Innovative Microsoft looks to bring ‘Private Browsing’ to IE 8 (Apple Safari had it April 2005)

“One of the most interesting feature that didn’t quite make it into the final release of Firefox 3 is ‘Private Browsing,’ a.k.a. porn mode. The only other browser with this feature built-in today is Safari (another reason to try it in case you haven’t), however, Microsoft may also be building a similar feature into Internet Explorer 8 if two trademark filings are any indications,” Long Zheng reports for istartedsomething.

MacDailyNews Note: Version 2.0 of Safari, released on April 29, 2005, first offered “Private Browsing.”

Zheng continues: On July 30th, Microsoft filed two trademarks for:

IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: computer programs for accessing and using the Internet and the world wide web; and computer programs for deleting search history after accessing websites.

IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: computer programs for accessing and using the Internet and the world wide web; computer programs for disabling the history and file caching features of a web browser; and computer software for notifying a user of a web browser when others are tracking web use and for controlling the information others can access about such use.

Zheng speculates that Microsoft may be rolling out “Private Browsing” in Internet Explorer 8 here.

MacDailyNews Note: In what’s sure to be thrilling news for tech illiterate Web surfers the world over, according to various reports, Internet Explorer 8 is supposedly due this November. Better than usual, Microsoft: you’re only three years and seven months behind Apple on this one.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Price Check” for the IE 8 release date info.]


  1. Hey, it doesn’t have to be “porn mode.” What about wanting to shop for something but not alerting your spouse to it? Or using a public computer in a place like Kinko’s or the library and wanting to not have to remember to clear the cache?

    Some people just have their minds in the gutter!

  2. The sad part is that Windows users will tout this as a new feature and think that it doesn’t already exist. Micro$oft knows this and that is why they blatantly copy without any fear of negative feedback.
    Something I would like in Safari is a preference that would refresh a page every 1, 5, or 10 minutes, similar to Mail’s check new mail every 1, 5, 15, or 1 hour preference.
    It would work well for Yahoo finance realtime stock symbol page. It blows away Apple’s widget for speed that is 15 minutes behind.
    If Yahoo can do this on their site, then why can’t Apple’s little widget? Ugh! I have written them about this several times. 15 minutes is an eternity!

  3. @Orange Juice

    If you’re running Leopard, you could make your own widget of Yahoo’s realtime stocky symbol page. Web-clip can be quite handy sometimes.

  4. @Passerby

    Because the article states that IE8 is getting Private Browsing, thus it being the second browser to have it. That makes Safari the “other” one.

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