Microsoft is preparing to release a ‘secured' version of its Edge web browser for the Enterprise version of Windows 10, intended to help prevent businesses succumbing to malware distributed via compromised web pages.
The technology is included in Microsoft's latest Insider Preview build, released to enterprise users in the Fast Ring, and comes after Microsoft announced plans for the improved security last September.
The browser will effectively run within its own Hyper-V virtual machine, Windows Defender Application Guard for Windows 10 Enterprise, in order to isolate it from the rest of the Windows 10 operating system.
But in order to try it out, users will first need to turn on Windows Defender Application Guard in the Windows Features settings - and then restart their machines. Once the PC has restarted, users need to open Edge, and then click on "New Application Guard window" in the opening screen. A new instance of Edge will then open, with Windows Defender Application Guard enabled.
Some older PCs, Microsoft warns, may not support Hyper-V, or will have the feature disabled by default in their BIOS.
While Insiders have been encouraged to test the Edge browser running under Application Guard, Microsoft has promised that it will be rolled out in the next major update to Windows 10, expected in the autumn.
The feature was outlined by Microsoft in September: "When a user browses to a trusted web site, for example an internal accounting system web application, Microsoft Edge operates as it does today. It has access to local storage, can authenticate the user to internal sites with corporate credentials, standard cookies work, the user can save files to the local machine…
"However, when an employee browses to a site that is not recognised or trusted by the network administrator, Application Guard steps in to isolate the potential threat…
"Application Guard creates a new instance of Windows at the hardware layer, with an entirely separate copy of the kernel and the minimum Windows Platform Services required to run Microsoft Edge. The underlying hardware enforces that this separate copy of Windows has no access to the user's normal operating environment."
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