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Google Chrome remains far and away the most dominant web browser in use today, but that hasn’t stopped Microsoft Corp. from doing everything possible to persuade more people to try its Edge browser instead.

In fact, Microsoft continues to add new features to its flagship browser even today. At Microsoft Ignite 2022, it announced new security and accessibility features, along with the introduction of Microsoft Edge Workspaces.

Edge Workspaces is a fairly clever idea, providing a useful experience that users won’t find on any other web browser. Available in preview, Edge Workspaces is a shared set of browser tabs that enable multiple users to view the same websites and files in one location.

Microsoft said this could be useful, for example, if a new team member is joining an existing project. Instead of bombarding that person with links and files over email, they can instead share a single link through Edge Workspaces, providing all of the relevant files and links open as browser tabs. Then, as teams work together, each of those tabs will be updated in real time.

Organizations may also take note of the new security features in Edge, which are said to build on its existing protections against malware and phishing attacks. For instance, the new website typo protection feature can help protect users from accidentally navigating to a spam or fraud site if they mistype a URL. After all, it’s all too easy to make mistakes. So instead of navigating directly to the site, the browser will instead suggest the correct website the user intended to navigate to, not the one they accidentally typed in.

The second new feature is an opt-in enhanced security mode in Edge that helps to reduce the attack surface even further by applying “conservative settings” on unfamiliar websites. In this way, Edge can mitigate memory-related vulnerabilities by disabling just-in-time JavaScript compilations that are often used to attack devices.

Users and information technology administrators can set the level of security based on frequency of visits to a website or for specific websites, Microsoft detailed. That includes a “basic” mode that applies security mitigations to less-visited sites while allowing oft-visited sites to function as expected.

As for accessibility, Edge gains no less than four new updates. They include a new live captions feature, where captions are displayed via a live window when media such as a video or podcast is playing. Also new is instant answers, which provide suggested results when the user types the name if a person, place or thing in the address bar. So if someone types “Seattle weather,” an instant answer will show the current temperature and type of weather there.

The enhanced Narrator experience, meanwhile, is meant to enable a more consistent navigation experience when someone is browsing via contextual information about field and button names. Finally, page colors can now be changed in Edge as desired, in order to improve color contrast and readability.

Photo: Microsoft

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