow users to write on web pages as they browse. This essentially provides users the ability to make personal notations and mark important sections as they go. Web pages will transform from ephemeral, unimportant spots on the Internet into a more personal, more noteworthy text. Since the quality of websites and writing on the web has gotten better year after year, this could be a huge step forward in terms of how we consume what we read. Instead of just skimming through a page, we’ll be able to actually take notes, underline what’s important, and better engage with what we’re reading. As a former book underliner, I’m very excited by this.

As we saw in the Spartan for Windows 10 Phones leak the other day, the full version of Spartan on Windows 10 will also bring the Reading List. Again, this will help transform the web into a curated magazine that you put together yourself. There are tons of apps, services, and extensions that do this already. Having it baked right into your web browser is a huge step in the right direction, meaning it ought to be easier than ever to manage content. One thing we still don’t know, though: will Spartan be available on non-Windows platforms? My Android smartphone hopes so.

I do wonder how Cortana and Spartan’s recommendations will work, but I’ll have to wait until I get my hands on the finished browser this summer with Windows 10’s release. I was a Windows Insider—but I suspect that the Windows 10 Technical Preview gave my Surface Pro 3 a few power consumption issues, and I had to trade mine in for a warranty replacement. That’s why I’m back to Windows 8.1—but as soon as Windows 10 drops, I can’t wait to make the switch.

Anyone out there try Spartan? Let us know what you think in the comments.

[Source: Microsoft via Neowin]


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