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Microsoft aims to kill malware by running Edge within a virtual machine

(Image credit: Image Credit: JPstock / Shutterstock)

In an attempt to protect users from malware, viruses, phishing and zero-day attacks, Microsoft has developed a new update for Windows 10 that will run its Edge web browser from within a virtual machine in order to protect users from a wide range of online threats.

Virtual machines are often used by developers to test code or by users that want to run older games or software on their systems. By utilising this technology to run its browser, Microsoft could transform cyber security as we know it, since any malware or threats encountered while web browsing within a virtual machine would be unable to make it back to a computer system or any of the drives connected to it.

Only a small set of Windows features will be needed in order to run Edge from within a virtual machine. Users will still be able to access the web but all of their connected devices and hard drives will be unavailable while doing so. Any malicious websites or software encountered while browsing will be unable to access other applications or the computer's operating system.

Microsoft has dubbed this new feature Windows Defender Application Guard and it will only be available for Windows 10 enterprise customers at some point in 2017. It is unknown whether this feature will ever be made available to consumers despite the fact that it could be highly beneficial and protect against a number of online threats.

The added security benefits would come at the cost of a computer that performs much slower than it currently does, which would make this feature a hard sell for consumers who expect their devices to be fast.

Image Credit: JPstock / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.