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The next generation of Internet Explorer is nearly ready for the public at large, as Microsoft announces the release candidate of Internet Explorer 9 at the Hang Art Gallery in San Francisco's Union Square this morning.
A massive list of improvements debuted in the new RC, available for 32-bit Windows 7; 64-bit Windows 7; 32-bit Windows Vista; and 64-bit Windows Vista. Among the most notable enhancements are the new ActiveX filter, expanded support for HTML5 and "future-tech" standards, and advertiser tracking protection, which also was introduced this week into a prerelease version of Firefox 4.
The feature changes from the first beta are focused largely, yet not exclusively, on security. Like the Firefox 4 feature, the new "do not track" feature will prevent Web advertisers from tracking your behavior using a header-based solution. Unlike Mozilla's implementation of the protection, IE9 uses both the header and customizable blacklists, Internet Explorer business and marketing senior director Ryan Gavin said in an interview yesterday. "Using only the header is too narrow a solution," he said, noting that Internet Explorer also allows users to create a whitelist for sites that people actively want to track online surfing behavior.
Microsoft has submitted its "do not track" browser technology to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for adoption as a industry standard.
The software giant's Tracking Protection technology – unveiled in December and due in the next version of Internet Explorer – is designed to let users of IE decide what information advertisers are allowed to learn about them during web browsing and internet searches.
Tracking Protection has been slotted into the IE9 release candidate that Microsoft made available on Thursday. The finished version of IE9 is expected soon.