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Technology / AI and automation


Microsoft Corp has introduced preview versions of its Internet Explorer 4.0 for two of the more mature platforms, Unix and 16- bit Windows 3.1. It hopes its long-promised effort to give IE 4.0 for Unix the look and feel of Unix’s Common Development Environment/Motif user interface won’t be lost on the Unix community from which it’s looking for some brownie points for its work. Unusually for ports to non-Redmond environments, Microsoft’s claiming most of the development is it’s own handiwork, though it admits tapping Windows-on-Unix shop Mainsoft Inc, PC-to-Unix connectivity company Hummingbird Communications Ltd and other third party technologies, plus Hewlett-Packard Co engineers for the HP-UX version. It supports JavaScript and VB Script as well as HTML. The Unix version is at preview 1 release and 16-bit Windows on preview 2. Both will be released in production versions next quarter. The preview release is on Sun Microsystems Inc’s Solaris; versions for HP-UX, AIX and Irix will follow when the production version ships. The introduction of IE 4.0 on yet more non-Windows 95 platforms appears to further erode the claim Microsoft is laying before the Department of Justice’s anti-trust investigation that IE is an integral component of Windows 95 and cannot be stripped from Windows 95 shipments. Microsoft’s response is that IE is joined at the hip with 32-bit Windows environments, but not others. On the contentious issue of Java support, Microsoft says the Unix and Windows 3.1 versions incorporate the same parts of Java as Windows 95, namely it is missing Java Native Method Interface (JNI) and Java Remote Method Invocation (RMI) mechanisms from its JDK 1.1 implementation. The Windows version, which has a footprint of 15Mb of disk space – includes the Outlook express email client and support for the webcasting Active Channel technology, which the Unix version will have when it ships in a production version.

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CBR Staff Writer

CBR Online legacy content.