Home Introducing Microsoft’s Gazelle: A Web Browser as a Multi-Principal OS

Introducing Microsoft’s Gazelle: A Web Browser as a Multi-Principal OS

Late last week, Microsoft Research released an interesting paper [PDF] about a Web browser it calls Gazelle that’s constructed in such a way to act like an operating system with the browser kernel exclusively protecting resources and sharing across Web sites.

The idea behind Gazelle is to create a browser that is more secure for the now typical dynamic pages we find on the Web. According to Microsoft, Gazelle is different as no existing browsers, including new architectures, have a multi-principal operating system constructed in such a way that provides the browser-based OS exclusive control to manage the protection of all system resources.

“Gazelle’s security model is centered around protecting principals from one another by separating their respective resources into hardware-isolated protection domains. Any sharing between two different principals must be explicit using cross-principal communication (or IPC) mediated by Browser Kernel.”

The research team claims it has successfully browsed 19 of the 20 most popular sites as reported by Alexa with its prototype, but admits the performance of the prototype was only “acceptable.” The paper also includes an in-depth comparison of Gazelle’s architecture and security with Google Chrome, OP and IE8.

But before you go and read it, make sure you realize that it was written by the research team and in no way states it will be developed by the IE team; there is however a glimmer of hope for those who think it would be a good idea, and it can be found in the conclusion when the team points out that ‘the implementation and evaluation of our IE-based prototype shows promise of a practical multiprincipal OS-based browser in the real world.”

Still, it’s an interesting read for those who are interested in the technology.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.