Google vs. Microsoft. Here We Go Again.
Hat tip to Megan McArdle .
Microsoft is unveiling IE8, Internet Explorer 8, which has privacy feature for browsing than will hurt Google's main business: targeted search ads.
From the Financial Times :
Microsoft has unveiled its Internet Explorer 8 browser equipped with a privacy feature that could threaten the advertising model of web search rivals such as Google.
Users of the browser can opt to access websites in private, hiding their personal details from search engines that use the information to target advertising at individuals.
The feature, called InPrivate, has been dubbed in some blog postings as "porn mode", because it also hides the browsing history from other people using the same computer.
However, Microsoft points to examples of buying birthday presents or searching for medical ailments as areas where InPrivate was also of benefit to customers.
John Curran, a director at Microsoft UK, said: "Some people will always want to be 'InPrivate', but there is a trade-off."
Google has faced an outcry over the amount of information it collects from users of its services. David Mitchell, an information technology analyst at Ovum, said: "If the hype around privacy gains more credibility, more people will hit the private button. There is a potential threat here to click-through [display] advertising."
this has broader applications than Google. Media companies are still trying to figure out how to make web advertising lucrative enough to support a full, print-style application--Politico is a rousing success, and yet makes 60% of its revenue from a cheat sheet it prints for a paltry few tens of thousands of readers. We don't need a new web browser making things even harder than they already are.
This could get interesting.