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Microsoft to speed up HTTPS encryption with browser support for TLS

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June 17, 2016

Microsoft said today it will accelerate the process of HTTPS encryption in its Edge browser with support for TLS version 1.3, and will also add a few performance extensions.

To be sure, Edge engineer Christian Huitema asserts that the changes which also include support for TCP FastOpen will also be introduced into the Preview edition of Edge as well.

It also means that Microsoft's new flagship browser will have the latest TLS protocol which closes off known security vulnerabilities and strips out unnecessary functions while reducing implementation errors.

But it's a very slow process and Microsoft has used the False Start extension to reduce TLS roundtrips and Fast Open to remove the need for future roundtrips by way of a client authentication cookie. Sounds strange? Read on.

"Modern encryption itself is very fast, but requires negotiating keys to establish a connection before fetching page resources," added Huitema.

"TLS 1.3 extensions means delivering better performance and security in the Edge browser, using modern encryption on top of the continually improved TCP stack," Huitema asserted.

"We’re also going to continue to work with industry leaders and IT experts in the standards bodies to design an interoperable TLS 1.3 solution for the internet," he added.

Huitema demonstrates the criticality of the TLC 1.3 extensions in citing research that shows a mere 250 milliseconds delay is sufficient for users to throw up their hands and move to a different website.

The Internet Engineering Task Force is expected to publish the TLS 1.3 icon coming months after it passes the standardization process.

Source: Microsoft.

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