REDMOND, Wash., July 16, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that the second beta version of its Microsoft® Internet Explorer 3.0 Web browser is now available for immediate download over the Internet. With the addition of the integrated just-in-time Java compiler and support for plug-ins, combined with native support for the more than 1,000 ActiveX
Controls, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 is now the most technically advanced and feature-rich browser on the market for end users, organizations, and content and software developers.
The second beta version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 includes these new key features:
Integrated Java support. Microsoft’s implementation of Java – the standard reference implementation for the Windows® operating system – includes a high-performance just-in-time (JIT) compiler that is already winning advance praise from users for its unprecedented speed.
Plug-in support. Microsoft Internet Explorer now supports the use of plug-ins and offers protection from poorly written plug-ins through the use of exception handling.
HTML Layout Control. Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 includes support for Stylesheets, and the inclusion of the HTML Layout Control extends this functionality to include exact coordinate control over object layout, layering and transparency on World Wide Web pages. This degree of control makes possible exciting Web pages as rich as multimedia CD-ROM titles.
Improved Internet Mail and News. Users can now easily format their e-mail in HTML. They can also download newsgroup listings and content more quickly for more productive and cost-effective newsgroup use.
Improved conferencing. NetMeeting
, Microsoft’s telephony and collaborative workgroup application for the Internet, already leads the field by offering standards-based, multipoint conferencing. Beta 2 offers improved performance and better audio quality, runs in the background, and includes a Do Not Disturb feature so users can decline Internet phone calls automatically.
Greater security. With new SOCKS support, corporate users can use Microsoft Internet Explorer with their standard firewalls and proxy servers. Internet Explorer has also extended its support for the Microsoft Internet Security Framework by including Microsoft Authenticode technology and Client Authentication functionality. Users can now more securely download software and identify themselves on the Internet.
Personalization. Users can now personalize Microsoft Internet Explorer by placing links to their favorite Web sites directly onto the Quick Links toolbar, moving and turning the toolbar on and off, and resizing the toolbars at will. An easier-to-navigate Favorites menu also organizes favorite Web sites.
Improved video and audio playback. The ActiveMovie
API, the next-generation digital video and audio technology for the desktop and the Internet, provides integrated playback support for all popular video and audio formats on the Internet. Built into Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0, this technology eliminates the need for users to download separate movie viewers or audio playback
applications. The integration of ActiveMovie with Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 makes it the first browser to provide built-in playback of MPEG video and audio content, enhancing the user experience with television-quality video and CD-quality audio.
Support for VRML. The VRML Add-In for Microsoft Internet Explorer supports fast viewing of 3-D objects and 3-D virtual worlds on the Internet that are created with the virtual reality modeling language (VRML). Users can navigate 3-D spaces and manipulate 3-D objects with a mouse, keyboard or joystick within Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0. The VRML Add-In supports the VRML 1.0 specification plus extensions, and allows animated 3-D content to be embedded in Web pages, providing users with an enhanced multimedia experience on Web pages.
Improved performance. Even while adding a host of new features, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 beta 2 continues to perform faster than Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0.
“Industry momentum for Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 and ActiveX has really taken off,”
said Brad Chase, general manager in the Internet platform and tools division at Microsoft.
“Its unique support for HTML and Stylesheets, ActiveX, Java and plug-ins make Microsoft Internet Explorer the browser of choice for webmasters and content providers. And support for those technologies combined with the innovative ease-of-use features in Microsoft Internet Explorer make it the best browser for end users.”
ActiveX Continues to Gain Momentum
With the release of beta 2, the momentum for Microsoft Internet Explorer and ActiveX has accelerated. ActiveX Technologies are spreading throughout the hottest sites on the World Wide Web, fueled by the more than 1,000 ActiveX Controls currently available.
Companies supporting ActiveX Technologies and providing ActiveX Controls are listed in the ActiveX Resource Center on Microsoft’s Web site at http://microsoft.com/ie/activex. Using ActiveX Controls, developers can create dynamic sites that allow users to have a fully interactive experience on the Web. Two sites that have already embraced ActiveX Technologies include InvestorsEdge (http://www.investorsedge.com/) and Candidate 96 (http://www.candidate96/)
Because ActiveX is so versatile and
a familiar technology to our development staff, it has become not only a valuable tool
but a necessary one for building our InvestorsEdge site,
Connolly, president of Ethos Corp.’s InvestorsEdge.
ActiveX, we have created a visually stunning site, best viewed
with Microsoft Internet Explorer, that allows users to view their personal stock and
mutual fund portfolios as objects within their browsers even while they visit other sites. The entire site is optimized to use the advanced features of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0, which not only give the user a much more enjoyable Internet experience, but also raise the bar for our competition.
“We are extremely excited about the Microsoft ActiveX specification and feel that ActiveX and Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 have allowed us to jump ahead with next-generation technology,”
said Jon Jeffrey, vice president of business affairs for Hollywood-based AND Interactive.
“In turn, our audience is able to view AND’s state-of-the-art Web sites, featuring compelling content and design powered by ActiveX. With its success with ActiveX and the Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 browser, Microsoft has elevated the standard for Web technology and is enabling AND to continue to push the envelope of Web-based experiences.”
ActiveX Controls are available today from many leading companies, including the following:
Adobe Systems Inc. The Adobe
Portable Document Format (PDF) Control for ActiveX uses the Adobe Acrobat Reader to allow users of Microsoft Internet Explorer and other applications that support ActiveX to view and navigate Adobe PDF files.
FutureWave Software Inc. FutureSplash displays interactive animated vector graphics that have been created in CelAnimator. Because FutureSplash files are vector-based, they are very small. A rich, full-screen animation sequence can be created with a 10K FutureSplash file.
Macromedia Inc. The Shockwave ActiveX Control gives users full multimedia capabilities right inside their browser. With the Shockwave Control, users get full access to embedded Director movies, Authorware pieces and interactive FreeHand images.
Micrografx Inc. The ABC QuickSilver Control lets Web developers use Micrografx Designer
™to create and display vector graphics instead of raster graphics on the Web. Besides the numerous advantages vector graphics have over the traditional raster graphics used in most Web pages, Micrografx® ABC QuickSilver makes these Designer files interactive within Web pages.
Progressive Networks. The RealAudio Control for ActiveX lets users take advantage of Progressive Networks’ award-winning Internet audio delivery system by embedding RealAudio content transparently into Web pages.
Starfish Software. EarthTime makes it easier than ever to keep track of time for business or communications across time zones. At a glance, EarthTime shows users the local time in up to eight cities around the world.
VDOnet Corp. The VDOLive Control brings real-time audio and video right into Microsoft Internet Explorer, without the need for a helper application. Video is downloaded progressively from a server .
More than 100 of the most exciting ActiveX Controls will be highlighted in Microsoft’s WorldWide Live! Site Builder Workshop (http://msdn.microsoft.com/workshop/) , which launches today.
Beta 2 of Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3.0 is now available for the Windows 95 and Windows NT® operating systems. Versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 for Windows 3.1 and the Macintosh® platform are planned for delivery by the end of 1996. Other versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer available today for no-charge download at http://microsoft.com/ie/ include version 2.0 for Windows 3.1 and Macintosh as well as over 23 localized language versions.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) 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, Windows, NetMeeting, ActiveMovie and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Adobe and Acrobat are trademarks of Adobe Systems Inc.
Micrografx is a registered trademark and Micrografx Designer is a trademark of Micrografx Inc.
Macintosh is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc.
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