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Alexa stats now on IE 4

Alexa Internet updates its technology for Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 users.

Alexa Internet has updated its "surf engine" technology with a version designed specifically for Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 users.

Alexa Internet's technology is installed into a user's browser and provides site statistics and related sites wherever she or he goes on the Web. The goal is to aid the surfer in doing research or comparison shopping, for example, the firm said.

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The new technology, Alexa 2.0 for IE 4.0, loads like a Web page and can be installed in less than a minute, according to Alexa Internet. The 45K application is installed with the click of a mouse; there are no download and install procedures. Alexa 2.0 appears in the browser frame as a toolbar and displays information about the sites a user visits in the IE sidebar.

The site statistics by Alexa 2.0 include to whom the site is registered, how popular it is, how many sites link to it, and whether it is safe for e-commerce. The technology also offers a list of related sites based on other Alexa user patterns.

Netscape incorporated Alexa technology into in its upcoming Communicator 4.5 suite, as part of the "smart browsing" offerings. A "what's related" feature, developed from a partnership between Netscape and Alexa, provides a drop-down box with an automatically generated list of recommended related sites. The feature relies on servers for Netcenter (Netscape's portal site) for a database of links, which are automatically updated via software that tracks surfers' Web usage.

Alexa is archiving publicly available content on the Web so that users who get a "404 Not Found" error message can view the most recently archived version of an unavailable Web page.

"The Alexa service has been the Web's best-kept secret, reserved largely for those Web surfers who like comparison-shopping the sites they are surfing," Peter Krasilovsky, vice president of research firm Arlen Communications, said in a statement.