Chrome's doing it. Safari offers it. IE 8 is apparently headed that way, too. So I wasn't surprised at all to see Mozilla's announcement that it's bringing privacy features to Firefox in the next iteration. Computerworld reports:
In a note from a Firefox 3.1 status update meeting held Tuesday, Mozilla said: "Private Browsing Mode: Ehsan [Akhgari] went and implemented Connor's functional spec bug 248970 -- way to go! Now back on track for beta date."
The story indicates that Firefox's private browsing mode will not store cookies from browser sessions, will dump any downloads acquired in a brower session, won't store Web site addresses in the browser's history, and won't save passwords, among other things. Developer Mike Connor told Computerworld, "It should ensure that users can't be tracked when doing 'private' things."
When word about Microsoft's InPrivate got out, developers came up with a Firefox add-on called "Stealther" that mimics the Microsoft tools, but including a full-featured private browsing mode was not a high priority until Google released Chrome with Incognito. Now, Mozilla representatives say that the privacy features will be included in Firefox 3.1 beta, which is due next month.