Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 Beta Now Available
May 29, 1996
Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 provides a dynamic browsing experience for viewing content created in Java, JavaScript, Netscape Plug-ins and HTML extensions.

REDMOND, Wash., May 29, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate, worldwide availability of Microsoft® Internet Explorer version 3.0 beta software, the next generation of its popular World Wide Web browser and the first to support ActiveX ™ technologies. For users, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 provides a dynamic browsing experience for viewing content created in Java, JavaScript, Netscape ™ Plug-ins and HTML extensions as well as content created with ActiveX technologies and HTML 3.2 extensions. For developers and webmasters, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 introduces a comprehensive, next-generation architecture for creating active Web content, bringing Internet capabilities beyond the browser to applications and operating systems. The software is available now for no charge (other than the cost of downloading) over the Internet at the Microsoft Web site, http://microsoft.com/ie/. .

"Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 is a step ahead of the pack," said Brad Chase, general manager in the Internet platform and tools division at Microsoft Corp. "It is the first and only Web browser that gives people choices about how they surf the Net. With a single click of the mouse, they can download Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 free of charge and access cutting-edge Internet content for the ultimate Web experience."

Next Generation in Active Content Best Viewed With Microsoft Internet Explorer

The new open architecture in Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 supports the full use of programmable, active Internet content and applications.

  • ActiveX controls. With ActiveX, developers can build Internet applications by writing ActiveX controls that users can download from the Internet and run in Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0. ActiveX controls create unlimited possibilities for what users can do on the Internet. These cross-platform software components include the thousands of existing ActiveX controls (formerly OLE controls), Java Applets and new ActiveX controls, such as the ActiveMovie ™ API.

  • ActiveX Documents. Users can open richly formatted documents, such as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, directly in the browser. They can use the power of the application to view and edit the data directly.

  • ActiveX Script. With native support for Visual Basic® Script and JavaScript, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 provides the most comprehensive and language-independent script capabilities. Microsoft Internet Explorer can be extended to support additional scripting languages such as REXX, CGI and PERL. Web page designers can plug any scripting language into their HTML code to create interactive pages that link together ActiveX controls, Java Applets and other software components.

  • Java Applets. In the next beta release, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 will ship with Java Virtual Machine, which includes the Microsoft Just-In-Time Java compiler. Thus, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 will provide a very fast way to run Java applications. Additionally, Java application classes are exposed as ActiveX controls under Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0, allowing Java applications to talk to other Java applications, ActiveX controls and operating system features such as multimedia audio and video elements.

  • HTML enhancements. Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 provides the broadest support of any browser for HTML standards, including HTML 3.2. This support includes that for borderless and floating frames, style sheets and tables. By embracing and extending HTML 3.2, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 offers unprecedented ease of use and flexibility for developers, and legibility for users.

  • Integrated multimedia support. Web pages come alive with Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 through built-in multimedia support and ActiveX multimedia controls, including ActiveMovie, providing playback of popular video and audio formats on the Internet. Support is enabled for efficient playback of MPEG audio and video, .AVI files, QuickTime® , AU, .WAV, MIDI and AIFF formats.

Developers can use ActiveX technologies to add rich functionality for many types of applications, including interactive multimedia elements, vertical market solutions and more.

"ActiveX technology is our choice for providing online commerce controls to our customers," said Gerry Bakker, president of CDI. "Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 provides access to the rich content that ActiveX makes possible."

Exciting New Communication, Collaboration and Personalization Capabilities

In addition to enabling next-generation Web content, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 also provides users with a host of new features for an easier-to-use and more personalized Internet experience:

  • NetMeeting conferencing software. Microsoft NetMeeting, also announced today, offers next-generation communication and collaboration features. NetMeeting makes voice and data communications over the Internet as easy as a phone call, and real-time workgroup collaboration as effective as being in the same room. NetMeeting offers multiuser application sharing and whiteboard and chat capabilities. Because it supports international standards, two or more people can participate in real-time interactive conferences even when separated by countries or continents.

  • Internet Mail and News. Microsoft Internet Mail and News, a small, easy-to-use, lightweight e-mail client and news reader, is targeted toward customers looking for a simple way to communicate using SMTP and/or POP e-mail and NNTP news. Based on its support for international character sets, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 is the only Web browser that enables people to read Web pages composed in other languages.

  • Secure conversation and commerce . Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 is the first browser to support the safe downloading of code and controls, providing "shrink wrap" for the Internet. With support for SSL2/3, PCT 1.0 and client and server authentication, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 provides the widest set of technologies for keeping conversations private. Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 will also add support for the secure electronic transactions (SET) specification, enabling secure commerce as soon as the specification is released.

  • Customizable home page and administration kit. Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 offers a range of ways to customize Internet viewing, including custom organization of the toolbar, favorites folder and home page. For example, users can set their home page to download favorite stock quotes, news, movie times and more so that the information they want is available the moment they log on. The Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK), also announced today, is a new tool that allows corporate information service managers, Internet service providers and Internet content providers to create customized versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer for distribution to their customers and end users.

  • Content Advisor. This release also marks the first implementation of a Platform for Internet Content Selection-compliant (PICS) rating system. Microsoft Corp. and the Recreational Software Advisory Council (RSAC) joined efforts to build technology to advance parental control over Internet access and content. Together, RSAC's rating system adapted for the Internet (RSACi) and the Microsoft Content Advisor feature make it possible for parents and others to set access to Web sites based on industry-standard ratings of their content. Microsoft and RSAC worked with industry leaders to develop a solution based on the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C's) Platform for Internet Content Selection. For more information on available parental control software solutions, visit http://microsoft.com/ie/ie3/ratings/.

"The Recreational Software Advisory Council teamed with Microsoft to develop a solution that lets consumers decide, based on their beliefs, what material is appropriate for themselves and their children," said Stephen Balkam, executive director of RSAC. "The RSACi system enables parents to set levels of nudity, sex, language and violence, and to effectively screen out offensive material."

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT" ) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, ActiveX, ActiveMovie and Visual Basic are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Netscape is a trademark of Netscape Communications Corp.

QuickTime is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc.

For online product information:

Microsoft Internet Explorer Web page: http://microsoft.com/ie/.

Read More: