SpartanA new Microsoft browser is getting ready to take over. Known as Spartan, this browser will replace Internet Explorer for Windows 10. One of the first things noticed is that the new browser is thinner, meaning there are not as many menu options or frills. Instead, the settings are relatively straightforward and definitely slimmed down.

Although the browser is being referred to as Spartan, according to a company spokesperson this may not end up being the official name. While this is a no frills type of browser compared to Internet Explorer, there are several new things.

One of the greatest benefits is that Spartan is much faster. This browser was built from the ground up by Microsoft and appears the efforts are paying off. Even the most complex websites load much quicker and for playing videos there is virtually no delay.

The look and feel of Spartan is clean. It slightly resembles Chrome but when not using the mouse, the navigation bar disappears. In addition, there is no URL preview displayed at the lower part of the screen prior to clicking on a link. However, this is something that could be added by Microsoft at a later date if demand calls for it.

Probably one of the most unique features of Spartan is that it takes notes on a website. With this browser, users have the option of clicking on a pen and paper icon so any website can be annotated with a pen or highlighter. Although notes can be taken with any PC, this is especially great for those with a touchscreen. In addition, notes can be typed onto a website and then cropped with screenshots sent to OneNote.

Microsoft’s version of Siri, called Cortana, is also supported by Spartan. With this virtual assistant, users have the ability to send directions to a restaurant when visiting the associated website. Although it remains unclear how implementation will occur, Spartan does feature well-defined mapping.

Spartan also boasts a reading list tool that supports offline reading. With this, an individual could save an interesting story and then read it while on plane later. Another feature of Spartan is the book icon. With this, websites transform into reading mode whereby all videos, ads, and other items are completely removed.

Spartan is also designed to provide fast answers for commonly searched queries. As an example, a weather forecast is provided before someone conducting a local weather search can even hit the enter button. As with all launches, Microsoft expects that some bugs will need to be worked out but at this point, Spartan has gained a tremendous amount of consumer interest.