The company is positioning Internet Explorer 3.0 as an eye-to-eye competitor with the upcoming Version 3.0 of Netscape Communications' Navigator, also due this summer and already out in beta form.
But this release of Explorer was expected to deliver on both Java and plug-in support, as well as an integrated email and Usenet news client that will also not appear in this beta round. Navigator 2.0 has included all three of those features since last September.
Microsoft does offer a separate Internet email and Usenet client called Internet Mail and News, but the software is not integrated with Internet Explorer.
The release also adds support for ActiveX controls. Navigator supports ActiveX controls but only through a plug-in developed by NCompass Labs.
Microsoft released an alpha version of Internet Explorer 3.0 during its Professional Developer Conference in March.
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