Technology giant Hewlet Packard has taken the wraps off a new collection of point-of-sale systems and a new dc7900 desktop PC that, normally, are exacty the sort of hardware we can’t wait to scuttle past in order to see something…well, cooler. But under the hood of that dc7900 desktop lies something interesting: the HP-Firefox Web browser. Instead of running as a normal desktop application, this version of FireFox runs in its own virtualized sandbox, meaning all downloads, cookies, and add-ons get saved in their own secured area. Something goes wrong—poof!—users can immediately reset their browser to a known-safe state, without sacrificing their bookmarks.
“HP continues to deliver the innovative computing solutions needed to drive a successful business—providing reliable products and stronger security, along with support services and custom solutions that help our customers stay focused on their business instead of the technology that runs it,” said HP’s senior VP for personal systems Jeri Callaway, in a statement.
The idea behind the virtualized browser is to lock malicious software away from the rest of the PC, and give users a way to completely remove malicious software with a single click. The Web is the primary vector for malware, worms, and trojans these days, and running the browser in its own sandbox gives users simple, direct control over their system. HP says it plans to roll the feature out to its entire desktop lineup over time.
Otherwise, the dc7900 is kind of a boring old business PC: it’ll be available in ultra-slim, small, and convertible mini-desktop form factors, and will come with additional security software to let users send digitally-signed email, and a File Sanitizer that lets owners securely delete data from the system before getting rid of it. The dc7900s are also Energy Star 4 qualified, feature 87 percent efficient power supplies, and ship with the HP Power Manager for letting users configure their energy use and environmental impact. They should be available this month at prices starting at $599.