Microsoft launches Project Spartan browser on Windows 10 mobile

Microsoft has released the second build of Windows 10 mobile technical preview, the first build to feature Project Spartan, the new web browser planning to succeed Internet Explorer.

Build 10051 comes a week after Microsoft announced Project Spartan was heading to phones. It is available on almost all Lumia devices that came running Windows 8. Windows insiders are currently testing the web browser out, and opinions seem positive even though there is quite a few bugs for Microsoft to fix in updates.

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Project Spartan’s real market is mobiles, considering most online browsing is done through a mobile and not a desktop. Internet Explorer never made the transition to a smooth running web browser, currently holding a dismal 2 per cent of mobile web browser traffic.

Google Chrome and Safari both made early grabs at the mobile market. It has resulted in both shooting ahead of Firefox and IE, both considered legacy browsers. Mozilla has been working on revamping its web browser to fit with the mobile age over the past few years, but it hasn’t had much effect on the traffic standings.

Microsoft claims Project Spartans new rendering engine should bring better cohesion between modern mobile browsing standards. Internet Explorer was hated by both developers and users alike for its non-standard implementations, especially with its rendering engine that used non-standard tags and functionality.

Reading View and List were both available on the Project Spartan for mobile build. Microsoft is working on making some of the other features available on the mobile version, all the while fixing some bugs that make some Lumia smartphones incompatible.

Right now, the technical preview still has Internet Explorer as the default web browser, with Project Spartan acting as a secondary. Microsoft will retain IE in Windows 10 for desktop and mobile, clearly concerned Project Spartan’s potential bugs will put off customers.

Windows 10 will launch this summer in 190 countries. Windows Phone 8 users should get the update for free, but desktop customers without a licensed version of Windows 8 or 7 will not be able to get the update for free, although Microsoft has not detailed the exact price.