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IE8 Beta 2 Released: Introduces Private Browsing Mode

     
2:12 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Article [cnn.com]

(...)in the newest "beta" test version of Microsoft's forthcoming Internet Explorer 8, which was made available Wednesday, a mode called InPrivateBrowsing lets users surf without having a list of sites they visit get stored on their computers.

The program also covers other footprints, including temporary Internet files and cookies, the small data files that Web sites put on visitors' computers to track their activities.

I wonder what this will do to tracking unique visitors.

also interesting to note...

The beta also introduces an additional InPrivateBlocking mode, which can block third-party content from appearing on Web sites. For example, a news site might carry stock quotes from one company and weather information from another. Companies that provide such content may also be collecting and sharing information about what people do online. But users who turn on InPrivateBlocking won't see that content or be exposed to such data collection without their consent.

[edited by: encyclo at 6:29 pm (utc) on Sep. 2, 2008]
[edit reason] fixed quote [/edit]

6:41 am on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This single feature, if widely used, could destroy the affiliate marketing business and put a lot of webmasters we all know out of business.

Some will argue Firefox has had similar features for quite some time but Firefox also has a much smaller market share.

This could be the catalyst for the second major extinction level event for the internet.

9:47 pm on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft has released IE8 Beta 2

It has important new features that, to my knowledge, Microsoft has not previously discussed or made public.

[edited by: encyclo at 6:32 pm (utc) on Sep. 2, 2008]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

1:55 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You mean the porn killer (erase/disallow all history cookies?) That's been in the news for a bit. What other important new features are there?
2:05 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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MS used to offer Virtual PC images with XP and IE 7/8 beta for testing purposes, but I can't find them on their site. Anyone know of a proper link?
10:45 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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@tangor

I knew the minute I clicked submit that "important" was the wrong word.

Important for web professionals to know about, that is.

8:05 am on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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@RonPK: here it is [microsoft.com].
8:36 am on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Important for web professionals to know about, that is.

Sorry, I thought the implied humor is evident. This release will bring IE closer to compliance, and for that I am grateful. But so far MS is still playing catch up rather than leading the pack.

My question remains relevant. WHAT important new features MS has not mentioned?

1:24 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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@tangor

- of course, InPrivate feature

- Web slices, which lets users subscribe to the content on different parts of Web pages

- Activities, is designed to take the "copy-navigate-paste" element out of browsing.

- Search Box Suggestions

To me, it feels like Beta 2 is just integrating features that exists in other browsers... and that gets me excited to see Beta 3.

IE6 was flawed
IE7 was the "Let's catch up" attempt
IE8 is going to rock!

2:36 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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@tangor

I don't handle publicity for MS, got another gig, but here's one thing that, until the release, I did not see mentioned anywhere:

- compatibility mode

Which is the way they've chosen to handle those pages that don't contain a version vector metatag and where the browser is guessing which of the three rendering modes will best display the page.

And personally, I don't give a damn about compliance. If it makes my life easier, fine. If not, the hell with it.
I call it the "Web Standards Delusion". All we've done is traded one tyrant: Microsoft, for another tyrant: the W3C. The kind is dead, long live the king!
The W3C specs fascinate me. What a job! You get to draft specifications that others are supposed to follow without actually implementing them and testing them out against reality.

Nice work if you can get it.

3:11 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, Trace. I'm FF from way back and rarely fire up IE... and that only when the website requires it (you know who, that update site).

poppyrich... moving towards compliance is better than no move at all. Will be interesting to see if CSS divs work the way they should.

5:48 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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After reading the ie blog: [blogs.msdn.com...]

I couldn't help myself any longer and installed beta 2. I just couldn't believe all those features were actually in there and had to see for myself.

Simply amazing. The evolution from beta 1 to beta 2 is unreal.

I just about had a heart attack when I hit f12 and brought up the developer tools. Finally!

[edited by: Trace at 5:48 pm (utc) on Aug. 29, 2008]

10:32 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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@trace

yeah, I knew that Beta1 was really an alpha in disguise, but I didn't expect as big a difference.

I like what I see so far. A few things a little buggy but overall, excellent IMHO.

