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Project Spartan, Windows 10's new browser, is now available for testing

The new browser is intended to replace Internet Explorer on all Windows devices.

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Project Spartan will let you capture and share notes on web pages. Screenshot by Nate Ralph/CNET


The latest version of the Windows 10 Technical preview has arrived, and it's offering up an early look at Project Spartan, the browser that will succeed the venerable Internet Explorer.

We got our first look at Project Spartan at Microsoft's Windows 10 event in January. The browser runs on a brand new rendering engine aimed at speeding up performance, while offering new, sharing-centric functionality. The most dramatic of these changes is support for inking: you'll be able to write or type directly on a web page, and share your annotations via email, through social networks, or by clipping them directly to OneNote.

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Cortana can serve up extra details in the Project Spartan browser. Nate Ralph/CNET

The build also offers support for Cortana in Project Spartan -- provided you're using a US version of the latest Technical Preview. Cortana will work to give extra details about whatever you're looking for, whether that's pulling together directions for the restaurant whose web page you're browsing, or pulling together information you've shared with the virtual assistant to autofill your search queries. This build also offers a distraction-free reading view, which is something you might be familiar with if you use read-it-later apps like Pocket , or Safari's Reader view. And a revamped Reading List -- already available in Windows 8 -- will host everything you want to read in a single location, so you can catch up at your leisure.

If you want to check out Project Spartan, you'll need to be running the latest version of the Windows 10 Technical Preview , Build 10049. Keep in mind that this is an early build: expect bugs and missing features. It's also only available on the PC version of Windows 10, and not the version available on select Windows Phones.

If you haven't already signed up to the Windows Insider program, head on over to Microsoft's Windows Insider site to get started (it's free). And be sure to check out CNET's one-stop shop for Windows 10 for tips to help you get started.