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Sleeping Tabs in Microsoft Edge: Delivering better browser performance

Written By Microsoft Edge Team published December 9, 2020

Note: We’re in the process of deploying this feature starting with today’s release of Beta 88, so it might be a little while before you see it in your channel and buildNew to sleeping tabs? Read more in our previous blog post.

The Microsoft Edge team is on a mission to create a browser that keeps up with you and never slows you down. To us, delivering world-class performance means better speed and responsiveness, all while using fewer system resources. To improve the memory and CPU usage of the browser, we’ve launched ‘sleeping tabs’. Just like a good night’s sleep allows you to stay focused and productive the next day, sleeping tabs helps optimize your browser’s performance by freeing up resources for the tabs you’re really using.

Using sleeping tabs on Microsoft Edge typically reduces memory usage by 32% on average. It also increases your battery life as a sleeping tab uses 37% less CPU on average than a non-sleeping tab. Although individual device performance varies depending on configuration and usage, we’ve heard from users that this decrease in resource and battery usage has improved their browsing experience. Thank you to all the Insiders who’ve sent us feedback and shared their experiences with sleeping tabs!

Thanks to your feedback, we’ve updated the feature, and we’re now ready to release to the Beta Channel. Recent updates include:

  • Added an option to put tabs to sleep after 5 minutes of inactivity
  • Group policies to manage sleeping tabs (for IT admins)
  • Improved visual treatment to clearly show which tabs are sleeping without distracting from the task at hand
Chart showing 1675.29MB average memory for normal background tabs and 1146.12 average memory for sleeping tabs
Average memory usage of Microsoft Edge, based on experimentation in Microsoft Edge Canary and Dev channels, aggregated across ~40,000 devices
Chart showing 1.22% average CPU for normal background tabs and 0.77% average CPU for sleeping tabs
Average CPU usage of Microsoft Edge, based on experimentation in Microsoft Edge Canary and Dev channels, aggregated, across ~40,000 devices

When using sleeping tabs, it’s possible that some sites might not work as expected after they go to sleep. To keep you in your flow, we’ve built heuristics to detect these scenarios and prevent those tabs from going to sleep. We’re eager to get your feedback on sleeping tabs. If a tab doesn’t wake up like you expected, please refresh the page and let us know through Microsoft Edge by pressing Alt+Shift +I on Windows or by going to Settings and more  > Help and feedback > Send feedback.

You can try sleeping tabs starting in Microsoft Edge Beta 88. If you see the sleeping tabs feature while browsing, please join us on the Microsoft Edge Insider forums or Twitter to discuss your experience, or send us your feedback through the browser. If you have any questions, see our FAQ or reach out to us. We hope you enjoy this exciting new feature and look forward to hearing from you!

– Eleanor Huynh, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Edge

How Microsoft Edge and other applications manage memory

Written By Microsoft Edge Team published November 11, 2020

With much of your to-do list now online, you expect your browser to be fast and reliable every day. Your browser is the tool you rely on to get things done. Online productivity now depends on how fast your browser is, so that to-do list can disappear. So, don’t you hate it when your browser slows down and you don’t know why? Suddenly, pages are slow to load, scrolling isn’t smooth and typing takes forever. What you’re seeing is your browser accommodating your tasks, while taking steps to optimize your memory.

For Microsoft Edge, performance is about delivering better speed and responsiveness while reducing the amount of memory your browser uses. This is one of our top priorities – solving this means increasing your productivity so you have more time for the things you enjoy. This paper will walk through how your computer manages memory and what Microsoft Edge is doing to make it better.

How your computer manages memory

Computers have many different types of storage, today we are going to focus on are Random Access Memory, aka RAM, and your hard drive.

RAM is essentially your computer’s short-term memory storage. It temporarily stores data that it’s likely to need again soon. For web browsers, that could be web pages or other resources used by extensions. The main usage of RAM by the browser is to make web pages load faster and to create a smoother browsing experience.

