Users of Internet Explorer 5 to Benefit From Enhanced, Flexible Browsing Experience

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 4, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that leading content providers and portal sites spanning business and consumer markets are building innovative extensions to Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5 called Internet Explorer Web Accessories. Internet Explorer Web Accessories provide seamless access to value-added content and services from any content provider and portal site. Released in beta today, Internet Explorer 5 provides content developers an open, componentized platform upon which to build a variety of extensions to the browser’s interface that enhance their Web offerings for customers. Vendors planning to build Web Accessories for Internet Explorer 5 include Alexa Internet, Bloomberg Financial Markets, the MSN
online service and The New York Times on the Web.

“Our goal with Internet Explorer 5 is to provide customers with the easiest way to experience all that the Web has to offer,” said Yusuf Mehdi, director of Windows® marketing at Microsoft. “We are excited to see these popular content providers and portal sites take advantage of Internet Explorer 5 to provide their customers a more complete and seamless Web experience.”

Each of these top vendors has already begun building Web Accessories for Internet Explorer 5 that provide users easier access to their rich content. Beta versions of their Web Accessories are available at . Final versions are planned to be available when the final version of Internet Explorer 5 is released.

Innovative Web Accessories Offer Customers Enhanced Browsing Experience

With Internet Explorer 5, vendors can build quickly downloadable Web Accessories that provide their customers with unique extensions to Internet Explorer 5. These specialized Web Accessories enable vendors to provide their customers with immediate access to value-added content and services during their browsing session.

For example, Bloomberg Financial Markets has used the extensible Explorer Bar architecture in Internet Explorer 5 to provide its customers with up-to-the-minute stock quotes and financial news in a separate pane within the browser. With easy, persistent access to this information at the bottom of the screen in Internet Explorer, customers can stay on top of the latest financial news while still browsing the rest of the Web.

“For users interested in financial news, easy access to timely information is key,” said Jonathan Fram, general manager of the New Media Group at Bloomberg Financial Markets. “Through the open architecture of Internet Explorer, we were able to easily create a customized Bloomberg Explorer Bar that provides users with faster access to important news no matter where they are on the Web.”

MSN is also building a customized Explorer Bar to provide customers with easy access to MSN services and information directly within their browser window. Customers using the MSN Explorer Bar will enjoy easy access to their e-mail, stock quotes and other top news while browsing anywhere on the Web. Users have the ability to customize which information is available through the custom MSN Explorer Bar, as well as how it is presented, in order to enable easier access to MSN content.

In addition to Web Accessories, Internet Explorer 5 offers content providers and portal sites a variety of opportunities to customize and enhance their Web sites and services:

  • One-click home page customization. Sites can offer their users the option to change their home page in one click simply by including a standard script on their Web page.

  • Search bar integration. Sites can offer custom searches optimized for their site within the easy-to-use search bar first introduced in Internet Explorer 4.0, providing users with a consistent experience when searching on the Web.

  • Web-based mail integration. Web-based mail providers, such as MSN Hotmail, can take advantage of the open application model in Internet Explorer to offer users a choice of their service as default mail provider. Users can easily send Web-based mail from within the browser simply by clicking a standard hyperlink in any Web page.

  • Toolbar customization. Developers can create their own custom toolbar button for Internet Explorer 5 that provides users with easy access to their Web Accessories or to their site.

Internet Explorer 5 Brings IntelliSense to the Web to Save Users Time

Today’s release of the Internet Explorer 5 beta brings IntelliSense® technology to the Web, saving users time on the things they do most often. Originally introduced in Microsoft Office, IntelliSense technology is designed to save users time by automating routine tasks and simplifying complex tasks. By building IntelliSense throughout Internet Explorer 5, from detecting network status to simplifying basic navigation, Internet Explorer 5 makes the Web easier and more accessible for everyone. The beta is currently available for testing by IT evaluators and PC enthusiasts.

Pricing and Availability

Internet Explorer 5 beta is available for free (connect-time charges may apply) from the Microsoft Web site at and from the Microsoft Windows Update Web site at . Information on the developer opportunities with Internet Explorer 5 is available at .

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, MSN, Windows and IntelliSense are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners..

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