Demand for Internet Explorer 5 Beta is More Than Twice As High as for Internet Explorer 4

REDMOND, Wash., December 8, 1998 — According to Keith Furman, a beta tester from West Nyack, N.Y., the Internet Explorer 5 beta has made complex tasks easier and common tasks faster, dramatically increasing his productivity while surfing the Web.

“It’s just easier to find what I’m looking for, whether it be a Web page or a person or whatever,” said Furman, who is testing the Internet Explorer 5 beta for Microsoft. “The product hasn’t changed radically from Internet Explorer 4, so I don’t have to learn anything new. Most of the changes are small refinements that combined make Internet Explorer a lot easier to use.”

Furman is among hundreds of beta testers who are reporting high levels of satisfaction with Internet Explorer 5 beta. More than 93 percent of Microsoft customers testing Internet Explorer 5 beta say they are satisfied with the new simplicity features of the product, and that they use these features on a day-to-day basis while browsing the Web, according to a recent Microsoft survey of nearly 1,200 beta testers.

“Thanks to the Microsoft IntelliSense technology, Internet Explorer 5 is delivering a breakthrough in Web browsing simplicity,” said Yusuf Mehdi, director of Windows marketing at Microsoft. “Customers are telling us this focus on simplicity in the Internet Explorer will make it the most compelling release yet.”

Released for public testing a month ago, Internet Explorer 5 beta is designed to give information technology (IT) managers and PC enthusiasts an opportunity to evaluate the technology, provide feedback and become familiar with the product’s features early in the development process. During the first month, demand for Internet Explorer 5 beta has been more than double that of the Internet Explorer 4 public beta in the first month after that beta was released.

Customers testing Internet Explorer 5 say the beta’s incorporation of IntelliSense technologies for the Web has made the product simpler to use, according to the survey. Originally introduced in Microsoft Office, IntelliSense is a collection of Microsoft technologies incorporated into the browser to save users time by automating routine tasks and simplifying complex ones. Hundreds of browsing tasks such as searching, organizing and accessing information have been simplified and automated throughout Internet Explorer 5 to improve the overall browsing experience.

Furman says he especially likes the enhancements to the Search and Favorites features as well as the addition of the “Go” button. The AutoComplete feature, which provides users with a drop-down list of choices that match the one they’re typing, is “much less obtrusive” than earlier browsers, making it faster and easier to search for information, Furman said. In addition, the Favorites bar has been revamped, making it easier to organize his favorite Web sites. The Go button gives him another option for getting to a Web site once he has entered the address in the Address bar. “It is so much easier for me to quickly find the exact pages I want,” Furman said.

In addition to commenting on the new simplicity features, beta testers also provided feedback on the automation and flexibility features of the Internet Explorer 5 beta. For example, 93 percent of users who customized the installation of Internet Explorer 5 reported they are pleased with the way their browser enables them to automatically install additional components as necessary, such as the Microsoft Virtual Machine for Java. In addition, 89 percent of respondents found that the beta integrated well with existing software on their PC, such as their e-mail and office productivity programs.

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