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IE 6 Posted to the Web

Microsoft Corp. posted its latest browser upgrade, Internet Explorer 6.0, to the Web this week ahead of the company's previously disclosed plans to hold off availability of IE 6 until Windows XP became available.

IE 6 went up on Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web site on Monday.

The IE 6 launch closely follows the August 8 launch of Netscape Communication's latest browser, Netscape 6.1. Netscape, an AOL Inc. subsidiary, released the browser after performance and stability problems with the version 6.0 release in November disappointed users.

Microsoft's release is designed to improve on IE 5.5, which Microsoft made available in the summer 2000 around the time when consumer operating system Windows Me was released to manufacturing. IE 5.5 currently is on its second service pack.

Windows XP was released to manufacturing on Friday, and general availability of the client operating system is planned for Oct. 25. Microsoft describes IE 6 as "a set of core technologies in Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional." However, IE 6 is also available as a stand-alone browser to be used with Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0 Workstation and Windows 2000 Professional. Windows 95 is not supported.

New features in IE 6 include new security and privacy tools, fault collection services, a few whizbang features in new toolbars and new options for customizing the browser's style and color.

Depending on what files already exist on PCs, the download size for IE 6 varies from 11 MB to 75 MB, with Microsoft pegging the typical download size at 25 MB.

About the Author

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