Microsoft has officially released a new build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview for its Windows Insider programme, featuring the first browser to feature the Microsoft Edge branding.
Leaked then confirmed as Project Spartan, Microsoft Edge is to replace Internet Explorer - which will still be available for legacy purposes - as the default web browser in Windows 10. Although a browser based on the Edge rendering engine has been available in earlier previews, this week's release - Build 10158 - marks the first time that the Edge branding that will be used for the final release has appeared.
The browser hasn't just had a name-change, though: its application ID has shifted from its Spartan release, meaning that any saved favourites, cookies, history and so forth won't make the transition unless manually backed-up prior to installing the new build and then restored into Edge post-upgrade. The browser also features numerous improvements over Spartan, including an optional home button, the ability to import bookmarks from third-party browsers, new start-up and New Tab customisation features, password and form-fill support, continuous audio playback even when minimised or backgrounded, the ability to break tabs out into new windows via drag-and-drop gestures, and a new dark theme.
The underlying operating system has also been tweaked, featuring various user experience tweaks including a swipe gesture for the Start Menu, bug fixes for the cross-platform Continuum feature, orange flashes for taskbar icons when attention is demanded, better animations, and improvements to the Cortana assistance system - including, as with Edge, a new dark theme. Microsoft Wi-Fi also features, replacing Skype Wi-Fi as a means to pay for internet access while out and about.
More details on the build, including welcome news of bug fixes for the Surface 3 and battery life improvements for the Surface Pro 3, can be found on the official announcement