Microsoft Edge workspaces make collaboration on the web easier

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Microsoft’s Ignite event for 2022 begins today, and with it comes big news for many products. One of them has to do with Microsoft Edge, which is getting a whole new feature called Workspaces aimed at collaboration. There are also new security features.

Microsoft Edge workspaces

The big new addition here is undoubtedly Microsoft Edge Workspaces, and they’re a pretty neat way to collaborate. With Workspaces in Edge, users can share sets of browser tabs among multiple people, so everyone has quick access to the same shared websites and files. The idea is that instead of emailing someone all the links related to a project, you can share a Microsoft Edge workspace that has everything they need to access. This way it is easier to bring new people into a project. Tabs also update in real time as people work in the workspace, so everyone can stay up to date with what’s going on.

A screenshot of Microsoft Edge with multiple users collaborating on a workspace

As most Ignite news tends to be, this is a business-focused feature, and if you want to try it, you can go here to join the preview. Microsoft hasn’t said when you can expect it to be generally available.

Edge Security Features

Beyond the big new addition, of course, Microsoft continues to improve security in Edge. Two new features are now available and you may have already heard about them. One of them is website typo protection, which protects users from websites that exploit typos for much more popular websites. If you accidentally type a well-known address, Edge will try to direct you to the intended website instead of loading a potentially dangerous page.

Another feature added by Microsoft is Enhanced Security Mode, which helps reduce the risk of attack by disabling just-in-time JavaScript compilation on websites you visit less frequently. JIT compilation is important for some websites to work as expected, but it’s also a common attack surface, so Edge makes sure your most visited websites aren’t affected by default. For websites you don’t visit often, Edge will disable JIT compilation so you can stay safe when visiting a website you might not trust.

Accessibility

Finally, Microsoft is also delivering new accessibility features for Edge to make it easier for everyone to find and enjoy what they’re looking for on the web. First, there’s a new live captions feature, which is pretty self-explanatory. It can generate live captions for content you read on the web, like a podcast or video, so if you have limited hearing, you can still enjoy audio content. This is something that Google Chrome has also had for over a year now.

Microsoft is also adding Instant Replies to Edge, which gives you quick access to information when you type something in the address bar. For example, you can search for the weather in your city and Edge will present that information directly as a suggestion before you have to hit enter. These instant answers are also readable by screen readers, making them even more accessible. On that note, Microsoft is improving the way Edge works with Narrator in Windows, making navigation more consistent and providing more contextual information about text field and button names. Additionally, it will now be easier to update form fields while using Narrator.

These features are all generally available now, but there’s one more that’s only in preview right now. You can now change page colors in Microsoft Edge, which can make pages easier to read by improving contrast.

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