Starting with IE6 for Windows XP SP2 and continuing through IE7, IE8 and IE9, Microsoft included ways to toggle new security features and behaviors on and off in their newer browsers. These toggles, called FEATURE CONTROL KEYS (or FCKs), give corporations a way to turn off new features in the browser for the sake of compatibility with their older applications. While the keys themselves are useful, their implementation in IE by default is problematic: by turning new security features off for compatibility with one corporate application, you are in effect turning that feature off for the entire browser, even when the user is visiting sites on the open Internet. Ion allows you to toggle these FCKs on a per-profile basis, allowing you to toggle the behavior only where and when you need it, but keep your browser secure when your users are browsing Internet sites.
Via the Ion Configuration Manager, IT administrators can instruct Ion profiles to toggle any FCK on or off (or to whatever value is allowed by each FCK). This change affects only that specific Ion Profile, and does not affect other Ion profiles nor the native IE browser on the system. This allows IT administrators to leverage the FCKs to achieve compatibility with their corporate application while maintaining recommended feature & security defaults in the host browser when users are browsing the Internet.
Microsoft has added over 50 FCKs to Internet Explorer: about 2 dozen in IE6, about a dozen more in each of IE7 and IE8, and a half-dozen new FCKs in IE9. Below is the list of keys that Ion supports directly via the Feature Control Manager, sorted by browser version:
Ion allows you to toggle the behavior of all of these keys individually on a per-profile basis. For any given profile that you’ve created in the Ion Configuration Manager, simply select the “Feature Control Manager” node for that profile, find the behavior you want to change, and make that change in the UI, as shown below:
Changes made to any Ion profile to not affect other Ion profiles, nor do they affect the behavior of the default host browser on the system. This allows you to maximize compatibility without compromising security.
The Ion Configuration Manager’s built in help documentation & Ion Administrators Guide both detail what these keys do. Microsoft also has a variety of MSDN articles and blog posts that discuss some of the keys. Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of articles that relate to FCKs that Microsoft has published:
Posted in: Ion Knowledge Base