Microsoft has finally placed its browser in the most fertile ground in New Zealand's consumer Internet industry - Xtra.
The latest version of the Xtra CD-Rom contains both the Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers. There are, however, three versions of Navigator (2.02, 3.01 and 4.01) and only version 3.02 of IE. All are Xtra-branded.
Telecom signed a license with Netscape in 1995, before Microsoft had a competitive offering in the browser field, and Netscape CEO Jim Clark made a video appearance at the Xtra launch last May.
Clear Net, some months slower out of the blocks, was able to deal with Microsoft locally and make Explorer the default browser in its connection kits.
Xtra communications business manager Peter Hutterli says the ISP has "been working with Microsoft over the past few months to put the offer together and we're very pleased to make Internet Explorer available."
Hutterli says the issue is one of choice, in that "people like to choose a browser to suit their needs, so we felt it important to have an Internet Explorer offering.
"Xtra will continue its business relationship with "the other significant player in the browser field", Netscape, says Hutterli.
The CD-Rom, produced by Terabyte Interactive, also contains CyberPatrol parent control software, Shockwave and VivoActive plug-ins, and video introductions from Fiona McDonald, presenter of Xtra's infomercial TV show.