Hard drive is your computer’s long-term memory storage. It can store data permanently. When you power off your device, data stored in your hard drive remains while data in your RAM is erased.

RAMHard Drive
Short term memory storageLong term memory storage
Stores data temporarilyStores data permanently
Data will erase when device is powered offData will remain when device is powered off
FasterSlower

So how do RAM and hard drives’ memory stores get used while you’re browsing the internet?

Let’s say you’ve restarted your computer and the first thing you do is open a shopping site in Microsoft Edge. The data for that site will initially be stored in RAM. If at some point you were to switch tabs and come back to that site or you were to switch applications and come back to the browser, the data on the shopping site can swiftly be recalled from RAM, and the page will load quicker.

Every web page, web app, and extension uses memory and the more complex the web page, web app, or extension, the more memory it will use. That means that with every tab that you open, or extension that you enable, the closer you get to reaching your computer’s max capacity of RAM. When your computer is low in RAM, your computer will move data that you aren’t using from RAM to your hard drive to make space on RAM. Depending on your computer, your hard drive may be an SSD (Solid State Drive) or an HDD (Hard Disk Drive). Retrieving data from either hard drive is often much slower than retrieving data from RAM. However, if we were to compare the two hard drives, retrieving data from an SSD may be tens or hundreds of times faster than an HDD, as an SSD has no moving parts.

Constantly swapping data to and from the hard drive can have a considerable performance impact on the browser and other programs you have open on your device. So, if your system uses your RAM instead – even at nearly 100% usage – this is not a bad thing. This means that you are utilizing nearly all your available RAM to make for a smoother and faster browsing experience.

Looking at memory management through an evening of dinner preparation

It’s a tricky topic, so let’s look at this concept through another lens.

Let’s say, it’s evening and you’re preparing dinner. Tonight, salad is on the menu. Each time you need an ingredient, you open your fridge, grab an ingredient, and add it to your bowl. Adding the ingredient to your salad is easy and can be done quickly because your fridge is easily accessible. This is like data being stored in RAM. When data is stored in RAM, if you return to a webpage, the page can swiftly be recalled, and the page will load quicker.

Let’s say you’re preparing multiple dishes for dinner. After returning from the grocery store, you realize everything doesn’t fit into your fridge. To solve this problem, you decide to move unneeded items from your fridge to your friend’s fridge across town. As you prepare the dishes, you realize that you need an item stored in your friend’s fridge. To make room in your fridge, you grab an item you aren’t using, drive across town to your friend’s, and grab the item you need from their fridge while leaving the item you brought. You then return home and put the retrieved item in your own fridge to use. You continue cooking but later realize you need another item that is at your friend’s house. Once again, you drive over with another item from your fridge to swap. As you can see, it takes longer for the items that are not in your fridge to be retrieved and used. Running out of fridge space is like running out of RAM. When you run out of RAM, data that’s not being used gets stored in your hard drive and retrieving data from the hard drive is often much slower.

Finally, let’s revisit the previous example but this time your fridge is double the size. Double the size, means that you can store all the ingredients in your fridge (and not rely on your friend’s fridge). Similar, to the first example, in this scenario all the ingredients are easily accessible and can be quickly added to the dish. This is comparable to you having double the RAM. All the data can be stored in RAM and accessed quickly when necessary.

Using RAM is a good thing because it creates a fast and smooth browsing experience. However, when your RAM reaches capacity and you start reading data from your hard drive, that’s when your browsing experience is likely to change. We are aware that this can lead to a negative browsing experience, so Microsoft Edge tries to keep you from reaching that max capacity.

To start, Microsoft Edge is actively taking steps to reduce the browser’s overall resource usage. To keep your system using RAM when it is running low, and before things are moved to disk, Microsoft Edge will discard tabs that haven’t been used in a while. Discarding a tab’s resources frees up RAM on your computer for other things, like the tab you’re currently using and other applications or processes running on your device. You can still see discarded tabs in the tab strip even though all resources are released and processes killed. When you return to the tab, the processes will be recreated, the tab will reload, and page elements such as scroll position and form content will be restored but the overall experience may be slower than normal. Tab discard is implemented because it is sometimes faster for a discarded tab to be reloaded than trying to fetch individual pieces of data from the hard drive, similar to how it would be faster to go to the grocery store nearby for a new ingredient, than to drive across the city to your friend’s house to retrieve the ingredient.

Listening to your feedback

We want browsing the web to be effortless. We continue to look for ways to improve the experience around browser resource usage. You can find more information on the improvements currently available here. We also recently released a new feature to the Canary and Dev channels called sleeping tabs, which puts inactive tabs to sleep after 2 hours of inactivity to free up resources for other areas, such as active tabs, new tabs, and other applications on your device. A sleeping tab resumes automatically when clicked, which is different than discarded tabs, which require the page to fully be reloaded.

If you experience an issue with Microsoft Edge, send us feedback with as much detail as possible. Please include information such as steps to reproduce the issue, the URL of the page you visited, diagnostic data, a screenshot, and your email address, so we can email you for more information. This will help us address your feedback.

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post where we’ll learn how to investigate Microsoft Edge’s memory usage.

Microsoft Edge: Protect against potentially unwanted applications (PUAs)

Overview

Potentially unwanted applications aren’t considered to be viruses or malware, but these apps might perform actions on endpoints that adversely affect endpoint performance or use. For example, Evasion software actively tries to evade detection by security products. This kind of software can increase the risk of your network being infected with actual malware. PUA can also refer to applications that are considered to have poor reputation.

Protect against PUA with Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge (version 80.0.361.50 or later) blocks PUA downloads and associated resource URLs.

You can set up protection by enabling the Block potentially unwanted apps feature in Microsoft Edge.

To enable PUA protection:

  1. Open Settings in the browser.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. In the Services section, check to see that Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is turned on. If not, then turn on Microsoft Defender SmartScreen. The example in the following screenshot shows the browser is managed by the organization and that Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is turned on.
  4. In the Services section, use the toggle shown in the preceding screenshot to turn on Block potentially unwanted apps.
security-pua-setup
Edge security-PUA-setup

block against PUA-associated URLs

After you turn on PUA protection in Microsoft Edge, Windows Defender SmartScreen will protect you from PUA-associated URLs.

There are several ways admins can configure how Microsoft Edge and Windows Defender SmartScreen work together to protect users from PUA-associated URLs. For more information, see:

Admins can also customize the Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (Microsoft Defender ATP) block list. They can use the Microsoft Defender ATP portal to create and manage indicators for IPs and URLs.

Protect against PUA with Windows Defender Antivirus

The Detect and block potentially unwanted applications article also describes how you can configure Windows Defender Antivirus to enable PUA protection. You can configure protection using any of the following options:

When Windows Defender detects a PUA file on an endpoint it quarantines the file and notifies the user (unless notifications are disabled) in the same format as a normal threat detection (prefaced with “PUA:”.) Detected threats also appear in the quarantine list in the Windows Security app.

PUA notifications and events

There are several ways an admin can see PUA events:

  • In the Windows Event Viewer, but not in Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager or Intune.
  • In an email if email notifications for PUA detections is turned on.
  • In Windows Defender Antivirus event logs, where a PUA event is recorded under event ID 1116 with the message: “The antimalware platform detected malware or other potentially unwanted software.”

 Note

Users will see “*.exe has been blocked as a potentially unwanted app by Microsoft Defender SmartScreen”.

Allow-list an app

Like Microsoft Edge, Windows Defender Antivirus provides a way to allow files that are blocked by mistake or needed to complete a task. If this happens you can allow-list a file. For more information, see How to Configure Endpoint Protection in Configuration Manager to learn how to exclude specific files or folders.

