Microsoft to add pop-up blocker to IE

— 4:49 AM on November 11, 2003

C|Net is reporting that Microsoft is finally getting with the times and rolling a pop-up blocker into Internet Explorer. The blocker will be included in Internet Explorer Service Pack 2, which will be released in the first half of next year.

Pop-up blockers are usually seen as positive, but in this case, they may do more harm than good. Having a pop-up blocker integrated into Internet Explorer will make it very easy for a wide range of mainstream PC users to block annoying pop-up ads, which should be great for Joe Sixpack in the long run. However, it's unlikely that advertisers will sit idly by while the masses tune out pop-ups; advertisers may turn to more insidious ad formats that make pop-ups look innocuous.

Why couldn't Microsoft have skipped pop-up blocking and pledged to add tabbed browsing instead?

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