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Browser battle continues

Library Systems Newsletter [August 1998]

Microsoft Corporation has just released a developer preview of Version 5.0 of its Internet Explorer Web browser. Separately, rival Netscape Communications Corporation said it will deliver a beta version of Communicator 4.5, the company's newest Web browsing client software. Both offerings are designed to make Web browsing a more efficient and interactive experience.

According to Microsoft, features slated for Internet Explorer 5.0 include improvements for displaying pages and certain elements such as tables; the ability to drag and drop links and elements between pages, frames, and even other applications, such as Microsoft Office; and better stability to adequately handle elaborate applications. Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5.0 preview code is available to those who register at the company's SiteBuilder site ( A download of the program comes with a strong warning of its instability.

Microsoft has yet to announce a release date for Internet Explorer 5.0, but observers expect the software to ship next year.

Netscape Communications Corporation has released a new version of Communicator with a focus on simplified browsing, location independence, and improved messaging capabilities. Communicator 4.5 is an interim release as Netscape continues to work with developers on its open-source version of Communicator, Version 5.0, which is due to enter beta testing late this year. Version 4.5 will incorporate a number of browsing improvements, dubbed Smart Browsing, that promise to improve how users access and locate information on the Web. Users will be able to connect to a Web site by typing a trademarked name, such as "BMW," in the location bar of a browser. Users also will be able to type in a generic topic, such as "cars," and be transferred to the Netscape Netcenter site containing information about that topic.

A new "what's related" button will enhance search results and navigation with additional topics and links related to the site users are searching for or visiting. Netscape also has added filtering capabilities to enable users to screen content of a Web site based on ratings. Another new feature is location-independence capabilities for storing users' bookmarks and preferences on a corporate LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) directory server. The feature will enable users to access bookmarks and personalization features from any PC within the organization.

Netscape officials said the improvements being made to Communicator 4.5 will be incorporated into Version 5.0, which is being developed by Netscape engineers and outside developers as part of the company's Mozilla project.

View Citation
Publication Year:1998
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library Systems Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 18 Number 08
Issue:August 1998
Publisher:American Library Association
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Notes:Howard S. White, Editor-in-Chief; Richard W. Boss, Contributing Editor
Subject: Web browsers
Record Number:5779
Last Update:2024-01-17 20:53:35
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00