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You can now test Project Spartan, Microsoft's Internet Explorer successor

You can now test Project Spartan, Microsoft's Internet Explorer successor

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Microsoft is releasing a preview of its Internet Explorer successor, Project Spartan, today. The new browser, which will be the default web experience in Windows 10, is part of an update to the PC Windows 10 preview. Microsoft promised faster builds for testers, and it’s delivering on that promise today. After less than two weeks, Windows 10 testers can now download a new build (10049) that will include the Project Spartan browser. If you’re already running a preview version of Windows 10 then it’s available immediately from Windows Update, otherwise you can join the Windows Insider program to test Project Spartan and Windows 10.

While Microsoft demonstrated a variety of Project Spartan features back in January, not all of them are enabled in today’s preview. Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, is included with features like contextually aware suggestions, and assistance for weather or stock information. While Cortana is present, calendar and flight information won’t be available as part of today’s preview, and the digital assistant is limited to the US for now in Project Spartan. Similarly, an updated Reading View mode is available in the Spartan preview, but roaming across devices and saving offline aren’t available just yet. Both features are planned for the final version of Windows 10 and Project Spartan which will ship in the summer.

You can draw straight on web pages with Project Spartan

One of Spartan’s more impressive features is the ability to annotate notes with a pen. While recently leaked builds of Spartan didn’t feature this, today’s preview will include this new Web Notes function. You can write or type directly on to a webpage, and share the comments through email, social networks, or through OneDrive. Microsoft even supports OneNote too, for easy clipping of web pages and inking comments or notes on them.

Today’s preview is just an early look at Project Spartan, and Microsoft is promising to update its new Windows 10 browser frequently. "Project Spartan will be regularly updated," says Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore. "The team is engaging with customers and partners closely to tune and update plans." Microsoft previously revealed it also plans to support extensions in Project Spartan in a future update, so new features are clearly in the works. Microsoft is also preparing to release a new Windows 10 for phones preview, and it’s likely that Spartan will be included in that release.

Farewell, Internet Explorer

While Project Spartan is a successor to Internet Explorer, Microsoft is still planning to ship its "legacy engine" browser in some versions of Windows 10. The Verge understands that the software giant is currently evaluating a number of different ways to ship Internet Explorer in Windows 10 to those who require it, and that it will be primarily targeted at enterprise customers. Microsoft is not pinning Internet Explorer to the task bar or Start Menu in Windows 10, and Project Spartan will take over. Today’s preview includes that new behavior, and we hear that Internet Explorer could eventually become a Windows feature that you have to enable to get access to the old browser. Internet Explorer itself (the app) might not be fully dead just yet, but Microsoft is killing off the brand name in favor of a new name for Project Spartan, and the company says it’s the future of its browser efforts.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Striking out

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Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.

Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.

The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.

Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.

A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.

Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.

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If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.

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Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.