Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 is incompatible with some features in at least two popular software packages that make use of its components to display Java and other program code. PC Labs has discovered that some screens or screen regions in Adobe PhotoDeluxe 2.0 and Symantec Corp.'s Norton Utilities for Windows 95 2.0 appear completely blank when both programs are run after IE4 is installed on a computer. Both programs install and use IE 3.0 within their own application windows to display some of program content. A Microsoft representative explained that the problem is tied to the implementation of certain HTML tags that act differently with the new browser.
Adobe and Symantec both confirmed the problem to PC Magazine Online and plan to post patches on their Web sites in the next few days.
PhotoDeluxe 2.0's Internet panel offers wizard-style photo-enhancement tasks, which the program runs directly from Adobe's Web site. The panel also includes links to online photo services provided by PhotoNet, Kodak, FujiFilm, and Pictra. The program normally displays text and images in a tabbed interface.
When IE4 is installed, the entire panel is displayed as white, blank space and is entirely unusable. An Adobe technician explained to PC Labs that IE4 requires different placement of Java code in HTML pages than was required in IE3, and that Adobe was working on replacements for the pages that PhotoDeluxe uses to display its Internet panel.
Similarly, Norton Utilities' Overview application normally displays a summary of programs included in the package. After IE4 is installed, the program screen is blank and unusable. Symantec plans to post an upgrade to fix the problem, and the upgrade will be accessible through the Live Update feature built into Norton Utilities' System Doctor program.
The Readme file that comes with IE4 lists a number of incompatibilities, but these are not among them. One problem listed in Microsoft's Readme concerns Norton Utilities 2.0 and warns that if you install the optional Active Desktop component of IE4, the Norton Recycle Bin feature will no longer work correctly. Symantec confirms that with Active Desktop installed, Norton's Uninstall wizard will be able to restore only deleted files stored in the Norton Protect directory, not deleted files stored in the main Recycle Bin. The Recycle Bin itself remains fully functional.
The problem with Norton's Overview, like the problem with PhotoDeluxe, occurs whether or not Active Desktop is installed. The patch file that Symantec plans to post will fix the Recycle Bin problem in addition to the problem with Overview.