Microsoft Unveils Internet Explorer 5 Beta

Microsoft Corp.
fired the latest round the browser wars Wednesday, releasing the first
public beta version of Internet
Explorer 5

The latest incarnation of IE contains features that allow Web developers to
offer site visitors more search and navigation choices.

Internet Explorer Web Accessories are designed to provide seamless access to
content and services. The feature allows a Web site to serve content in a
separate window that stays up on the desktop even after the user goes on to
another site.

Some of the sites that have signed on to use the extensions include Alexa
Internet, Bloomberg Financial Markets, the MSN online service
and The New York Times. Beta versions of Web Accessories
can be seen here.

“Our goal with Internet Explorer 5 is to provide customers with the easiest
way to experience all that the Web has to offer,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, director of Windows marketing at Microsoft. “We are
excited to see these popular content providers
and portal sites take advantage of Internet Explorer 5 to provide their
customers a more complete and seamless Web experience.”

Bloomberg Financial Markets will use the extensible explorer bar
architecture in IE 5 to serve real-time stock quotes and financial news in a
separate pane. The information will appear at the bottom
of the screen in IE 5, allowing users to still read news while browsing the
rest of the Web.

MSN has also created a customized explorer bar, giving users access to
MSN services and information like e-mail, stock quotes and news,
directly within their browser window.

Internet Explorer 5 will offer content providers and portal sites other
means to customize and enhance their Web sites and services in addition to
Accessories, such as:

  • One-click home page customization. Sites will enable users with the
    option to change their home page in one click by including a
    standard script on their Web page.
  • Search bar integration. Sites can offer custom searches optimized for
    their site within the search bar.
  • Web-based mail integration. Using the open application model, users of
    Web-based mail services, such as Microsoft’s Hotmail, can send mail from
    within the browser by clicking a standard hyperlink in any Web page.
  • Toolbar customization. Developers can create their own custom toolbar
    button for Internet Explorer 5 offering users access to
    their Web Accessories or to their site.

The Internet Explorer 5 beta version incorporates IntelliSense technology,
which was first introduced in Microsoft Office. IntelliSense extends the
auto-complete feature and makes it easier to use IE as an offline browser.

The beta is available at here and also from the Microsoft Windows Update Web site. Information about developer use IE 5 can be found here.

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