Internet Explorer 10: touch-friendly, and securely sandboxed

Internet Explorer logoMicrosoft is continuing to show off new features coming in its Internet Explorer 10 Web browser, with a couple of posts describing its touch-friendly Metro interface and its enhanced security.

The current trend in browser design, led by Google Chrome, is to scale back the browser's interface so that it takes less and less of the screen, devoting more room to the Web content itself. Windows 8's Metro design similarly removes window chrome to put the focus on content.

Metro Internet Explorer 10 is the logical conclusion of this trend: most of the time it has no visible interface at all, leaving only the Web page visible. Its app bar, displayed by swiping from the top or bottom of the screen or right clicking the mouse, contains tabs, the address bar, and so on.

The Metro version of Internet Explorer feels slick and comfortable using both touch and mouse and keyboard interaction. Particular highlights are the tile-based favorites view and the tab thumbnails, both shown to good effect in Microsoft's post.

Internet Explorer 9 introduced some particularly taskbar-oriented features: support for pinning sites to the taskbar, and the ability for those pinned sites to create custom options in the Jump list. In Windows 8, sites can be pinned to the Start screen to make them instantly accessible. Sites pinned this way can even update their tile to show status notifications—much in the way that "real" apps can do. However, the Jump lists are tucked away, only available from within Internet Explorer.

The tab selector, replete with pretty thumbnails E10

Pinned Web sites, with one showing off a notification IE 10

One concern that this chromeless look raises is that of differentiaton; Metro-style versions of both Chrome and Firefox are being developed, and it's hard to see how they might look any different.

Security-wise, Internet Explorer 10 will include a new Enhanced Protected Mode. Protected Mode is the name Microsoft gives to its sandboxing technique. The current version, introduced in Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Vista, creates a separate, low-privilege process for running JavaScript and rendering HTML. This low-privilege process has no write access to most of the file system. This means that even if there is a security flaw in the browser, the attacker cannot write malware to the hard disk.

Sandbox protection of this kind isn't perfect—there are various techniques for escaping from the sandbox and increasing privileges—but it serves as another measure attackers have to defeat if they want to exploit users.

Enhanced Protected Mode further reduces the rights that each low-privilege process has: not only do they not have write permission to the file system, they also lose read permission. This makes the sandbox even harder to escape, but it comes at a cost: it breaks virtually all current plugins.

The Metro browser is already plugin-free, but the desktop browser is not. Enhanced Protected Mode won't be the default on the desktop (though this will be an option) to ensure that plugins remain compatible. If Enhanced Protected Mode is enabled, then any attempt to use an incompatible plugin will result in a prompt to disable the mode for that tab, to allow the plugin to work.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: browsers, Internet Explorer, Microsoft

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
The Galaxy Note 9 was previously expected to ship with a 3,850mAh battery
 
An internal meeting hinted at the nonprofit's ambitions
 
The new silicon could let Intel design 20-core and 22-core SKUs for the X299 Express chipset
 
This is the first big overhaul since Office 2007 introduced the ribbon
 
It would surely help those of us who need native apps but want quality hardware
 
This restriction will extend to existing extensions over the remainder of the year
 
Windows 7 and newer required for the gaming platform
 
NVIDIA and AMD will soon have another graphics competitor
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (10)