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MSDN Home > MSJ > May 1997
May 1997


Amongst the barrage of Microsoft product releases, there is one that especially piques the interest of this technical editor. Codenamed "Big Bulge," Dominique Keanna Edson was born on March 3, 1997, weighing in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and measuring 19 1/2 inches. (Note to readers of our sister publication MIND: you're not having déjà vu all over again—the tech editors of both magazines and their wives did have back-to-back baby girls.) We promise there will be no silly "my kid's smarter than your kid" warfare between the two magazines.
With codenames like Nashville and Memphis, you'd think Microsoft's development team had a little too much Patsy Cline pumped
Dominique Keanna Edson—March 3, 1997
into their development chambers. The similarity of the two codenames doesn't help anyone figure out the question of the year: what's the difference between the two? Currently, Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 (Nashville), and the successor to Windows 95 (Memphis) are both scheduled to arrive on a hard disk near you later this year, and we here at MSJ want to try and help you figure out just what's in each.
Internet Explorer 4.0 (IE 4.0) is both a browser and a shell. It allows HTML authors and script writers to access every single element in HTML programmatically from scripts, Java, or ActiveX. This means that Web sites can use scripts to change HTML content on-the-fly, and third parties can write tools that parse HTML and do nifty things like spell-checking, translating, or adding transition effects.
IE 4.0 introduces the HTML-based ActiveDesktop we talked about in MSJ's November 1996 Editor's Note. It also adds Personal Information Delivery, including Site Subscriptions, where you can instruct IE 4.0 to download an entire Web site while you are changing diapers at four in the morning. Smart Favorites periodically check your favorite Web sites to see if they've changed—helpful for keeping up on baby product safety recalls. Also, IE 4.0 adds more scripting, and it tightly integrates with the Windows shell. In fact if you install IE 4.0's "True Web Integration," it upgrades your Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0 shell to provide a single explorer for browsing the Web and your hard disk—you can now have HTML on your desktop and Favorites in your Start Menu!
IE 4.0 will be included with Memphis, and the shell will actually be the IE 4.0 interface. In fact, Windows NT 5.0 and Memphis will both use IE 4.0 as their shell. In the upcoming months MSJ will provide in-depth looks at both Windows NT 5.0 and Memphis.
One of the more interesting features planned for Memphis, especially for developers, is simultaneous support for multiple monitors. Remember jamming an 8514 card and a VGA card into a single machine and running CodeView for Windows on the VGA screen? Well, with the full Windows GDI support for multiple monitors, we will be able to run our Windows-based debugger and IDE, such as Visual Studio 97, on our primary Bitchin' Camaro 1600 X 1200 Gas Plasma wall-mounted display and have the test app run on the more typical 800 X 600 Super VGA display. Debugging your Web-based app, you'll be able to step through HTML source on one monitor while watching your app run in an IE window on the other.
In addition to multiple monitor support, programmers will also get a 32-bit Dr. Watson, full DCOM support, DirectX 5 (yes, they skipped DirectX 4), a unified Win32 driver model for both Memphis and Windows NT 5.0, and lots of support for consumer applications, like playing DVD movies on your computer—if you have the right hardware.

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