PCMadness Recommends the New Microsoft Edge as the choice of browser to use.

What’s Next for Microsoft Edge

What’s Next

In January, we announced that the new Microsoft Edge was available to download and since then, it has been downloaded millions of times. Thank you, Insiders, for being a part of the journey to build the new Microsoft Edge. With your engagement and support, we keep innovating to bring world class compatibility, more privacy, more productivity, and more value to make the web work for you.

To learn more about the new Microsoft Edge and the latest features visit microsoft.com/edge.

Check out the latest announcements and news from Microsoft Edge here.

We invite you to continue checking our preview channels to see what’s next. In the meantime, here is a look at our upcoming features.

Vertical tabs

It’s easy to end up with a ton of tabs open. The more you have open, the more difficult it becomes to find, switch between, and manage them. With vertical tabs, you can easily shift to view your tabs in a pane to the side. This allows you to easily see the titles and access controls like mute and close. It even makes it easy to reorder your tabs, with the ability to drag and drop to rearrange. When you want to focus on a specific page, you can collapse the pane. Anytime you need to switch between tabs, you can hover over the pane to see all the information you need. The new Microsoft Edge is the only browser to offer built-in vertical tab navigation allowing for a more streamlined experience.

Smart copy

Copying and pasting content from the web can be tricky – selecting the content can be challenging and pasting doesn’t always look like the original. Smart copy makes it easier to select, copy, and paste content that you find across the web, maintaining source site’s formatting, spacing and text. Use your mouse to select any area or content (including charts, images, etc.) and when you paste, you will get the option to paste as an image or to retain the original source formatting, saving you valuable time. This is one of the many ways the new Microsoft Edge is providing tools to help you be more productive while browsing the web.

Password Monitor

Data breaches worldwide have been on the rise and the security of your data is one of our top priorities. Password Monitor on the new Microsoft Edge notifies you when your online credentials have been detected on the dark web. If Microsoft Edge uncovers a match with your saved passwords, you will receive a notification on the browser informing that your credentials have been compromised. Through a dashboard view, people can see a list of all affected accounts, visit the websites directly, and take action accordingly.

How to Create a Teams Meeting in Outlook

outlook logo

Now that working from home is the norm, video conferences are becoming the de facto way to meet. Here’s how to create Microsoft Teams meetings directly from within Outlook, without having to book them through the Teams app.

To create Teams meetings from within Outlook—either Outlook Online and the Outlook client—you need to install the Teams client on your computer. This will install an add-in to Outlook that provides a new option when you’re creating a meeting. Add-ins that you install in the Outlook client are automatically added to Outlook Online and vice versa. Once you’ve installed the Teams app, the add-in should be available in both clients.

These options should be available for all users of Outlook and Teams, regardless of whether you have a paid Office 365 (O365)/Microsoft 365 (M365) subscriptions. However, they’re only available for email accounts that use Exchange, whether that’s a free Outlook.com/live.com/hotmail account, or a paid Microsoft account for your own domain. If you’re using a non-Exchange account, such as a Gmail or Yahoo account, the Teams add-in won’t work for you.

We’ll take you through installing the Teams client first. If you have installed the client and you still can’t see these options, we’ve got some troubleshooting suggestions as well.

Install the Teams Client

The quickest way to get the Teams client is to open Teams online. On the first page, you’ll be offered the chance to download the Teams client.

The "Get the Windows app" button in Teams online.

If you already have Teams online open, click on the app download option at the bottom of the left sidebar.

The "App download" button in Teams online.

Install the .exe file, and log in with your O365/M365 account details when requested. To make sure the add-in is installed in Outlook, restart Teams, then restart Outlook.

Follow the instructions below to use the add-in in the Outlook client and in Outlook Online. If it’s not available, follow these troubleshooting tips from Microsoft.

Create a Teams Meeting in the Outlook Client

When you install the Teams client on your computer, it will install an add-in to Outlook that provides a new option when you’re creating a meeting. The option is available in the Home > New Items menu.

