2 min Devices

Microsoft announces Windows Sandbox for suspicious software

Microsoft announces Windows Sandbox for suspicious software

Microsoft has officially lifted the veil on Windows Sandbox, a new feature to run suspicious applications in a closed temporary desktop environment. The function will probably already be available in Windows 10 19H1, the next major feature update.

Earlier this year there were already rumours about an InPrivate Desktop for Windows 10. These rumors have now been confirmed by Microsoft with the announcement of Windows Sandbox. Windows Sandbox is a new lightweight desktop environment that is specially designed to ensure that applications run safely in isolation, according to Microsoft.

The sandbox is part of Insider-build 18305 for Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise. It requires AMD64 and that virtualization capabilities are enabled in the BIOS. Furthermore, the sandbox requires at least 4 GB of RAM, 1 GB of disk space and 2 CPU cores. Microsoft recommends 8GB of RAM, SSD storage and 4 CPU cores with hyperthreading for optimal performance.

Windows Sandbox builds on the technologies used in Windows Containers, as it sounds in the blog post. Windows containers are designed to run in the cloud. We’ve used that technology, added additional integration with Windows 10, and built features that make it more suitable for running on devices and laptops without requiring the full power of Windows Server.

Dynamic image

Windows Sandbox is in fact a lightweight virtual machine, which means that an OS image is required to boot from. However, instead of having to download a new VHD image, Microsoft has ensured that the sandbox uses a clean copy of the already installed version of Windows 10.

The challenge is that some files can change the operating system. Our solution is to construct a dynamic basic image: an OS image that contains clean copies of files that can change, but links to files that cannot change in the Windows image that already exists on the host. Thus, the size of the virtual OS can be limited to about 100 MB.

Windows 10 19H1

For more technical details on how Windows Sandbox works, see Microsoft’s blog post. The feature will be tested by Windows Insiders in the coming weeks and months and is expected to be introduced in Windows 10 19H1. This is the next feature update for Microsoft’s operating system, scheduled for April 2019.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.