The Release Candidate (RC) for IE 9 recently became available for download and there were many changes from the previously available Beta release. The RC version appears to be quite popular with over 2 million downloads in the first 24 hours. To see the new features or download the installer visit this Microsoft site.
One of the big changes is how the browser handles ad-blocking. The Beta version had “InPrivate Filtering” which I discussed previously. The RC has renamed this feature to “Tracking Protection” and expanded the functionality. Additionally, there is now optional blocking of Java scripts called “ActiveX Filtering”. Both of these features can be accessed through the Tools drop-down menu, under the Safety option.
A click on “Tracking Protection” opens the “Manage Add-ons” window where you can see what ad blocking lists you have set up.
In the example shown above the first three lists are subscriptions (MS calls these Tracking Protection Lists) that are available from this Microsoft site.
If you visit a site where Tracking Protection blocks some content (i.e., ads or java) a small blue-colored indicator will light up in the address/search box.
If your video seems stalled or a message pops up saying you need to install java, click on the blue icon to get pop-up blocking options.
To get java scripts to work, select “Turn off ActiveX Filtering”. Your choices appear to be remembered on a per site basis.
The IE9 RC is very effective at blocking ads, even those tough to block flash ads. And, with a subscription model for blocking lists, promises to keep up with ad technology. IE9 also has many other nice features which I expect will improve the perception of Internet Explorer.
Related Post: Do It Yourself Do Not Track (DIY-DNT) for Firefox and Internet Explorer