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IE snags new partners

Microsoft announces that Arthur Andersen, Sprint, and Compaq Computer agree to make Internet Explorer 3.0 their preferred browser, winning another round in its browser wars against Netscape.

Microsoft (MSFT) announced today that Arthur Andersen, Sprint (FON), and Compaq Computer (CPQ) have agreed to offer Internet Explorer 3.0 on their systems, winning another round for Microsoft in the browser wars against Netscape Communications.

The browser deal with Sprint, which previously used the Netscape Navigator browser, was first reported by CNET this summer. It came as Sprint rolled out its Internet access service nationally. But the other deals were not expected.

Netscape's Navigator still remains the dominant browser in the marketplace, yet deals such as these could add tens of thousands of new IE users.

Arthur Anderson said it chose Explorer, along with other Microsoft Internet development products, for its corporate intranet.

Compaq chose the browser for its 15,000-employee corporate intranet, called Compaq Inline, which allows the company to communicate internally.

Sprint PCS, which is building a digital personal communications services network, also chose Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 for its intranet.

As expected, Sprint also said the Microsoft browser would be included in its Passport Internet service, which is being rolled out nationally. Sprint also said it struck a deal with Excite to offer a branded Net search engine, joining other companies in such alliances.

Microsoft Internet Explorer will be available on CD-ROMs in early 1997. Additionally, Sprint will continue to distribute and support Netscape Navigator Internet client software.