Microsoft to roll out more granular 'porn mode' with IE 8

On August 25, Microsoft officials confirmed that the company will, indeed, provide private browsing, a k a "porn mode," as of Internet Explorer (IE) 8 Beta 2. IE 8 Beta 2 is expected to go to testers later this week.

On August 25, Microsoft officials confirmed that the company will, indeed, provide private browsing, a k a "porn mode," as of Internet Explorer (IE) 8 Beta 2.

IE 8 Beta 2 is expected to go to testers later this week.

With its private browsing feature, called "InPrivate," Microsoft is allowing users to cover their online tracks. But Microsoft is taking this functionality to a more granular level than some expected. With IE 8 Beta 2, Microsoft also is enabling users to delete selected cookies -- not simply all of them. That way, when deleting evidence of which sites s/he visited, a user has the option of keeping the cookies of her/his favorite sites but removing certain others.

On a new posting to the official IE Blog, Microsoft officials explained the new privacy mode without any explicit mentions of porn. From the posting:

"Have you ever wanted to take your web browsing 'off the record'? Perhaps you’re using someone else’s computer and you don’t want them to know which sites you visited. Maybe you need to buy a gift for a loved one without ruining the surprise. Maybe you’re at an Internet kiosk and don’t want the next person using it to know at which website you bank.

"What if you want to delete your browsing history after the fact, but you don’t want to lose your preferences at websites that you use frequently?

"When we began planning IE8, we took a hard look at our customers’ concerns about privacy on the web. As evidenced by some of the comments on this blog during the IE7 days, many users are concerned about so-called 'over-the-shoulder privacy', or the ability to control what their spouses, friends, kids, and co-workers might see."

The IE blog posting mentions a couple of other related privacy features that will go live as of IE 8 Beta 2:

  • "InPrivate Blocking informs you about content that is in a position to observe your browsing history, and allows you to block it
  • "InPrivate Subscriptions allow you to augment the capability of InPrivate Blocking by subscribing to lists of websites to block or allow"

Microsoft officials have said IE 8 Beta 2 will be more focused on consumers, as opposed to developers (who were the target of IE 8 Beta 1). The final version of IE 8 is expected to roll out in November 2008.

What do you think of the new privacy controls Microsoft is adding with IE 8? Safari already offers private browsing, but Firefox does not.

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