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Microsoft just secretly added this feature to its Edge browser

Microsoft Edge Update Restart
Microsoft Edge Update Restart (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The stable version of Microsoft Edge recently received an update to version 96.0.154.29.
  • The update includes a long list of features, including the ability to launch Progressive Web Apps directly via protocol links.
  • Edge now supports Super Duper Secure Mode, which helps improve browser security.

Microsoft recently rolled out an update to the stable version of its Edge browser. The update brings Edge to version 96.0.1054.29 and includes several new features. Microsoft outlined most of these improvements in a changelog (opens in new tab), but that page does not list the addition of Super Duper Secure Mode support. The quiet rollout of that feature was confirmed by Microsoft Edge Vulnerability Research Lead Jonathan Norman.

Super Duper Secure Mode disables the "Just-in-Time-Compilation" (JIT) engine to improve security when browsing. The JIT engine can improve the performance of websites, but those improvements may come at the cost of security. Norman explains Super Duper Secure Mode in more technical detail.

The mode has two different options; balanced and strict. The balanced option adds security mitigations for sites people don't visit as often. When switched to balanced, Super Duper Secure Mode shouldn't affect the performance of most websites. The strict setting adds security mitigations for all sites. The drawback is that this option can prevent parts of certain websites from working.

See more

Microsoft's browser also received several other improvements in its recent update. Here's everything else that's new in Edge version 96.0.1054.29:

  • Cloud Site List Management for IE mode in Public Preview. Cloud Site List Management lets you manage your site lists for IE mode in the cloud without needing an on-premises infrastructure to host your organization's site list. You can access the Cloud Site List Management feature using the Microsoft Edge Site Lists experience in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. To learn more, see the Cloud Site List Management for IE mode (Public Preview) article.
  • Improved handoff between IE mode and the modern browser. Starting with this version of Microsoft Edge, navigations between Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer mode will include form data and additional HTTP headers. Referrer headers, post data, forms data, and request methods will be forwarded correctly across the two experiences. You can specify which data types should be included using the InternetExplorerIntegrationComplexNavDataTypes policy. For more information, see this FAQ: My application requires transferring POST data between IE mode and Microsoft Edge. Is this supported?
  • Update Microsoft Edge WebWiew2 using WSUS. IT Admins using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) to update Microsoft Edge will also be able to update Microsoft Edge WebView2 using WSUS. This capability gives admins an easier servicing process for offline devices.
  • WSUS updates for Server. WSUS and Catalog updates for Microsoft Edge channels (Stable, Beta, and Dev) will now apply to Windows Server SKUs that have Microsoft Edge installed, including Windows Server 2022. For more information on how to configure WSUS updates for Microsoft Edge, see Update Microsoft Edge.
  • Microsoft Edge AutoLaunch Protocols Component. Microsoft Edge 96 introduces the AutoLaunch Protocols Component that contains lists of scheme-origin dictionaries to automatically allow or block. This protects customers from dangerous schemes (for example, a protocol handler with a 0-day) while eliminating prompts from known-safe pairings (for example, the Teams website can open the Teams client app). If for some reason, you don't want Microsoft Edge to block vulnerable protocol handlers and allow known-safe pairings, use the toggle in edge://settings/content/applicationLinks, or set the AutoLaunchProtocolsComponentEnabled policy to False.
  • Launch Progressive Web App (PWA) directly via protocol links. Let installed PWAs handle links that use a specific protocol for a more integrated experience.
  • Quickly view Office files in the browser. Users can now view Office files including documents, spreadsheets, and presentations that they come across while browsing on Microsoft Edge right in the browser without needing to download the file and then open it in a different application. There will be no changes in the file open experience for Office files that are hosted on OneDrive or SharePoint.
  • Freeform highlighting on PDFs. The PDF viewing and markup experience is improved with the addition of freeform highlighters. You can highlight sections in PDFs that you don't have access to, and scanned documents.
  • New warning dialog for typosquatting sites. The browser will show a warning on some sites with URLs that look very similar to other sites. This UI uses client-side heuristics to warn users about sites that might be spoofing popular web sites. For more information, see What is typosquatting?.
  • Dictionary added to mini-toolbar in Immersive Reader. We're adding dictionary functionality to the mini-toolbar to assist in your reading and research. You'll be able to look up the spelling and definitions of words more quickly and easily in the Immersive Reader experience.
  • Learn how to solve math problems with Math Solver. We're excited to announce that you can use Math Solver in Microsoft Edge to get help with a wide range of mathematical concepts. These concepts range from elementary arithmetic and quadratic equations to trigonometry and calculus. Math Solver lets you take a picture of a handwritten or printed math problem and then provides an instant solution with step-by-step instructions to help you learn how to reach the solution without help. Math Solver also comes with a mathematical keyboard that you can use to easily type math problems. This keyboard eliminates the need to search around a traditional keyboard to find the math characters you need. After solving your problem, Math Solver provides options to continue learning with quizzes, worksheets, and video tutorials.

Edge version 96.0.1054.29 started shipping on November 19, 2021. Norman confirmed support for Super Duper Secure Mode on November 22, 2021.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

5 Comments
  • Yep Edge and Microsoft Bing in my opinion are the best Google is as just as big as it is because the Android phone won. And as unfortunate as it is we most ppl just goes with default programs on a device.
  • You do realize that 95% of code in edge comes from chromium.
  • To Google's credit, they won the desktop browser wars fair and square. It's how they kept their lead that's shady, to say nothing else about rest of their business model.
  • @siegfried greding "And as unfortunate as it is we most ppl just goes with default programs on a device" I don't follow your thinking. If you were correct the original Edge, as the default browser, would have dominated and the new Chromium Edge would have more than a 9% ( StatCounter ) desktop market share. The fact that original Edge failed and new Edge is experiencing tardy growth suggests users actively chose not to use the default browser and that trend appears to still be the case.
  • I use Edge and Bing but Chrome and Google became the most-used browser and search engine on Windows because they were the best. They may currently be worse or at least no better than some alternatives but they are not bad enough for many people to make the choice to use something that they are less familiar with.