Beta of IE 5.0 Available for Download

After demonstrating Internet Explorer (IE) 5.0 at Tech-Ed, Microsoft Corp. has posted a beta version of the browser on the company’s Web site.

Microsoft is claiming that Dynamic HTML (DHTML) support and the inclusion of a software development kit make IE 5.0 an easier browser to develop with than previous versions. Additionally, a new engine in IE 5.0 is designed to display documents built with DHTML faster.

Also found in version 5.0 are new features and support for open standards, such as XML and DHTML. XML support, for instance, enables developers to instill XML tags into documents written in HTML. Other scripting capabilities are included that will enable developers to see which technologies have been disabled or are active on a client.

With IE 5.0’s support for XML, DHTML and Cascading Style Sheets, developers can divide Web pages into content, style and behavior. A developer can change Web text without altering a page’s style, and moving pictures or interactive objects can change individually, without affecting other aspects of the Web site. Increased support for drag-and-drop enables developers to embed applications into Web pages.

IE 5.0, according to Microsoft officials, will be more modular than the previous incarnation, thus enhancing the configuration capabilities of the browser onto client machines.

The beta version is intended for developers, but anybody who registers for Microsoft’s Site Builder network can download it.