Last month, Microsoft announced that it will be allowing users to toss cookies. Not literally, of course, but the company’s new version of Internet Explorer will introduce new settings that allow customers to enjoy browsing the Web without worrying about deleting all that history.
Microsoft’s current project, Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), which was expected to be released in August, has generated a number of reactions to its most anticipated feature-InPrivate Browsing. When enabled, the feature will not save browsing or search history, passwords and other data used when logging onto a site or surfing the Web.
Although Microsoft users have a variety of reasons to utilize the tool, this particular InPrivate feature has been dubbed “porn mode” for one of its most obvious uses.
And while this browser is definitely a plus for those with wandering eyes, Microsoft is trying to take the emphasis off that theory by highlighting its usefulness for erasing any history of gift-buying or social security information.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Matthew Rowe, junior business major, said. “I wouldn’t want anyone logging into my Facebook or anything just because I forgot to log off the library computer.”
InPrivate Browsing isn’t the only tool available in Internet Explorer’s newest edition.
InPrivate Blocking, which will notify users when a third party has access to any information, will be helpful in stopping any transfer of information on recent searches or Web sites visited.
InPrivate Subscription will be a list of sites that are to be blocked to any user on a particular computer, and will hopefully be a preventative measure in pop-ups.
But is this new development enough to put Microsoft ahead of its other competitors?
Gregg Keizer of Computer World magazine doesn’t think so.
“I definitely think this is a step forward for Microsoft, but they have some serious catching up to do. With browsers like Mozilla Firefox and the recent introduction of Google’s browser, Chrome, Microsoft should consider taking significant steps to get ahead of the competition,” Keizer said.
Keizer isn’t the only tech critic wary of Microsoft.
Tools like InPrivate have already been developed and applied to leading competitor Apple’s Internet browser, Safari.
Rowe, a self-proclaimed Apple fanatic, is surprised that Microsoft is so far behind on developing privacy tools.
“You know, you see those Mac and PC commercials. Sure, Macs have their problems, but as far as software goes, I guess they’re a little bit more advanced than Microsoft. It’s kind of shocking to me that Microsoft, who’s supposed to be, like, this super computer company, still hasn’t developed something like this,” Rowe said.
Apple isn’t Microsoft’s only
competitor who has already developed a tool similar to InPrivate. Mozilla Firefox, which has become increasingly popular over the past few years, has reportedly been working on the development for quite some time now.
Although the tool has not yet been implemented by Firefox, some doubt the believability of whether or not Microsoft is really as original as they claim.