(Credit: Tuong Nguyen)

Microsoft has delivered a fresh build (10049) of Windows 10 technical preview, including a first taste of its brand-new browser, code-named Project Spartan. The build is available to those already running the Windows 10 tech preview and enrolled in the fast ring upgrade path (find out how to turn on the fast ring upgrade). Once you upgrade your Windows 10 preview to the current version, you'll see Project Spartan's icon on the Taskbar.


At Microsoft's January Windows 10 event, the company introduced many features that do not appear in this version of Project Spartan. However, the browser's slim, simple interface; lightning-fast launch; and modern design make this Internet Explorer successor look very promising, not to mention its cool built-in features.


Microsoft's digital assistant is making her debut in Project Spartan, but current functionality is quite limited. Calendar syncing is not available in this build, and Microsoft says that the flight information seen in previous demos is coming soon. However, you can use Cortana's search functionality by highlighting key terms to perform Web searches, find directions on a map, or look up the definition in a dictionary. Useful cases include getting the local forecast right in the address bar by searching for "weather," and or having Cortana pull up the business hours or location of a restaurant when you visit that restaurant's main page.


Reading View

Project Spartan's Reading View strips pages of distractions to provide a clean reading experience. It removes banner ads and other site elements, while embedded content like images and video are rearranged to reduce reading disruption. Reading View's functionality is similar to those of the Readability or Clearly extensions for Google Chrome.


Web Notes

Project Spartan's Web Notes lets you annotate webpages. Jot down ideas, highlight passages, circle important terms, and type up comments. Share notes via email, or upload them to OneDrive or social media. OneNote is also supported, as Microsoft aims to change the way we collaborate and browse the Web.


Check out the official Project Spartan announcement on Microsoft's blog.

Raised in the Bay Area but educated on the sandy beaches of San Diego, Tuong writes for specializing in Windows Security and Mobile Apps.