Microsoft has released a new version of Internet Explorer 4.0 which is small, fast and highly stable.
The browser itself takes up only 2.6Mb of disk space, but is pretty much feature-complete. It also offers users the ability to switch between Microsoft's own Java Virtual Machine or a VM approved by Sun Microsystems, on the fly. And, like Netscape Navigator, it ships with the popular QuickTime plug-in.
Unfortunately, it's not available for Windows.
Yes, the MacOS version of IE 4.0, released on the day of Steve Jobs' keynote at MacWorld Expo, is a fine product. Teamed with Outlook Express, it so clearly outshines the opposition that henceforth the only major reasons for Mac users to stick with Navigator are ideological.
And as the rest of the world struggles with the 64Mb monster browser that Microsoft has made for its own platform, Windows users may, just for once, be a little envious as they gaze across the divide.
Meanwhile, Microsoft itself seems to have gone quite giddy over its growing rapprochement with Apple Computer. One of three stories on the topic carried on the Microsoft Website quotes former Apple developer (and now of MS-Bay, the 200-strong division which does the software giant's MacOS work) Scott Knaster as saying that when Microsoft and Apple announced their agreement at MacWorld last year, "I felt like I did when I was a fan of Crosby, Stills and Nash and a fan of Neil Young and they got together."
Uh, like, groovy, guys ...