Windows '97: MS gives IE 4.0 public preview

Microsoft this morning gave the first public pre-release viewing of Internet Explorer 4.0 (IE 4.0) at the Windows Show '97 at Olympia, London.

In what it called a Platform Preview version, Microsoft demoed new features of the browser including Dynamic HTML, Active Desktop and intelligent help facilities. "With version 4.0 we've brought forward some features that were originally on the drawing board for IE 5.0," said Martin Gregory, Internet Platforms product manager.

Miicrosoft demonstrated the ability to create transitions, filters and effects including sounds and said that the complete version of IE 4.0 will allow developers to use advanced layout capabilities including transparencies and precise placement of objects. However, a working version of the code refused to cooperate in a demo in front of 100 UK journalists this morning.

IE 4.0 is replete with help features including AutoComplete, a tool that allows auto-completion of URLs. Another help feature is the Search Pane which lets users see search results and pages simultaneously. Also included is a Web Publishing Wizard and Personal Web Server for testing pages. A FrontPage-like HTML editing tool, FrontPad, is also bundled.

Microsoft can be contacted by telephone on 0345-002000.

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