The "Teams Meeting" option in Outlook's "New Items" menu.

It’s also available in the ribbon of a new Meeting request.

The "Teams Meeting" option in a new meeting request.

When you click one of these options, the meeting request will change to include a location of “Microsoft Teams Meeting” and a link in the body of the request that attendees can click on to join the meeting.

A Teams meeting request.

Create a Teams Meeting in Outlook Online

When you install the Teams client on your computer, it will install an add-in to Outlook that provides a new option when you’re creating a meeting. In Outlook Online, the option is available in the meeting request.

The "Teams meeting" toggle switch in an Outlook Online meeting request.

Toggle the setting on to make it a Teams meeting. Unlike Teams meetings you create in the Outlook client, nothing changes in the Outlook Online meeting request, but once you’ve sent the meeting request, the Teams link will appear in the event in your calendar.

An event in the Outlook Online calendar showing the Teams meeting link.

For both Outlook Online and the Outlook client, fill in the attendees and the date and time of the meeting as usual. Send the meeting request the same way that you would with a normal meeting. The only difference is that you and your attendees will join the meeting in Teams, rather than a meeting room in an office.

Article by Rob Woodgate from How-to-geek.

Mobile Security Datasheet

Mobile Security Datasheet

Flexible support network


With the rise of the mobile workforce, the need to minimize security risks like device theft, data accessibility, and malware attacks is also increasing. Also, the sophistication of today’s security threats require a comprehensive approach that keeps your business devices, networks, and data protected.

USER ACCESS CONTROL

Lenovo’s user access control technology protects the organization’s devices and business ensuring only the right people have access to it.

  • Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) – For User Identity Protection
  • IR Camera with Windows Hello – For Simple and Secure Facial Login
  • Smart Card Access – For Two-factor Authentication in One Step
  • Near Field Communication (NFC) – For Rapid Contactless Authentication

PORT AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION

Whether in the office or on the go, end user computing devices need protection not only at the software level but also at a physical level. Built-in port security features help protect against physical theft of data via the USB and other access ports on company PCs.

  • ThinkShutter Camera Privacy – For Privacy When You Need It
  • Kensington® Cable Lock – For Preventing Device Theft
  • ThinkPad Ultra Dock – For Innovative Dock and Device Security

DATA PROTECTION

To keep the business running smoothly and without disruption, it is essential to have secure, automatic, and efficient data backup. Lenovo’s robust data protection tools enable easy and efficient data recovery and retrieval only by authorized personnel.

  • Fast Identity Online (FIDO) – For Robust Data Protection
  • Discrete Trusted Platform Module (dTPM) 2.0 – For Data Encryption
  • Online Data Backup (OLDB) – For Safeguarding Your Critical Data
  • Hard Drive Retention – For Retaining Sensitive Company Data
  • BUFFERZONE® – For Sophisticated and Supreme Malware Protection
  • Mobile Device Management

 DOWNLOAD DATASHEET 


VPN (virtual private network)

A person touching a tablet with a blue glow on their finger and VPN text overlayed

Wright Studio/Shutterstock.com

A VPN (virtual private network) service is a great way to ensure you have a secure network connection while online. It also allows you to protect your browsing history, torrent, and access content that is blocked or regionally restricted.

What Does a VPN Do?

Each of your devices (your computer, smartphone, etc.) have their own unique IP address, which tells services who, what, and where you are. A VPN sits in between your device and however it connects to the internet, spoofing your device’s IP address. Anything you do online goes first through the VPN, then to the router, causing your router (and everything outside of your device) to think you have a different identity.

VPNs are great to have when you are planning on hopping online over an unsecured connection (a network that does not ask you for a password), like at a cafe, as it keeps your information (such as your browsing history and any data you transfer) safe from prying eyes. A VPN offers other benefits, like accessing content that may be restricted geographically, as they allow you to interact with the internet as though you were doing so from the VPN’s location, not your own. You can do a variety of other things with a VPN as well, including access your work or home network while traveling, bypass internet censorship, and download files.

