In a fast-moving market, a company's browser plans can change in the blink of an eye.
While it's delivering a couple of features early for the Mac, Microsoft has decided to skip entirely the Unix version of Explorer 3.0 so it can concentrate on bringing out the beta version of Explorer 4.0 by the end of this year.
Microsoft said that it's shuffling features between its Mac browsers simply because the features were ready and they wanted to get them out to users. "There were a few features that were far enough along in the development process that they could throw them in," a company spokeswoman said.
The new 3.01 version of IE for the Mac includes a feature called Monitoring Favorites that notifies users by electronic mail, dialog box alert, sound, or flashing IE icon when a frequently visited Web site is updated. A new AutoComplete function completes a Web site address that is listed in Favorites when a user starts to type it in. An Apple fan, for example, could type in "Apple" and IE 3.01 for Mac would fill in the "http://www." and ".com."
Both features are still slated to be a part of IE 4.0, according to Microsoft. The Mac platform is the first to receive the new additions to the browser in a final version, the company said. Netscape Communications has offered an AutoComplete feature in Navigator for some time.
IE 3.01 for Macintosh is available for free download at Microsoft's Web site. The browser runs on any PowerPC or 680x0 series Apple computer. The browser will also be available with the upcoming release of the Mac OS 8 operating system.