MICROSOFT IS planning a 'sandbox' for apps you don't trust in a forthcoming edition of Windows 10.
First spotted by Bleeping Computer, the InPrivate Desktop feature would allow you to try anything that you're not sure about in a way that won't bork your system if there's anything untoward.
InPrivate Desktop should not be confused with InPrivate Browsing for Chrome and Internet Explorer - that's a mode for web browsing when you don't want your wife to see where you've been shopping for her birthday present. And that's all.
Aimed at the Enterprise edition of Windows, a Preview version of the app is soon to be available to Insiders. Here's the full description from the Insider Feedback Hub:
"Microsoft is Developing a Sandboxed "InPrivate Deskop" (sic) for Windows 10 Enterprise
"InPrivate Desktop (Preview) provides admins a way to launch a throwaway sandbox for secure, one-time execution of untrusted software. This is basically an in-box, speedy VM that is recycled when you close the app!"
The specs for using InPrivate Desktop are pretty modest by modern standards but still, knowing the specs of some office machines, you'll need to have something pretty good under the bonnet to make it work - to whit 4 GB of RAM, 5 GB of free disk space, 2 CPU cores, and CPU virtualisation enabled (that's something you do in the BIOS).
We'll take an educated guess and say you're probably going to need Hyper-V as well though it isn't specified.
This may sound familiar - after all, Ubuntu for Windows already runs inside a sandbox.
If you've ever wanted to see something that isn't ready for primetime, look no further. To install it, you'll have to make sure the BIOS is set up correctly, that you're in the right lane of the Insider Program, and the first time, the app has to be run as an administrator to ensure some packages can be downloaded.
All caveats aside, this is something that many devs and system admins have been waiting for, for a long time and so there'll be some anticipation as to whether this arrives in September's Redstone 5 update or April's Redstone 6.
Either way, we'll keep you posted. μ
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