4:55 am on Aug 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The W3C specs fascinate me. What a job! You get to draft specifications that others are supposed to follow without actually implementing them and testing them out against reality.

Have you looked at the list of the 400-plus W3C members? [w3.org]. This is not some abstract body sitting in an ivory tower. You've got organizations like AOL, AT&T, Cisco, Microsoft, Symbian -- these are definitely players who are grounded in reality.

5:33 am on Aug 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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CSS under IE8 beta 1 was a real mess. Anyone tested beta 2 yet for div support?
3:52 pm on Aug 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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@tedster

Oh, the cult of the "experts" returns! The best and the brightest who will surely lead us to a brighter future!

What qualifies these people to decide the future of your life, my life, and everybody's life online?

Did you vote for them? I don't remember getting a ballot, did you?

"No Standardization Without Representation". Don't tread on me and I've been treaded on one to many times lately, I'm sick of it.

More seriously, your post brings to light what a lot of people don't know: the standards bodies are largely made up of industry people who participate to protect their employer's business interests.

There is a LOT of political maneuvering involved.

And your post still doesn't address the "best guess" aspect of what they do. Have you read "Martian Headsets" at joelonsoftware ?
Please do. Can't recommend it enough. Best analysis of the problem with written standards as applied to browsers that I've ever read.

ciao

4:18 pm on Aug 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the mention of that excellent Martian Headsets article [joelonsoftware.com] from JoelOnSoftware.com. It is the best summary of the struggle that affects IE8 (and all of us) that I have ever read. And he's not saying "death to the standards bodies" either - that's a balance that I appreciate.

As he sums it up:

You see? No right answer.

As usual, the idealists are 100% right in principle and, as usual, the pragmatists are right in practice. The flames will continue for years.

7:00 am on Aug 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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What I miss in the Martian Headsets article, is taking the browsers into account that have been making more of an effort to be standards compliant: Firefox, Opera, Safari. The vast majority of webpages do work in those browsers. As this is possible, it is also possible in IE8 to be more standards compliant, while still displaying most webpages as intended.

I only see a problem with intranets that have been made to specifically be used with IE, or, to be more exact, with IE6 (or IE7). Here, the solution to use a meta tag in webpages to tell IE8 to render like IE7, seems viable.

I don't think that the IE development team will eventually see a need to revert their decision to let standards compliance be the default rendering mode.

1:06 pm on Aug 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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@solution1

First, have you checked out Beta 2? I've been playing with it non-stop (have to, I have script to adapt for it) since within the hour it became available and for the life of me I can't come up with a wiser or better solution for bridging the gap between tag-soup pages and textbook-perfect CSS pages than the IE dev team.

The combination of version vector metatags, doctypes and, if the author can't or won't provide those, a fail-safe "compatibility button" that the user can click to toggle between "strict" and "IE7" rendering, IMHO strikes the right balance. (The compat button remembers it's previous state and does a soft reload of the page.)

To me, Microsoft's greatest strength has always been the ability to move things forward without obsoleting the old. I come from a network engineering/support background and I remember when studying for the Windows 95 MCSE exam, the most impressive thing about win95 was it's installation routine, at least to me. (At the time, IBM's OS2 had a shot at market share for the desktop. Where they blew it, largely, was in the upgrade from Windows 3.1 installation routine which wasn't nearly as trouble free as win95. IMHO.)
Seems MS has gotten its mojo back with IE8.

Regarding standards "compliance" - with the release of IE8 I think some dirty laundry is going to come out but I'm not sure until I, and others, too, undoubtedly, test further. The question is: if Opera, FF, etc... are so darned "standards" compliant, how on earth do they manage not to break pages that aren't clearly quirks mode but yet have a lot of "mistakes" that a strict implementation of the spec doesn't allow?
Answer: they relax the rules, of course. Which is perfectly sensible if you ask me, but is at odds with the rhetoric you hear.

In a recent interview, the father of CSS, Hakon Wium Lie, CTO of Opera, states flatly that the most badly needed thing for the furtherance of CSS is TEST PAGES. Now, this begs the question, how did Opera go about implementing without test pages? Divine guidance?