What to Look for in a VPN Service

If you need to use a VPN, it’s easy enough to get started: simply choose a service, sign up on the company’s site, and download the client. Here are a few things to look for when picking a VPN.

  • Lots of Servers: The more servers a VPN has, the faster your connection speeds are and, typically, the more country connection options you’ll have. This means you likely won’t have to deal with buffering or throttling issues.
  • High Simultaneous Connections: If you need to connect more than one of your devices to your VPN at the same time, more power to you. The best VPN services allow you to connect five of your devices simultaneously, if not more.
  • Great Ease of Use: For those who are new to VPNs, having a clean and clearly abeled interface, as well as easy access to customer support, is what’s important. For veteran users, this may mean an app that’s configurable and loaded with extras like a kill switch, data compression (for mobile), and automatic HTTPS redirection.
  • Excellent Security, and No Logging: Good VPN services won’t monitor, log, or sell any of your personal info, like which websites you visit. They also ensure they are protecting you with strong encryption (AES 256-bit) and regular security audits. This is a surprisingly hard thing to find out about most VPNs, too, which is why we’ve made sure you can trust all the picks on our list.

Article by SUZANNE HUMPHRIES from review geek.

Browsers to block access to HTTPS sites using TLS 1.0 and 1.1 starting this month

notsecure

More than 850,000 websites still use the old TLS 1.0 and 1.1 protocols, scheduled to be removed from most major browsers later this month.

This includes websites for major banks, governments, news organizations, telecoms, e-commerce stores, and internet communities, according to a report published today by UK technology firm Netcraft.

All the 850,000 websites use HTTPS, but on a version that weak. The websites support HTTPS connections via cryptographic certificates built on the TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 protocols.

These are ancient protocols, released in 1996 and 2006, respectively. The protocols use weak cryptographic algorithms and are vulnerable to a series of cryptographic attacks that have been disclosed over the past two decades, such as BEAST, LUCKY 13, SWEET 32, CRIME, and POODLE. These attacks allow attackers to decrypt HTTPS and access a user’s plaintext web traffic.

New versions of these protocols were released in 2008 (TLS 1.2) and 2017 (TLS 1.3), both of which are considered superior and safer to use than TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1.

REMOVAL OF TLS 1.0 AND TLS 1.1 WAS ANNOUNCED TWO YEARS AGO

After the release of TLS 1.3 in the spring of 2018 the four browser makers — AppleGoogleMozilla, and Microsoft — got together and jointly announced in October 2018 plans to remove support for TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 in early 2020.

The first stages of this deprecation began last year when browsers began labeling sites that were using TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 with a “Not Secure” indicator in the URL address bar and the lock icon, hinting to users that the HTTPS connection was not as secure as they might imagine.

firefox-weak-encryption.png
Image: ZDNet

Later this month, browsers will move from showing a hidden warning to showing full-page errors when users access sites that use TLS 1.0 or TLS 1.1.

chrome-tls-error.png
TLS 1.0/1.1 error in ChromeImage: ZDNet
mozilla-tls-error.png
TLS 1.0/1.1 error in FirefoxImage: Mozilla

These full-page errors are scheduled to roll out with the release of Chrome 81, and with Firefox 74, both scheduled later this month. Safari was also scheduled to drop TLS 1.0 and 1.1 this month as well, per their initial announcement.

Microsoft will follow suit at the end of April, with the release of (the Chromium-based) Edge 82.

According to Netcraft’s scans, the number of sites that will be impacted is around 850,000, of which, more than 5,000 are ranked in the Alexa Top 1 Million sites.

“Removing client-side support for these older protocols is the most effective way of ensuring that their associated vulnerabilities can no longer pose any risks,” Netcraft researchers said.

Written By Catalin Cimpanu  taken from ZDNet.com

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