Microsoft smudges web trail in IE 8

IE 8 - more privacy, fewer embarrassing questions from your spouse

The next version of the Internet Explorer web browser will come with a privacy mode to obscure your surfing history, Microsoft confirmed today.

In an interview with the New York Times, program manager Andy Zeigler unveiled IE 8's InPrivate mode, which will delete browsing and searching history, cookies, form data and passwords, and clear the cache at the end of each session.

"If you are using a borrowed laptop from a friend or a public PC, sometimes you don't want other people to know where you've been," Zeigler said, without specifically referencing busty ladies, buffed-up firemen or naughty dancers.

Not so foxy now

Firefox 3.1 will also feature a privacy mode, although Mozilla's Mike Beltzner played down the adult angle. "To lock everyone into a 'porn bucket' makes people who have alternate privacy needs think that they're doing something wrong," he told the New York Times.

Microsoft's second beta release of IE8 should be available for download this Thursday, while Firefox 3.1 is due this winter. And just to be absolutely clear, we don't want to see any artistic impressions of a 'porn bucket', thank you all the same.