Category: developers journal

Will Microsoft IE8 block ads and affiliate cookies by default (or by accident)?

Author: seven August 27, 2008

There is a lot of hype in the cyberworld regarding new privacy-enhancing feature of the upcoming Internet Explorer 8 called “InPrivate Blocking“. Imagine if all things that are bad for you would just one day disappear (for your protection)? Where is fun in that. :)

“A Microsoft spokesman said that the feature, to be known as ‘InPrivate Blocking,’ was never designed to be an ad blocker, though ‘there may be ads that get blocked.’ Instead, it was designed to stop tracking ‘pixels’ or pieces of code that could allow third-party sites to track users as they move around the Web.” – via SlashDot

I support ad blocking, but not by any means by default! Badly produced Flash ads (banners) can seriously degrade your surfing experience (and some can even cause epilepsy), and if you really want to get rid of them, you can for eg. use Adblock Plus addon for Firefox. IE users as a rule – don’t ever never configure their browser. They don’t know what configuration is, so whatever Microsoft decides to enable ‘by default’ in IE8, will actually change the way of the web as we know it.

The so called “tracking pixels” are different ball game. I never liked them but they make money go around the web. For noob webmaster they are fool-proof way of implementing very simple functionality. Without them – webmasters would have to implement that functionality in their code on their own, which is nothing more than just a silent way of tracking stuff. Does Microsoft say that silent way of tracking better than ‘public’ tracking?

We will have to just wait and see.

CEO/CTO at Nivas®
Neven Jacmenović has been passionately involved with computers since late 80s, the age of Atari and Commodore Amiga. As one of internet industry pioneers in Croatia, since 90s, he has been involved in making of many award winning, innovative and successful online projects. He is an experienced full stack web developer, analyst and system engineer. In his spare time, Neven is transforming retro-futuristic passion into various golang, Adobe Flash and JavaScript/WebGL projects.

    4 thoughts on “Will Microsoft IE8 block ads and affiliate cookies by default (or by accident)?”

  • The InPrivate feature is not enable by default. I repeat, not enabled by default. The user must choose to enter in to that mode. In order for the third party content to be blocked the source must trip a threshold. There is a lot of good information on the Mircrosoft IE team’s blog. If you have time I highly suggest you look in to it.

  • Thank you for the clarification LW. Btw, last article about IE8 performance is really good!

    Btw, I have IE8 beta and this is far the best IE ever… on other hand FF3 is not best Firefox ever. :)

  • so use opera… why stick to firefox :)

    acid3 results:

    IE7 = 5/100
    IE8 = 21/100
    Safari 3 = 39/100
    FF3 = 71/100
    Opera 9.52 = 83/100

    Opera simply rulez!

  • LW: What’s meant by the “treshold” regarding third-party (affiliate-type) cookies? Can’t find much useful info on it on the IE Team blog. Some speculate it will have a central database with registered third-party cookie providers (i.e doubleclick, valueclick, tradedoubler, google CPA etc), but that just sounds… insane. It would decimate an entire industry!

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