From what I've seen, IE8 running in IE8 mode demands strict and unforgiving adherence to the spec. And they have deluged the W3C with exactly those badly needed test pages Lie was calling for to prove the point and show just how "compliant" not only IE8, but any browser really is.

Me? - I'm going back to tables and font tags, this stuff is giving me a headache.

8:48 pm on Aug 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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@tedster

I wanted to mention that some months ago Hakon Wium Lie CTO of Opera filed a complaint with the European Union against Microsoft and IE in particular in which he is asking the EU, in effect, to make conformance to every iota of the Cascading Style Sheets spec mandatory and given the force of law.

I kid you not. Either he's playing Hamlet or he really is insane.
If you google and read some of his posts, I think you'll come to think the latter. Start with theregister.co.uk.

We're back in the time of the Crusades.

9:40 pm on Aug 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'd say take a closer look at Lie's move here - it's part of a chess game. Sometimes the goal in any action is increased awareness more than outright success.

Did you realize that he was one of the original movers behind CSS back in 1994 [w3.org]? And he put in years of work on the original CSS spec with the W3C, before going to Opera.

6:07 pm on Sept 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Lie and Bert Bos were behind CSS. Plus Lie credits Chris Wilson, currently the platform architect of the IE team, and somebody named James Reardon (hope I have the name right) as being very influential.

Lie's doctoral thesis at the University of Oslo is on (hold your breath) Cascading Style Sheets!

It's posted online.

12:49 am on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Latest Microsoft browser challenges Google

Microsoft released a web browser on Wednesday that includes a feature that could affect the advertising model of internet rivals such as Google.

The Internet Explorer 8 browser’s InPrivate setting lets users access websites without disclosing their browsing habits, which websites need to be able to do to deliver targeted advertising. This is a business Google has just moved into through its acquisition of DoubleClick ... The browser became available as a “beta” version last night and will eventually be included with the Windows operating system.

Rest of story [ft.com]

[edited by: encyclo at 6:34 pm (utc) on Sep. 2, 2008]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

2:44 am on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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They're just playing catch-up. Opera and Firefox have had similar features for quite some time. It will be nice to have them in IE as well.

This feature would pose a challenge to MS's own ad delivery system as well. I don't think it's just a shot at Google.

6:39 pm on Sept 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It will be very interesting to compare the approaches to privacy between IE8 and Google Chrome [webmasterworld.com]. MS seem to be clear in that Privacy mode includes restricting information to third-party sites (including AdSense and analytics), whereas Google's approach seems initially to be more to do which what is stored on the person's home machine rather than what is sent to other servers.
6:51 pm on Sept 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This single feature, if widely used, could destroy the affiliate marketing business and put a lot of webmasters we all know out of business

There are many ways around it. For instance if I run OpenX on my server, and use it to serve-up all my ads, the embedded ad code will actually be local to my site... Hence not viewed as a 3rd party.

8:19 pm on Sept 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Whether or not a user is being tracked should be up to the user not a webmaster who wants to make money (I fit in both those categories).
10:13 pm on Sept 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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"The porn killer" seems pretty much useless to me
Who cares about cookie foot prints?
Everyone (at least among us) will know about performing a quite decent cleaning

The real concern is not to hide your IP, dealing with cookies etc..
But is figuring out how when visiting a site you might unwillingly get your email address harvested

I do tons of searches for clients, and use a dedicated machine not networked, a while ago I still had an Outlook account operational on that machine and then I was done! Started to get tons of spam; because of that email address I knew it came from that very machine.
<edit>
of course there was nothing such as HTML, forms or whatever on that machine which made that email visible - other than oultlook -
</edit>

11:06 pm on Sept 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Google Chrome

Is any of this starting to feel familiar? Like, errr..., a WAR of some kind?
I'm starting to long for the days of Pax Explorer, circa 2002.

11:44 pm on Sept 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This is hardly news as speed-wise Chrome smokes IE8, Opera 9, Firefox 3.

There's a new internet Sheriff in town and it's in Mountain View where Netscape started, it's full circle and there'll be hell to pay.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 11:48 pm (utc) on Sep. 2, 2008]

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