back to article Microsoft boffins devise 'secure' Gazelle browser

Microsoft has developed a browser whose security it says beats many of today's generation of browsers, including Internet Explorer and Google's Chrome. But there's catch or two: It's slower and uses more resources than IE 7, and you can't get your hands on it. Microsoft Research has devised a prototype of IE running on …


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  1. Fozzy


    Haven't they been marketing that story with each new release of IE. I could safely hold my breath waiting for the first exploit to be posted

    This story is going to get so many comments posted to it it'll seem like a DDOS attack I'll be fun reading them though

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    MS claim "something we've not released yet" will solve all their users' problems. Same old record they've been playing since what? 1979 or so?

    Push off, kid, you're bothering me.

  3. David Dawson

    When did . . .

    DOM/ Javascript, the underpinnings of 'Web 2.0', become legacy . . . ?

  4. Ian

    MS Security

    In related news, Microsoft wonder how their new browsers security will fair once they actually connect it to the internet... so far however without taking such a step it has a 100% security record which is more than any other browser in the world

  5. Ian

    in other news....

    Developer of sanboxie ( shuts up shop after many years due to having been bought out by an 'unknown' large corporation

  6. N

    why bother?

    Run FF in Sandboxie

  7. Robert Heffernan

    Umm, No Thanks!

    I don't think I'll be going near this browser. Every time I see a Gazelle, there is usually a bunch of Lions chewing on it!

    *Mine's the one with "Game Warden" printed on the pocket!

  8. Eddie Johnson

    This is just too easy

    >Microsoft has developed a browser whose security it says beats many of today's generation of browsers, including Internet Explorer and Google's Chrome.

    Isn't this the equivalent of marketing a fireproof suit saying its less flammable than gunpowder?

    How 'bout telling me its "absolutely secure", or "more secure than any known browser" or something along those lines? Comparing yourself to the runt of the litter is a bit counterproductive.

  9. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Good research

    Well, I won't go so far as to say it's "better than IE and Chrome" since it doesn't exist as a downloadable product.. but the research looks good, and it's good that people (Microsoft and Google both) are looking at not just letting plugins and such run loose on the system. If they DID work on turning Gazelle into a download, even if not appropriate for general use it might be great for Kiosks and things where they really do want a secure, limited browser rather than a browser that can run wild. (A "Gazelle for Linux" would be even better though..)

  10. Greg Fawcett

    Firefox doesn't warrant a mention?

    So it's more secure than IE (well blow me down with a feather) and Chrome... but what about the world's second most popular browser?

    Surely MS boffins are aware of Firefox, and would love to tell the world that their new browser is better than it too. Which leads one to conclude that Firefox already beats the best they can do.

  11. nicholas22
    Paris Hilton


    Yep, if Microsoft say its secure it must be ;)

  12. Rafael


    "But there's catch or two: It's slower and uses more resources than IE 7, and you can't get your hands on it."

    Well, I developed a web browser which is fast, small, secure, portable, smart, cute and uses a brand new mind reading interface, but you cannot get your hands on it.

  13. dexen

    Friggin great

    Just imagine it: a browser -- fully blown OS, runing on top of Windows, which in turns run in a virtual machine on top of a host OS.

    Oh, the flexibility, the security and the ease of management.

    Next thing you know, you will be running an AJAX `OS' in that new fancy browser.

    Gimme Plan 9 or gimme death.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Porcine aviation

    >Microsoft has developed a browser whose security it says beats many

    >of today's generation of browsers, including Internet Explorer and

    >Google's Chrome.

    Oink, flap

  15. s. pam Silver badge

    So let's see what this will break

    Given the proliferation of MSFT specific IIS centric websites, it's hard to see whether this will work or not given how insecure their other SW is. What absolute rubbish they now "have this innovative more secure browser" given how insecure their products have proven to be.

    Frankly though -- one has to wonder how long this has already been under wraps, and not been made available. One should be asking the obvious question about product liability then in light of this...

  16. Fatman

    M$ boffins devise secure browser.?

    The irony was not lost on me!!!

    Here you have M$ creating a "more secure" browser; that is slower than IE7; and call it GAZELLE????


    Some one in Redmond must have drank a gallon of "Kool-Aid".

  17. vincent himpe

    the only way to browse 'secure'

    is to use someone elses computer , print it out and then read the hardcopy at home... ( wear gloves. papercuts can be nasty )

  18. David Kairns

    What A Joke

    "microsoft" and "security" don't exist within the same species, let alone within the same human technology.

    Just more redmond stage humor. Even better than bouncing blummers.

  19. echidna

    in related news

    some guy runs lynx in chroot

  20. Pierre

    MS boffins: "We can build a good OS"

    "We won't, though"

    As always

  21. KenBW2

    "Chrome not built by design to handle multiple processes"

    Wasn't that one of the main selling points?

    See for details

  22. Steven Knox
    Gates Horns


    So let's get this straight:

    1. Microsoft is well known for the security issues and slowness of their ACTUAL browser.

    2. They decide to prove that it's hard to build a secure and fast browser.

    3. They give out a press release claiming that they have built the secure browser, and it's indeed slow -- but nobody can see it to test its security or determine how fast it is.

    4. They name this SLOW but SECURE project "Gazelle" (and not, say, "Rhino") !?

    Why do I tend to think it _actually_ went something like this:

    1. MS Engineer says "Hey, I have this idea for a really fast browser! Let's build it -- and call it Gazelle".

    2. MS Manager: Okay, but in order to get anywhere, it's got to be really secure. We've taken a big hit on that presswise. Why not do some virtualization thing?

