Microsoft smartens up Edge for Business with screenshot blocking, logo branding, more

And real-time video translation for things like this: ¡Apestas, Redmond!

Build Edge for Business, Microsoft's year-old entry in the enterprise browser race, has received a handful of security and productivity upgrades that were announced on Tuesday at the technology giant's Build developer conference.

While web browsers have long been subject to enterprise IT controls, both Google and Microsoft have decided to create standalone enterprise browsers – both based on the same Chromium engine, of course – presumably for the lock-in value of non-standard capabilities. Embrace, extend, and make it difficult to switch to a rival product seems to be the idea.

Google last month introduced Chrome Enterprise Premium, which sells AI-powered data loss prevention controls for $6 per user per month, and complements its free Chrome Enterprise Core browser.

Edge for Business, which debuted at Build last year, is also pitching data loss prevention, though without the extra fee.

As described by Lindsay Kubasik, group product manager for Microsoft Edge, the latest iteration of Edge for Business can block screen captures – some of them at least – with screenshot prevention policies.

Funny that Microsoft is adding that just as it talks up Recall, a feature of Windows 11 that will take screenshots of your desktop every few seconds and store them to disk so they can be later looked up via an AI-powered search.

"When these policies are set, screenshot attempts while using Edge on desktop will be prevented by showing a black screen instead of the protected content," explains Kubasik. "This protection also applies to Copilot in the Edge sidebar so prompts and responses in Copilot cannot be captured by screenshot."

Policies to this effect can be applied to Microsoft 365, Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps (MDA), Microsoft Intune Mobile Application Management (MAM) and Microsoft Purview.

It should go without saying that a mobile phone with a camera defeats any in-browser protection. But we're going to say it anyway – this will not stop screenshots with a smartphone. But the existence of narrowly applicable screenshot defense may serve as a reminder to computer users that they're on a managed machine as a form of psychological leak deterrence. This feature will at least give IT managers something to cite as an example of security posture.

In typical Microsoft fashion, this capability isn't actually available at the moment. It's promised "in the coming months."

Edge for Business has also been taught to respect usage rights restrictions on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files that have been designated "sensitive." Such settings, which are available in desktop apps, can now be extended to Edge for Business to deny document screen captures and to keep Copilot away from sensitive files.

This capability is not yet available but is expected "in the coming weeks."

Microsoft's Edge management service has received further work, such that it can identify out-of-date browser instances and conduct updates or send an update recommendation. The admin tool can also activate enhanced security mode, which disables just-in-time JavaScript compilation, among other things. Or rather it will be able to do so "in coming weeks."

What's more, Edge management service now provides a configuration file setting to enable or prevent Copilot from accessing web content, making text predictions, or offering "Find on page" suggestions.

Edge already has unmanaged device support via mobile application management, so enterprises can provide app protection and wipe data remotely. Now, Edge for Business is getting support for session policies through Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps. This gives admins access to site blocking, the ability to monitor uploads and downloads, and gain control over clipboard actions and printing on unmanaged devices. Support for such policies is available in preview for Edge users when they sign in via their Entra ID.

Microsoft's browser will also offers real-time video translation on a limited number of websites: YouTube, Reuters, CNBC News, Bloomberg, Money Control (India), LinkedIn, and Coursera, with more planned. This can take the form of subtitles or audio translation.

Audio options, however, are limited presently: Spanish and Korean can be translated to English; and English audio can be converted to Hindi, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian. This real-time translation feature appears to be available to Edge as a whole, not just Edge for Business.

Finally, Edge for Business has introduced the ability to add organizational branding via the Edge management service. Basically, IT managers can overlay their corporate name and logo atop the Edge logo, which may matter to some. So when users see the beloved logo of their employer Contoso upon the Edge logo in the taskbar, they'll say, "Of course, it's Contoso that doesn't trust me enough to allow screenshots." ®

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