Microsoft will put version 4.0 of Internet Explorer (IE) into the beta test spotlight on February 24, according to reports coming out of the US today. The UK has been promised the first public view of the product at a February 25 press conference to kick off the Windows Show in London's Olympia.
The release will go beyond the usual style of browser revision by blending the Windows Explorer and Web access features, Microsoft said.
According to a report in US trade journal PC Week IE 4.0 includes a customisable tool bar with searching, inporoved printing control, and AutoComplete, a tool for speeding up entering URLs.
As promised, users can choose to install the standalone browser or whole Active Desktop package which adds Web browser-style viewing of local system resources.
However, sources said that a beta test version for public consumption may not be available until as late as April.