Feeds

MS preparing for IE6 public preview?

Small imperfectly formed site accepting bug reports already...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Microsoft is poised to begin a public preview of Internet Explorer 6, according to a web site tracked down by Betanews. The curiously inexpert-looking use of an IP in the link had our scam detectors twitching, but no, 131.107.85.107 does seem to be owned by the Beast of Redmond, so the site's probably just under construction, and the name's TBA.

Most likely Microsoft intends to kick off the preview of the non-WinXP version of IE6 at around the same time as it rolls with the preview of WinXP itself. As yet there's no information on the site actually about the public preview (although there's a nice blank page), and the only thing that seems to be working is a nice form for reporting the bugs in the software you haven't got. Unless you grabbed it when the beta code escaped a while back.

IE6 is certainly important to Microsoft, because it's the version of the software the company will be using to get its take on privacy and cookie management into the hands of the users. It'll include, as Microsoft announced ealier this week, support for P3P privacy statements, and a default cookie handling setting of medium, which is probably where most of the world will leave it.* Our old friend Jason Catlett, president of Junkbusters, snappily denounced it all: "Microsoft's 'thermostat setting' where surfers are required to tell their PCs how much they will tolerate being surveilled gives a misleading and dangerous view of privacy. People shouldn't be forced to trade privacy for participation." More snappy denunciations from Jason available here.

Actually, even though the preview IP does seem to belong to Microsoft, it still looks like an email address gathering scam to us, just maybe a Microsoft one. MS public preview programs are generally intended to get pretty large numbers of people to look at the software, and we surmise that the volume of bug reports they generate must be so vast that the smart thing to do is just to route them all straight to the trash, rather than actually check them.

But those nice fields with name, email address, detailed hardware configuration, ISP name, connection type, software on the machine... Well, that's all useful, isn't it? And it's also the sort of stuff people get ballistic about if, say, they find the software sniffs it out and 'accidentally' sends it to Redmond. The great thing about preview programs is that you can use them to induce people to invade their own privacy for you. ®

* Cranking cookie detect up to full can be entertaining. A recent Register reality check of the Intel site collected us 58 cookies during a visit to the front door, and two other pages. This is one sick company.

Related Stories

Microsoft becomes cookie defender, privacy hero
MS adds cookie detector to IE, grooms Privacy R US stance

And you can't sign up for the program yet here.

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.