When Windows 10 debuts later this year, it will include a new Web browser called Spartan. Spartan represents Microsoft’s efforts to create a streamlined browser from scratch, with a new rendering engine that’s built for the modern Web. While the Spartan app and interface are still absent from the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview build, users can get a taste of the new Spartan Edge rendering engine right from within Internet Explorer 11.
To enable the Spartan Edge rendering engine, make sure you’re running at least build 9926 of Windows 10. Launch Internet Explorer 11 and type about:flags into the address bar, then press the Enter key. This will display several hidden IE options.
Find the option labeled Enable Experimental Web Platform Features and select Enabled. Click the Apply Changes button at the bottom of the page and then completely close and restart Internet Explorer.
If all goes well, you won’t notice any visual changes. That’s because Spartan’s Edge rendering engine is all about under the hood improvements; the new design and end-user features won’t arrive until the Spartan browser itself is included in a future Windows 10 build.
You may, however, notice performance benefits compared to IE’s default rendering engine, with Edge performing up to 80 percent faster in some tests. But be aware that Spartan Edge rendering truly is “experimental,” as the option to enable it suggests. We’ve already encountered a handful of bugs in the few days we’ve had to test it. These issues will get ironed out as the Windows 10 Technical Preview continues, but you shouldn’t rely on the Spartan Edge rendering engine (or a pre-release version of Windows) for mission critical work. That said, IE11 in Windows 10 is relatively stable, so if you see rendering problems with Edge, just repeat the steps above and set the Experimental Web Platform Features option to Disabled.
Want news and tips from TekRevue delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for the TekRevue Weekly Digest using the box below. Get tips, reviews, news, and giveaways reserved exclusively for subscribers.