Multiple Webmail Accounts Login Functionality in Internet Explorer 8 (IE8)
Article by George Norman
On 08 May 2009
Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) has plenty of new features it can boast about, like the fact that it is faster, safer and easier to use than previous IE versions, or the fact that it can help you save money, or perhaps the fact that it will detect hanging tabs in Windows 7 RC. Alongside those features, there is one other that the IE team would like you to be aware of: the fact that with IE8 you can login to multiple Webmail accounts.

Security Program Manager with the IE team, Eric Lawrence, explains : “For Internet Explorer 8, we’ve made browser session handling a lot simpler. For instance, say you want to have two Hotmail windows open, each logged into a different account. Simply click the New Session item on the File menu, and a new browser window will open. The new browser window will not share session cookies with the original browser window, so you can log into Hotmail (and most web applications) as a different user. For command line junkies, you can run iexplore.exe with the -nomerge parameter.”


Keep in mind that if you want to open a new tab that does not share session cookies you have to click New Session; if you click New Windows, New Tab, or Duplicate Tab, you will achieve the exact opposite (as in open a new tab/window that shares cookies with the original tab). This latter IE8 function, the sharing cookies one, is called Session Merging, and according to the IE team, managing it in an efficient manner is quite important.

Eric Lawrence again: “Proper support for Session Merging is important because most web applications are written to expect it. For instance, when a web application opens a popup window, it usually does so with the expectation that the popup window will share cookies with the main window, so that the user will remain logged in and their preferences will remain available, etc. Similarly, when the user uses the Duplicate Tab command, they reasonably expect the new tab to show them the same content as the original tab-- sharing cookies is critical for that scenario to work correctly.”

Tags: Microsoft, Internet Explorer 8, IE 8
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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