From: glen mccready To: Cc: Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 10:08:37 -0400

Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <>
Forwarded-by: Eric Hendrickson <>
Forwarded-by: "Erik E. Rantapaa" <>

  Microsoft leans toward a Unix platform version of its Internet
  Explorer browser

  By Dana Gardner
  InfoWorld Electric

  Posted at 10:17 AM PT, May 29, 1996
  Microsoft Corp. is investigating whether to partner with a
  software vendor or to develop on its own a Unix operating
  system-based version of the Internet Explorer Web browser, a
  company product manager said Tuesday.

  Just hours before Microsoft posted the latest beta version of
  its 32-bit Internet Explorer (IE) for Windows 95 and Windows
  NT 4.0 on Tuesday, Steven Guggenheimer, product manager for
  Internet Explorer, acknowledged a pursuit of a Unix version of

  "We're looking into a Unix-based IE. We're talking with
  partners. We need to find the best strategy -- whether it's
  ourselves or others," he said.

  Such a move would be momentous for Microsoft, which for most
  its history as a software developer has avoided any connection
  to Unix products. Microsoft's Windows NT operating system
  products are designed as a RISC-based alternative to the
  myriad versions of Unix available today.

  But Unix as a server operating system and development platform
  has arisen from what many pundits predicted would soon be
  ashes. The Internet and intranet age has not only given a new
  lease on life to many Unix products, but it has also squelched
  talk of the imminent demise of the mainframe computer.

  And its the very same Internet forces reshaping the computing
  landscape that may be propelling Microsoft to market its first
  application for Unix systems.

  Steve Ballmer, Microsoft executive vice president, gave a hint
  earlier this month why Redmond would shift course and produce
  a browser for Unix-based workstations. In pursuit of a larger
  share of the mammoth browser market, Microsoft has been
  dealing with PC and workstation makers to have its IE browser
  bundled with newly shipping hardware.

  Ballmer hinted, however, that not having a Unix browser was
  posing a obstacle to this OEM-based strategy to try and catch
  up with No. 1 browser maker Netscape Communications Corp.,
  which holds some 85 percent of the worldwide browser market
  with its Navigator product line.

  "We might just have to get one of those," Ballmer said of a
  Unix-based browser.

  For now, Microsoft's IE 3.0 beta is available only on such
  32-bit platforms as Windows 95 and Windows NT, said
  Guggenheimer. Beginning on Tuesday, visitors to Microsoft's
  home page at may download for free
  the latest version of IE, which supports ActiveX technologies
  and recognizes OCX controls, formerly known as OLE controls.

  IE 3.0 beta 1 also supports the DocObject specification to
  allow for applications to appear inside frames within the
  browser, so workers, for example, can simultaneously view a
  word processor or spreadsheet document from their HTML
  browsers. And IE 3.0 beta 1 supports Visual Basic Script and
  the JavaScript programming languages, said Guggenheimer.

  Microsoft plans to release IE 3.0 betas for the Macintosh and
  Windows 3.1 in "six to eight weeks," said Guggenheimer. At
  that time Microsoft will also release a second beta of IE 3.0
  for 32-bit platforms that at least partially supports Java
  applications, he said.

  The current IE 3.0 beta also includes a tool called NetMeeting
  to provide communications features such as Internet telephony,
  application sharing, and whiteboard functions. See MCI to
  enhance conferencing services with Microsoft's Internet-based

  Just last week Microsoft released the final version of IE 2.0,
  which is also available for free from the Microsoft home page.

Please direct your comments to InfoWorld Electric News Editor Dana Gardner.

               Copyright =A9 1996 InfoWorld Publishing Company