Microsoft has announced details about the next version of its Internet Explorer browser on Wednesday.

The new version; Windows Internet Explorer 8, will promise a stack of new features as the Seattle based software giant hopes to claw back lost ground lost against the Mozilla foundation and its Firefox browser.

New to the application, which is currently still in beta, will have a focus on private surfing, no doubt ideal for those looking to head to more dubious sites on the web.

InPrivate Browsing and InPrivate Blocking will, when activated, ensure history, temporary internet files and cookies are not recorded on a user’s PC after browsing, while Blocking will work to stop content coming from third parties that are in a position to track and aggregate their online behaviour.

In what seems a direct copy of Firefox, the new browser will sport a Smart Address Bar that looks to work in a virtually identical way to the Awesome bar in latest version of Firefox.

The bar will, according to Microsoft, appear to work in a similar way giving suggestions to the user based on the history of sites visited and content in their favourites and feeds.

Additionally there will also be a new feature called Tab Groups that colour code tabs so users can quickly discern which tabs have related content.

Other features include the ability to make the software run faster if you are on Windows Vista and trying to help users who are click happy, Internet Explorer will also feature an ability to allow users to reopen their last browsing session from the most recently closed instance of Internet Explorer, similar to when you mistakenly close a tab in Firefox.