"Spartan" is the codename of a web browser under development by Microsoft. Officially unveiled on January
21, 2015, and first publicly released as a preview on March
30, 2015, it will replace Internet Explorer as the default browser of Windows 10 and Windows 10 for smartphones and tablets.
"Spartan" is designed to be a lightweight web browser with an engine built around web standards that is "designed for interoperability with the modern web". It removes support for legacy technologies such as ActiveX in favor of extensions and integration with other Microsoft services, such as the Cortana assistant and OneDrive, and will also offer annotation tools and a reading mode.
In December 2014, writing for ZDNet, technology writer Mary Jo Foley reported that Microsoft was developing a new web browser codenamed "Spartan" for Windows 10. She claimed that "Spartan" would be treated as a new product separate from Internet Explorer, with Internet Explorer 11 retained alongside it for compatibility reasons.
"Spartan" from sources close to Microsoft, including reports that it would replace Internet Explorer on both the desktop and mobile versions of Windows 10. Microsoft officially unveiled "Spartan" during a Windows 10-focused keynote on January 21,2015.
"Spartan" will be marketed as a separate product from Internet Explorer, and carry a new brand;
"Spartan" was first made publicly available as the default browser of Windows 10 Technical Preview build
10049, as released on March 30, 2015. The new engine used by "Spartan" was previously available in Windows 10 builds as part of Internet Explorer 11, and was also to be used by the browser on the final version of 10.
v "Spartan" will serve as the default browser on both the PC and mobile device editions of Windows 10, "Spartan" uses a new "Edge" layout engine that is "designed for interoperability with the modern web". The new "Edge" engine will be used by default across Windows 10, and pages can be rendered in the legacy MSHTML engine for backwards compatibility with enterprise-specific websites and software.
v "Spartan" does not support legacy technologies such as ActiveX and Browser Helper Objects, and will instead use an extension system. Internet Explorer 11 will remain available alongside "Spartan" on Windows 10 for compatibility purposes;
v "Spartan" will integrate with Microsoft's online platforms: it integrates with the Cortana digital assistant to provide voice control, search functionality, and dynamic, personalized information related to searches within the address bar. Users can make annotations to web pages that can be stored to and shared with OneDrive. It also integrates with the "Reading List" function to sync content between devices, and provides a "Reading Mode" that strips unnecessary formatting from pages to improve their legibility.