Private browsing is a feature that the Mozilla team ended up pulling from Firefox 3, but one that might show up in the next iteration of Internet Explorer. According to reports, two Microsoft trademark filings – Cleartracks and Inprivate – seem to be an indication of this, with them covering methods to delete or disable history and file caching on the browser.

One obvious use for the feature, which is currently present only in Apple’s Safari browser, will be surfing the web for porn or illicit activities without leaving traces. But privacy advocates will certainly find other worthy uses for it, such as to keep prying eyes from viewing sensitive information stored in form fields.

The software giant so far is mum about the feature, saying only that they will have more to say about privacy as IE 8 evolves. Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 is due in final form later this year, but the Beta 1 build is already available for download in both Windows XP and Vista flavors.