Microsoft unveiled the latest version of Internet Explorer yesterday, announcing it would support Win16, Win32, Solaris, HP-UX and Macintosh platforms.
IE 5 forms the centrepiece of Microsoft's Internet innovations on the Windows platform, according to officials.
IE 5 has a far smaller footprint than version 4, with users able to select how much functionality they want when they download. Tony Wilkinson, Micrpspfy's product manager for IE, said the IE 5 was 6.5 MB at its smallest, or 27MB for the full version. Complementary to that is the ability to automatically install further components of the browser as required, Wilkinson said.
Microsoft has improved its caching technology, resulting in 25 per cent faster page download times than in previous versions of the browser, he said.
In a boon for IT administrators, Microsoft has made the IE Administration Kit available for free, a move Wilkinson said would give managers full control of all components of the browser.
IE 5 also includes the Windows Radio Toolbar, which gives users integrated access to streaming radio content. Several Australian radio stations have already made their content available over the Internet.
The browser also includes improved search technology, a What's Related function and a simplified interface for fist-time Internet users.
IE 5 is available for free download from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/Ie/Download/default.asp.