MS plays down IE quick ship whispers

Microsoft today downplayed rumours of an early release of Internet Explorer (IE) 4.0, amid speculation of a September roll-out for the beta on its Web discussion groups.

UK product manager Martin Gregory refused to deny the possibility of an early release for the full product, saying he expected an end of year ship date.

Netscape was also tight-lipped in discussing a schedule for Navigator 4.0 although plans are also rumoured to be underway to steal a march on Big Green.

Despite criticism of the breakneck pace of browser releases, Gregory added that IT departments will have ample time to evaluate 4.0 as it will share the same code base as IE 3.0. "IE 4.0 builds absolutely on the architecture of Internet Explorer 3.0... Quality of software is always paramount."

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