SBP Blog

Windows 8 - higher is better (?) - Part 2

May 10, 2013 by Adrian

In this second part I will present an important upgrade to Internet Explorer (Internet Explorer 10) and Windows To Go, a very interesting feature that will prove useful to all categories of users.

Internet Explorer 10

Internet Explorer 10 logoInternet Explorer reached its 18th birthday and is still the most used browser out there, with over 50% market share (some sources say).

Microsoft brings big changes with IE10, especially in the user interface area, but not only this, it also brings high speed and better security. With Windows 8 (as OS), Internet Explorer 10 has the fastest response time of all browsers and loads a webpage faster than any other browser.

The best thing is that with more speed also comes greater security, because IE10 has some neat security features, such as:

* Enhanced protection mode: the browser will have system access only when it is essentially needed. This mode will limit the privileges of each tab (the tab will run in Microsoft's App Container sandbox)
* ASLR feature (Address Space Layout Randomization): this makes the memory exploits harder to write because the webpage code is written randomly into memory.
* IE10 limits the usage of plug-ins, such as: Java and Adobe Flash Player; plug-ins can be seen as a vulnerability by attackers.

According to some tests done by NSS Labs (a leading information security research company), 99% of the malicious downloads were successfully detected and blocked by Internet Explorer 10. This result has been achieved without any help from 3rd party anti-virus software, and it surpasses all other browsers: Chrome achieving 70.4%, Opera and Safari only 4%.

Windows To Go

Windows To Go is a very powerful tool that allows users to boot and run Windows 8 on any machine from a USB storage device. Here are some key elements:

* Windows To Go can be used without affecting the local operating system of the PC on which it is used (the hard-drive of the PC is kept offline until the user removes the USB storage device that runs Windows To Go).

* There are no performance issues, so every system that can run Windows 7 will also run Windows To Go without any problems.

* It has a 60 seconds lockdown that helps the user in case the USB storage device is removed by mistake. If the USB storage device is removed accidentally, the screen freezes for 60 seconds and a small warning message appears, giving the user time to plug the device back and resume the operating system.

* Windows To Go has built-in encryption, which means that before reaching the Welcome screen, a password will be required from the user. The data on the USB storage device is encrypted using AES 128-bit encryption, so in case the USB storage device is lost or stolen, the data it contains can't be accessed.

Now that you've learned about Internet Explorer and Windows To Go, it's time to end this article, but don't worry, in the third part I will show you what Metro UI is all about!

Other posts in this series:

Windows 8 - higher is better (?) - Part 1
Windows 8 - higher is better (?) - Part 3
Windows 8 - higher is better (?) - Part 4

Tags: Microsoft  Windows 


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