March passes without Explorer 4.0 preview

The 'platform preview' release of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 has missed its second deadline, after failing to appear on the Microsoft Website on Monday. And although a Microsoft representative describes the situation as 'day-to-day,' it likely will be more than a week before the browser is ready.

The "platform preview" release of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 has missed its second deadline, after failing to appear on the Microsoft Website on Monday.

Originally due March 17, the developer's release of Explorer 4.0 first was delayed for two

weeks so that Microsoft officials could iron out security problems that have plagued the

browser. But on Monday, the platform preview was not available for download, and

no new date had been set. And although a Microsoft representative describes the

situation as "day-to-day," it likely will be more than a week before the browser is ready.

"It is not ready for prime time for developers yet," the representative says. "They are

making sure it is ready when they post it."

A handful of developers have privately tested Explorer 4.0 this year, but Microsoft has not

made it available publicly. Microsoft officials still hope to have the browser - which will

become a new interface for Windows - ready for final release by mid-third quarter, the

representative says.

The Redmond, Washington-based company has been plagued with questions about

the browser's security for weeks. Holes have been discovered that allow Web pages to

execute commands on a remote system, let Webmasters hide icons on a page to

execute applications on a client machine, allow scripts to add or remove controls from

Explorer, and send out Windows 95 passwords on machines that are configured to

share files.

A New Zealand Microsoft spokesman says the company is "weighing up the whole browser issue" at present but announcements can be expected soon.

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