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PC makers will bundle IE 4

More than 50 PC makers will be bundling Microsoft's IE 4.0 with their machines about a month after the new browser ships September 30.

Microsoft (MSFT), which is shipping its Internet Explorer 4.0 at the end of the month, said today that more than 50 PC manufacturers will be bundling the new version of the browser with their machines.

The manufacturers will also create "push channels" that work with IE 4.0 to give their customers access to updated help desks and other company information.

The channels should be ready when the OEMs begin to ship PCs with the new browser about a month after the IE 4.0 launch September 30, a Microsoft spokeswoman said.

Of the 50-plus OEMs that will bundle IE 4.0, it is unclear how many will also include Netscape's Navigator. None of the OEMs has signed a deal to make IE 4.0 the preferred or exclusive browser, but their development of custom Explorer channels and Active Desktop components is an indication of their commitment to Microsoft's platform, according IE 4 director of marketing Yusuf Mehdi.

In other IE news, the company announced support today for what the company calls "scriptlets," or reusable components built with Dynamic HTML and scripting languages such as JavaScript or VB Script.

However, scriptlets will be viewable only with IE 4.0, as they are not yet supported by any other browsers. Web designers who use them will have to add an alternative object to their pages for users of other browser software.