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By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft Edge will now let you know if your password is compromised
by Usama Jawad
Yesterday, Microsoft announced a bunch of new features coming to its Edge browser, including sidebar search, history sync, and more. Another nifty capability coming to the browser is Password Monitor, which alerts you if you are using unsafe credentials. The service began rolling out to Insiders back in June 2020 and is now being made available to the general public in Edge 88. Microsoft has detailed the feature in a dedicated blog post.
Password Monitor is the outcome of collaboration between the Edge product team and a former Microsoft Research incubation group called the "Cryptography and Privacy Research Group". The underlying technology is based on homomorphic encryption and is built on top of the Microsoft SEAL homomorphic encryption library.
Simply stated, Password Monitor contacts a server periodically and verifies that the credentials you have saved in Edge are not present in a database of breached credentials. If they are, the user is immediately alerted and asked to change them. It is important to note that neither Microsoft nor any other third-party can see your credentials, with the technology also secure against man-in-the-middle attacks so a malicious actor cannot hijack your password during transit between your browser and the server.
Microsoft has also modified its SEAL library to ensure multi-platform support on various architectures including ARM, x86, and Mac, and it is also compatible with low-end devices. The firm has described the principles of homomorphic encryption in its blog post as well for our more cybersecurity-savvy readers. Microsoft has emphasized that the process consumes minimal network bandwidth, optimizes CPU utilization, and that the Password Monitor service is capable of handling a "large number" of client requests.
Password Monitor will be made available to Edge users on a rolling basis so it will not be immediately visible to everyone. You can head over to the dedicated supported page to find out how to enable it.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft Edge 88 is coming today with sidebar search, history sync, and more
by Rich Woods
In its What's New in Web Experiences blog post, Microsoft announced some new features that are arriving for its Edge browser starting today. This is all stuff for the stable channel, so if you're an Insider that's been testing features in the Beta, Dev, or Canary channels, this will be pretty familiar to you.
First of all, sidebar search is now generally available. The feature is exactly what it sounds like. You can highlight some text, right-click, and choose to search in the sidebar.
Another new feature coming this month is that you'll be able to see your Outlook emails from the new tab page. To do this, add Outlook to your quick links on the new tab page, and then they'll appear. You do need to be signed into the same account on both Outlook and Edge for this to work.
Next up is history and open tab sync. Basic features that were included in Chrome for years, many were surprised when Edge hit general availability over a year ago without these features. But now, they're here for both mobile and desktop. They actually started rolling out a couple of weeks ago, but everyone should have them starting today.
There's a lot more. Automatic profile switching is coming to macOS, and more importantly, Edge supports themes now. You can get them from the Edge add-ons store, the Chrome store, or any other Chromium theme store. You'll also find Microsoft's new Fluent Design elements that it announced a while back, even if you wouldn't notice them if you weren't specifically looking for them.
Microsoft is introducing sleeping tabs, which is releasing system resources on tabs that you're not using. You'll need to enable this in settings to use it. And finally, Microsoft has a new password generator. It's just what it sounds like, automatically creating secure passwords for you.
All of this is rolling out starting today. It comes as part of Edge 88, which should be available shortly.
Microsoft adds themes to the Edge add-ons store
by João Carrasqueira
Microsoft has added new themes to the add-ons store for the Chromium-based Edge browser, giving users some more room for customization. Edge has supported Chrome themes for some time, but like all add-ons from outside Microsoft's own platform, you would need to manually enable the ability to install them from the browser settings.
There are over two dozen new themes available on the Edge add-ons store today, though Microsoft has previously released some celebratory ones, too. The one based on Wonder Woman 1984 was actually made available a while back to tie into the release of the movie, for example.
The majority of the themes available are based on Microsoft properties, more specifically Xbox games. There are themes based on Halo, Gears of War, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and a few more titles. There are also some that are described as bringing the "delightful and eye-catching artwork of Microsoft 365" to the browser.
Of course, you can still install themes from the Chrome Web Store if Microsoft's offerings are too limited, and recently, Microsoft also added the ability to choose color-based themes right from the browser's settings, though this is still not widely available. If you want to check out the new Microsoft themes, you can do so here.
By Abhay V
Edge Dev build 89.0.767.0 is now out with minor autofill improvements and more
by Abhay Venkatesh
It’s a new week, which means it’s time for a new Edge Dev build. Today, Microsoft is releasing build 89.0.767.0 to the Dev channel with a few new features, including the ability to save and autofill birthdays in text fields. The browser will now also detect possible addresses copied to the clipboard and suggest that information as data for forms or fields that require addresses.
The firm says that it has also completed the rollout of vertical tabs for all Dev users, so that feature should be enabled by default. Additionally, the firm recaps the recently added ability to test the Chromium-based Edge browser on HoloLens 2 devices that was rolled out through a Dev channel build.
Here is the complete list of features added with today’s build:
As usual, the firm is also documenting the various fixes made to the browser. Here is the list for the fixes for improved reliability:
And here is what’s fixed for addressing changed behavior:
And lastly, here are all the known issues that the firm is tracking, some of which have been on the list since the last few releases:
As usual, today’s build should be automatically downloaded and installed by the browser in the background. Alternatively, you can head into Settings > About Microsoft Edge to force-check for an update and download it.
Another noteworthy news for Edge Insiders is that the Beta channel builds for macOS now ship with support for Apple Silicon, something that the firm announced late last week. For those keeping a tab on the stable releases, Microsoft is expected to release version 88 for all users sometime this week.
By Abhay V
A near-final build of Windows 10X has leaked to the web
by Abhay Venkatesh
A near-final build of Windows 10X has leaked on to the web, giving those interested in going through the tricky process of installing it a glimpse at Microsoft’s latest OS – a competitor to Google’s lightweight Chrome OS. The initial release is expected to be aimed only at single screened PCs and is reportedly set to launch this spring.
Windows 10X was first showed off back in October 2019 and was aimed at dual-screened devices like the Surface Neo. However, with the Neo delayed indefinitely, the Redmond giant repurposed the OS for single-screened devices. Additionally, while the OS was expected to debut with support for Win32 apps through a virtualization technology called VAIL, those plans reportedly changed, making Windows 10X an offering slated to debut on low-end devices due to its lightweight nature.
Microsoft is supposedly planning to add Win32 app support in the future and the OS is not expected to arrive on new form factors – such as dual-screened devices – till at least 2022. A report from The Verge suggests that the leaked build contains support for Win32 apps in a developer-only mode which cannot be accessed by general users. For now, the offering runs UWP apps from the Microsoft Store and Progressive Web Apps through the Chromium-based Edge browser.
With the development of the company’s lightweight OS now nearing completion, it will be interesting to see when the firm plans to unveil the offering officially. Rumors are making the rounds that the launch will be one without much fanfare. OEM partners are also expected to unveil low-power PCs running Windows 10X aimed at the education market and the like in the coming months.
Considering the risks and complexities associated with installing leaked builds, we will not be posting links to any resources for the build. Additionally, we always urge users to exercise caution and not install these builds on their main machines.