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Microsoft UWP boosts security for Windows apps

Fahmida Y. Rashid | March 31, 2016
The Universal Windows Platform introduces a walled garden for Windows applications, along with sandboxing to ensure the apps behave

UWP also uses sandboxing, so applications can't access resources they don't need, preventing rogue apps from directly addressing hardware, installing device drivers, or modifying core operating system elements. Malware will be less likely to get onto Windows devices, and more important, it will be harder to cause damage even if a malware infection occurs. UWP won't solve the malware problem (hey, Mac OS X has malware, too), but vastly reduces the risk.

Improving the application experience

At Build, Microsoft announced that its Edge browser will support Windows Hello for websites to let users log in using biometrics. The Anniversary Update for Windows 10 will let owners use fingerprints and other biometric information to log into applications, not merely log on to devices.

Along with sandboxed security, UWP addresses another problem with the current Windows ecosystem: updating and uninstalling software. With Windows Store handling installs, uninstalls, and updates, users have a seamless experience across all applications, and developers don't have to worry about cruft left behind or users not updating the software regularly.

With UWP, developers can write an application once and have it work on any Windows 10 device, whether the PC, tablet, smartphone, Xbox, or HoloLens. The fact that "run anywhere" includes Xbox and HoloLens, Microsoft's augmented-reality headgear, was big news at Build. Game consoles provide a predictable experience, with uniform updates, clean uninstalls, and no weird video driver incompatibilities. That will now possible for Windows 10.

All these devices will benefit from having a gatekeeper to ensure security, isolation through sandboxing, and compatibility. Microsoft is trying to build the same model for everything that runs Windows, and if we want to see a more secure Windows world, it's the approach that makes the most sense.

Source: Infoworld 


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