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Despite Scrutiny in D.C., Microsoft Slated to Release IE 5.0

Things are running smoothly for the browser developers in Redmond, Wash., despite the scrutiny of their practices some three time zone hours away in the nation's capitol. The company kicked off its Internet Explorer 5 launch, slated for March 18, with a copy reserve program.

Of course, the browser is free, but customers can preorder a CD-ROM at the Microsoft Web site. The company reports not only positive feedback from its beta users but that in recent months, beta downloads of the new version have outnumbered downloads of IE 4.0 nearly three to one.

With 4.0, Microsoft released the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK), a tool for ISPs, corporations and Internet-related businesses who want to customize, distribute and maintain Internet Explorer from a central location across multiple platforms. The beta for version 5 is available now.

The most touted improvement in IE 5 is its ease of use. That includes searching, navigating, organizing and accessing information. Microsoft reports that these functions are all now automated.

In related news, the Washington, D.C. trial took a bitter turn yesterday when Microsoft general manager for new technology and witness for the defense Dan Rosen buckled under cross examination when it was found he contradicted other Microsoft officials and his own e-mailed memos. In the memo, Rosen wrote that Microsoft should form a close relationship with Netscape so that it could "wrest leadership of the client evolution from them."

Rosen had stated earlier that he did not pass the memo on to other officials, but David Boies, lead attorney for the U.S. Justice Department, pointed out to him that the memo was found in Microsoft official Ben Slivka's inbox. Rosen then had to recant his earlier testimony, saying he didn't believe he would have sent it. -- Brian Ploskina, Assistant Editor

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.