HP has announced that is has been working with Mozilla and Symatec on a virtualized version of Firefox as an option to minimize security risks in corporate environments.
What HP and its partners have done is create a virtual layer that sits separate from the desktop’s operating system but that still communicates with the operating system. The browser itself works within a virtualized run-time environment, which allows all the cookies and downloads to be sequestered in what Godkin [HP product manager] calls the “sandbox.
About a year ago, ZoneLabs (now a CheckPoint property) released ForceField which used the same approach to a safer browsing but I found serious performance issues in the beta I tried then. It must have benefited of Firefox 3 performance improvements and its own development cycles since them though. ForceField is available for purchase for $29.
HP Firefox Virtual Browser (yeah, that’s the name) , will be available later this month with business oriented Compaq dc7900 laptop ($599 and up).
Hopefully it will be also released as an extension or plugin for interested users.