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Move Over Internet Explorer: A Quick Look At Spartan

Saturday, April 11th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet

Microsoft finally made the new Spartan browser available to folks running the Windows 10 Technical Preview. My first impression: It’s fast. Really fast.  I find the layout much simpler and more convenient that IE 11.

Let’s take a tour. Remember, this is a preview version, not the final version of the browser.  When you open Spartan up, it looks like this:


You’ll have squared tabs for each page you have open, just as with Internet Explorer. You close tabs by clicking the X and add new tabs by clicking the + sign. Very similar to Internet Explorer as well.


At the top left, you’ll notice Forward and Back arrows, along with a refresh button. Click on the bar and you’ll see a search box and the typical address bar.


At the top right, click the Star icon to add favorites or add items to the Reading List.  I told you about the Reading List App in a previous article. In Windows 8 you can only add to it from the Metro version of Internet Explorer. The app allows you to save specific web article to read later.


When you add a page to Favorites you can pick a name and a folder. For Reading List you can choose a name. I noticed in this preview version of Spartan, the Add to text looks a little cramped. I’m not sure if that’s an error or a style choice.


Click the File icon with the star on it and you’ll see a menu for Favorites, Reading Lists, History and Downloads. Click the star for favorites. The icon next to it that resembles a stack of books is for pages saved to your reading list. One thing I noticed was that even though I didn’t import any of my Internet Explorer favorites into Spartan, it already listed my most-visited sites on my Windows 8.1 tablet.


For History, click the icon that resembles a clock.


For a list of recent downloads, click the icon that looks like a down facing arrow.


The icon that looks like a pen and paper allow you to add text or draw on a web page you’re viewing. I’ll cover those functions in a separate article.


The last icon is three little dots that will take you to Settings and other functions. I’ll discuss all of the goodies in that menu in part 2 of this article.

~ Cynthia

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3 Responses to “Move Over Internet Explorer: A Quick Look At Spartan”

  1. Jadesqr says:

    Hey Cynthia,
    Thanks for the ‘Spartan’ update. Please keep in mind I am still running ‘Vista and IE 9 as it is as good as it gets.
    1) Looks a whole lot like ‘Chrome’ from here, except ‘…squared tabs’, really like Chrome tabs that look like folders in a file cabinet.
    2) Re read your ‘Reading List App’ article? but I have a ‘Read Latter’ favorite folder I use instead, works just fine. Would like to see ‘Entry Dates’ as opposed to alphabetical sorting but thats a ‘seperate’ issue as is the ‘spell checker’ and the ability to revise it.
    3) The Add to text looks a little cramped and always has in my opinion, only when you open the ‘Favorites’ window can you see more title but we need a way to manage and keep the Favorite ‘Window’ size, assume its hidden somewhere in the ‘Registry’ but have not found it. Also would like to manage the ‘Add Favorite’ and ‘Organize Favorite’ popup windows size and shape.
    4) Don’t like that ‘Spartan’ is tracking ‘3rd party cookies’ from your ‘Windows 8.1 tablet’, blocking ‘Google’ from tracking my IE cookies now so why is ‘Spartan’ doing it? I only use ‘Chrome’ sparingly to stream content and manage my ‘Outlook’ because IE9 doesn’t. Hate that ‘Google Bookmarks’ seem to be Google property and I have no control.
    Hope this is info you can use to forward on to ‘Microsoft’ or discuss in ‘part 2′, looking forward to more info.

  2. […] You can check out my preview of the new browser here. […]

  3. Ernest White says:

    I started with window 95, 98,98se & all the rest.
    Just as I get use to one they change it on me…

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