Microsoft has given testers a look at the latest build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview, which includes the firm's new Project Spartan web browser for the first time as well as a number of small improvements and fixes.
Released overnight, Build 10049 of the Windows 10 Technical Preview is the first to make the new browser available for testers on the Windows Insider programme to try out, at least on PCs.
Designed for "the modern web", this includes support for editing of web pages and has been optimised for easy sharing, reading, discovery and getting things done online, Microsoft said.
As Microsoft disclosed last week, Project Spartan is now set to be the default browser on Windows 10, making the app a key piece of software that Microsoft will want to ensure offers just the right experience and capabilities for the millions of people expected to upgrade to the operating system when it ships.
Writing on the official Windows blog, Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president for Microsoft's Operating Systems Group, described Project Spartan as "streamlined" and "putting the focus on the page, not the browser", as part of a vision for a browser that does not visually interfere with the web experience.
As Microsoft has already detailed, this includes features such as a Reading List and Reading View for distraction-free reading, the ability to annotate web pages using a stylus and the digital ink support of Windows 10, and the inclusion of Microsoft's Cortana personal assistant into the browser to help get tasks accomplished.
Cortana offers help at just the right moment, according to Microsoft, based on what it knows about the web, about you and what you might be trying to do. It remains in the background but provides additional information when you need it, making browsing easier and more efficient, the firm claims.
However, all this is academic to anyone outside the US, as that is the only territory in which Cortana is currently supported for Windows Insiders.
Project Spartan also features a new rendering engine for improved performance and web compatibility.
Belfiore warned that this is not a polished "ready for everyone release" and said that Microsoft will have more features and improvements coming to Project Spartan before the firm makes it broadly available with Windows 10.
Q3 losses reverse Q2 gains
FBI briefing US companies to dump Kaspersky, claiming intelligence prove it a 'threat to national security'
Kaspersky rejects FBI accusations that its products are a 'threat to national security'
But breached contractor says that it simply didn't have that much data
EE follows Three in threatening legal action against Ofcom - but for entirely different reasons