Microsoft Edge 96 brings built-in Office File viewer, PDF improvements in the Stable channel

Laurent Giret

Super Duper Secure Mode

Microsoft Edge 96 has started rolling out on the Stable channel for Windows, macOS, and Linux. This new major update brings several consumer-facing features such as a built-in Office file viewer for opening documents right in the browser, no downloads required.

Microsoft Edge is also the default PDF viewer on Windows, and the version 96 of the web browser improves the PDF viewing and markup experience with the addition of freeform highlighters. Other notable updates for consumers include a new Dictionary in the mini-toolbar in Immersive Reader, as well as a new Math Solver feature that can help users to learn elementary arithmetic, quadratic equations, trigonometry, and calculus.

If you use Microsoft Edge to install sites as Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), Edge 96 is now capable of launching PWAs directly via protocol links, and that should to eliminate the differences with native apps even further. Another important feature that wasn’t mentioned in the release notes is the new Super Duper Secure Mode, which will make your browsing experience more secure at the risk of breaking parts of some websites.

The Super Duper Secure Mode launched as an experimental feature a couple of months ago, and it disables the JavaScript just-in-time (JIT) compiler to reduce the attack surface for hackers. This is a new approach for making the exploitation of Javascript bugs more difficult, though the Super Duper Secure Mode still needs to be enabled manually in the flags menu.

Microsoft’s Edge browser switched to a four-week development cycle with the release of Edge 94 in September, and the company also introduced at this time a new 8-week “Extended Stable” channel option for business users. You can keep track of all releases in the Edge Stable and Beta channels on this page.