IE 4.0 Platform Preview skips 'channels' UI

Microsoft's Platform Preview posting of Internet Explorer 4.0 packs most of the long-promised features with the marked exception of the 'channels' user interface that provides pre-sets for premium content sites.

Martin Gregory, Internet platforms product manager at Microsoft, said that channels will be implemented in the beta version of IE 4.0 in "a couple of months", allowing users to "tune in" to favourite Web sites and schedule downloads so that new content can be read offline.

Other key features such as support for the Active Desktop and Dynamic HTML made it into the Platform Preview although Microsoft is cautioning that only savvy users should download the code. Despite the warnings, Gregory maintains that the software is "incredibly stable ... I've been using it as my only browser for quite some time". One surprise feature is the security tool Wallet, a place to keep credit card, password, digital certificates and digital keys.

Separately, Gregory said that the version leaked out and distributed on various Web sites yesterday is the same as that posted today: "The server was left open for a while when we test posted at the weekend, and [IE 4.0] shouldn't have been posted up until today. There's no difference between the builds; they're both version 544.1 in Help/About."

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