Some of Britain's largest Internet service providers (ISPs) have thrown their support behind Internet Explorer 3.0, Microsoft's new candidate to topple Netscape's Navigator as the world's most widely-used Internet browser. Among those pledging to base their future service on Internet Explorer are British Telecommunications (BT), Compuserve UK, Demon Internet, Ireland Online and UUnet Pipex, part of the Unipalm Group, a subsidiary of UUnet Technologies.
"We believe that through these partnerships, 75% of new Internet users will start their Net experience using Internet Explorer 3.0," says Martin Gregory, internet platform products manager for Microsoft UK.
BT announced that by the end of September it will offer its Internet customers a complete Microsoft solution, including Explorer and Microsoft's companion email, chat and news applications, and its communications stack and dialer facilities. In addition BT says it would be the first UK company to join Microsoft's Internet referral service.
The service allows users of Windows 95 and Windows NT to choose a suitable ISP by clicking on an Internet icon to get a list of local providers. Users will then be able to subscribe to the service on the spot. Only those ISPs supporting Internet Explorer will be listed.
Europe's largest ISP in the corporate market, UUNet Pipex, is also supporting Explorer and joining the referral server, which runs on the network provided by UUNet's parent company, UUnet Technologies.
Compuserve says it will ship its new-look interface, incorporating Explorer, with the autumn edition of its GO magazine to 350,000 UK customers. This will incorporate Explorer as its default Internet browser.
Demon, which claims to have 70% of the UK Internet market, says it is also making Explorer its preferred browser for customers.