Did a Microsoft job post just reveal a new Windows security feature?

microsoft open sources graph engine microsoftlogo
Drserg/Shutterstock
Microsoft might be planning to bring containers to the desktop — at least, they’re hiring a team to do that.

Since 2008 Windows Server has offered container functionality, allowing programs to run in a file system separate from that of the rest of the system. From a security standpoint, this means programs in a container can’t affect critical system files. The upcoming Windows Server 2016 goes a step further, offering Hyper-V containers that virtualize hardware as well as the file system, thus further separating some software from the rest of the system.

An article from ZDNet broke the story this week, citing a job listing on Microsoft’s website.

“There are a large number of client focused scenarios, currently unannounced, where Containers form the core pivotal technology providing security, isolation and roaming ability,” the publicly accessible job description reportedly said. “To deliver this, we are creating a new team with a mission to impact client computing in the same revolutionary manner we are changing the datacenter.”

Putting a team together to build a particular feature is a decent indicator that Microsoft intends to build it, but it’s important to note that Microsoft isn’t officially announcing the feature. In fact, a Microsoft representative even got in touch with ZDNet reporter Mary Jo Foley to say they had “nothing to share” regarding bringing containers to Windows.

It’s also not clear what containers on Windows clients would look like, but imagine if your Web browser ran in a container: Any malware infections you end up with while browsing would be unable to affect the rest of your system. Putting Outlook in a container could stop email viruses from affecting your system.

This sort of approach to security wouldn’t be unprecedented on the desktop: Mac OS X, for example, uses a similar sort of sandboxing for apps installed from the Mac App Store, meanings apps from there can’t access system files.

Third-party software like Sandboxie brings a similar feature to Windows, but it’s not hard to imagine how a built-in feature like this could improve security for millions of Windows users. It’s worth paying attention to see what the new team comes up with.

Emerging Tech

Inflating smart pills could be a painless alternative to injections

Could an inflating pill containing hidden microneedles replace painful injections? The creators of the RaniPill robotic capsule think so — and they have the human trials to prove it.
Computing

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.
Computing

Windows updates shouldn't cause problems, but if they do, here's how to fix them

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.
Outdoors

Hyperlite’s new 2-person tent weighs slightly more than two bags of marshmallows

Hyperlite Mountain Gear took the wraps off its new ultralight Dirigo 2 tent. Weighing only 28 ounces, the Dirigo 2 is the company's first self-contained, three-season, two-person shelter.
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Computing

Should you buy the affordable MacBook Air, or is the MacBook Pro worth the price?

Though they both share Retina Displays and similar keyboards, there are still some specs differences and other changes that differentiate the new 2018 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. In this guide, we stack the two up against each other.
Computing

This limited-time Dell deal cuts $330 off the price of the XPS 15

Dell is currently running a limited-time sale that is cutting the pricing on the XPS 15 down by $330, but only through Thursday, March 21, and with the use of a special coupon code. 
Computing

Changing a PDF into an EPUB file is easier than you might think

If you like to read on a tablet or ebook reader, you'll find that ePUB files offer a number of advantages over PDFs. With this guide, we'll show you how to convert a PDF to EPUB in a few quick steps.
Computing

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Computing

Here are the best affordable monitors for your budget desktop

Looking for the best budget monitors? These monitors are affordable, but still provide the features you need for gaming, work, home or other plans! Take a look at the displays and your wallet will thank you.
Mobile

Google hit with another fine by the EU, this time for $1.7 billion

Google has been fined for the third time by the EU, this time for breaching antitrust laws by requiring third-party websites using its search function to prioritize its ads over competitors.
Computing

If you have $5,200, Apple has 256GB of RAM for your iMac Pro

Professionals looking to run intensive applications will be able to push their work a bit further with Apple's latest iMac Pro, which holds 256GB of DD4 ECC RAM for $5,200. Here's why it costs so much to upgrade your iMac Pro to the top.
Computing

Don’t be fooled! Study exposes most popular phishing email subject lines

Phishing emails are on the rise and a new study out by the cybersecurity company Barracuda has exposed some of the most common phishing email subject lines used to exploit businesses. 
Deals

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for March 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.