    3. [Browser building...]

    4. Engineer: Well, it's secure, but the security features and virtualization make it kind of slow...

    5. Testers: Well, we can't really say it's secure; we haven't done really serious testing of that. It takes years and lots of minds to really test for security weaknesses...

    6. Manager: Yeah, but if no-one else can test it, we can use this -- at least for PR purposes...

    And so a press release is born.

    C'mon, Microsoft. Opera and Mozilla, and now even Apple and Google, have shown that it's possible to build a faster, more standards-compliant, more secure browser than IE7 that still manages to work with legacy sites way better than IE8. Step up.

  23. Herby

    In the same sentence?

    Microsoft, Secure, Browser in the same sentence. Sorry, I can't resist laughing pretty hard.

    Even deleting one of the three words doesn't help, but makes just a good a laugh!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    Javascript = Legacy?

    Why do IE and Chrome get mentioned by name, but not Opera, Firefox etc. etc.

  25. Pierre

    @ echidna

    "some guy runs lynx in chroot"

    Some guy runs lyns in jail*

    Yo kinda failed bro. Fixed it fo'ya.

    *Not THIS jail, silly

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Microsoft are basically admitting IE (7 and by extension 8) is insecure by design!

    The only shocking thing about this news is M$ being honest about the security provided by their products.

    They really didn't think about the implications of this press release did they.

  27. Brett Brennan

    So it's not "an integral part of the OS"...

    This might end up being a really BIG bullet to the MS foot. Microsoft has been claiming for years that the browser is "an integral part of the OS" and therefore cannot be removed/replaced with another browser.

    So their boffins go out and build a browser that is NOT part of the base OS - and lo and behold, it's more secure.

    What a conundrum! You can have a secure browser, but not as part of the OS. Or you can include the browser core in the OS "build" and leave the whole system open to unlimited free hacking.

    And it demonstrates that MS COULD build a browser that isn't integral to Windows.

    Yeah, I know, I'm skipping over all the technical stuff, but isn't this really the message this sends to the press?

    "We knew we could make a safe browser, but it shows that we've been intentionally making an insecure product for years, we've know about it, and if we admit it and start shipping a secure product we're going to be up to our gonads in lawsuits because we claimed we couldn't do this."

    Left foot, right foot, BANG! BANG! BANG!

    (pirate, because, well, it is.)

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Let me get this right

    Now even Microsoft don't want to use Internet Explorer? Why don't they just download Firefox or Opera

  29. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Gates Halo

    And now for something Completely Different from Microsoft ..... AMacroSoftSystem*?

    Sounds like and reads like [in the cited PDF... The Multi-Principal OS Construction of the Gazelle Web Browser"] a Virtual Governance Machine/Architecture/Protocol.

    A Nice Idea, and as I'm sure none would reasonably disagree, given the Constant Streaming of Dire Straits News, Desperately Needed too.

    * For Bringing Humanity to Others?

  30. Juan Inamillion


    Aha! Do try to keep up. Dire Straits broke up 10 years ago, so there's no news there....


  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Inappropriate Name...

    Gazelle for a slow-running browser? Maybe the lions will pick it off.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Real Message Here

    I think the purpose of this announcement is to assure people that while Google is busy thinking up new software ideas as part of its plan on world domination, Microsoft aren't sleeping. They'reworking equally hard on revolutionary 'next-generation' ideas.

    It may be untrue and this is just some experiment they're spinning to look like a future incarnation of IE, but that's the message they want to put into your head.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    slower than IE7 !?!

    Hang on a minute. Let's not not loverlook something truly significant in this report - MS has managed to produce a browser that is actually _slower than IE7_ :-O

    now that is impressive

  34. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Down


    When it said they had got a better browser than Chrome or IE, I thought they had finally downloaded the Mozilla engine source wrote a new browser correctly! Instead they have decided to attempt to take their obvious great talent for writing secure and stable operating systems and squeeze that into the one open pathway into most PCs!

    MS take your browser\O/S thingy and shove it, I wouldn't trust you lot to write a LOGO script without introducing bugs and and letting in spyware!

  35. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Daring Straight from the Hip News ....... in Dire Straits Times.

    "It may be untrue and this is just some experiment they're spinning to look like a future incarnation of IE, but that's the message they want to put into your head." .... By Bit Fiddler Posted Wednesday 25th February 2009 12:31 GMT

    The real message here, Bit Fiddler, is that some experimenting here have some Cracking Craic Code...CQubed .... for those messages they may want to put into your head. And as new as IT may be thought to be, it is just AI Beta Version/they are just better versions of well-tried and tested Enigma Variations/Turing Bombes. And you don't need to be reminded surely of the Power and Control won and lost in ITs Transfer.

  36. Scott K
    Thumb Up

    more secure

    So they are basically admitting that IE7 is insecure. And a browser slower than IE7 or 8 would really take some doing.

    Open source browsers ftw.

  37. Geoff Mackenzie

    Typical of MS

    Server OS doesn't do well with several different services running on it? Set up virtual servers to make life simpler for each of them. Huge waste of resources? Get a bigger server.

    OS so riddled with holes it's a matter of time before malware and crackers creep in? Let's run a resource-hungry service to crank through every file checking it for known threats. Huge waste of resources? Buy a faster processor.

    Can't write a secure browser? Sandbox the whole damn thing in a dedicated virtual machine. Huge waste of resources? Add some more RAM.

  38. J

    How long...

    If this is actually true (who knows?), how long till a leak puts this browser in the torrents?

    I'm betting it won't happen.

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