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IE 5.0: Faster, Smaller and Similar to Netscape

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RALEIGH — Microsoftlaunched its newInternet Explorer 5.0Friday. While they are pushingNetscapefor yet a bigger share of the browser market, the new product works a lot like its primary competition.

Many users had problems finding a download site that was not jammed; possibly an indication of the early popularity of the official release. Bill Gates calls the newest version of Internet Explorer easy to use.

"There's a lot of very impressive internal work that's going on to make this the fastest modern browser," Gates said.

It does take less hard drive space than predecessor 4.0. The screen looks pretty much the same with the tool and address bar at the top. LikeNetscape Navigator, URL mistakes are handled automatically.

One unique feature is a built-in radio. Users can select music from Internet-broadcast stations around the world.

Microsoft's Web site echoes the boss' mantra of fast and modern. There are a lot of new features: new for Microsoft but old hat for Netscape Navigator users. For example, email is handled by a combination of the company's free HotMail and Outlook.

Is Internet Explorer 5.0 a quantum leap? Gates calls it a milestone.

"This vision of what the Internet, plus great software can do, is driving all of our activities," Gates said.

Even free, is it worth upgrading from 4.0? Probably, because it is faster and smaller. Avid Netscape users can easily wait a few months for that company's version of 5.0.

The Internet Explorer 5.0 download does take quite a while, and many sites are very busy.

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Tom Lawrence, Reporter
Terry Cantrell, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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