SAN MATEO - The long-awaited upgrade to Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, the version that will become an interface for Windows, will ship on September 30, the software company confirmed.
Microsoft also announced a "Reserve Your Copy Early" program for Explorer 4.0, in which US users can order a CD-ROM of the browser for $US4.95 - Microsoft Australia will follow suit shortly. The browser will be available for free download from Microsoft's Web site, but company officials said they were offering the CD-ROM - which will be mailed on September 30.
The browser available at the end of September is for Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0 platforms. Microsoft has promised Explorer 4.0 for Windows 3.x and the Macintosh platforms 30 to 90 days later, and for Unix by the end of 1997.
With a "the Web the way you want it" theme, Microsoft has promoted Explorer 4.0 as a "best-of-breed" browser for months. The browser will serve as an interface for the Windows operating platform, meaning users can access their applications and hard disk through the browser and move straight from the Internet to their hard disk and back again.
Security flaws prompted Microsoft to take extra security steps with the browser, chiefly with "security zones" that let users and administrators assign different security levels.
Explorer 4.0's features include Active Channels and Webcasting push technology, as well as support for the Channel Definition Format push standard Microsoft is promoting, and Dynamic HTML.