Microsoft dealt a new hand in the numbers game today when it said that more than a million users have downloaded the full version of Internet Explorer (IE) 3.0.
The firm said that English language downloads were already double the total of IE 2.0, released in December 1995, and that a frenzied total of 45 million hits struck Microsoft on the first day of availability. "It is clear customers believe we have a better product," said Brad Chase, vice-president of Microsoft's Internet platform and tools division. More foreign language releases including French, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese and Chinese, are out this week.
Following another well-trodden Microsoft track, the firm said that commissioned research by Usability Sciences Corp. found 79 per cent of users preferred IE to Navigator in all 14 categories tested, including ease of use, ease of learning, and completing sample tasks such as visiting Web pages, downloading files and customising the browser UI.
A third piece of propaganda is Microsoft's "Dare to Compare" Challenge, analogous to Pepsi's Taste Test, that allows users to try Navigator and IE side by side in a Web-based trial.