Small enhancements give IE5 a big boost

With the release of Internet Explorer 5.0, Microsoft Corp. has not added any major features to its World Wide Web browser, but the company has made dozens of lesser enhancements that add up to a smoother ride on the Web for end users and fewer headaches for systems administrators. Among the most we

With the release of Internet Explorer 5.0, Microsoft Corp. has not added any major features to its World Wide Web browser, but the company has made dozens of lesser enhancements that add up to a smoother ride on the Web for end users and fewer headaches for systems administrators.

Among the most welcome changes, IE5 is more stable, so users will experience fewer crashes and lockups. And, thanks in large part to new caching techniques, it seems to load pages faster. Caching involves storing frequently needed information locally, such as the text of a Web site, so that the software does not have to retrieve it across the Internet repeatedly. Among other changes, IE5 caches the layout of a Web site as well as the content, while IE4 did not.

Still, at first glance, users will see very little different when booting up IE5. The interface looks virtually the same as in the previous version. The toolbar has not changed, and the panel to the left of the main display can be toggled to display either search tools, favorites (bookmarks) or a listing of previously visited sites.

Spend a little more time with the program, however, and some significant differences between IE4 and IE5 emerge.

To begin with, IE4's already excellent search tools have been revamped in IE5. You can still pop open a search panel on the left side of the display so that you can move through search results without having to backtrack from Web sites, as other browsers require.

Now, however, the search panel lets you specify whether to search for a Web page, a person's address, a company or organization, a map or a previous search. Depending upon which option you select, IE5 will automatically employ different search engines. If you are searching for an e-mail address, for example, IE5 will automatically check InfoSpace.com and Bigfoot.com, two search engines that specialize in retrieving names, phone numbers and addresses.

Even better, regardless of which general type of search you specify, IE5 will automatically step through different search engines for the terms you have specified.

The only knock on IE5's search tools is that you cannot specify that a search be performed only on one search engine low on the list of engines. The first search must always be on whichever engine you have specified as the first in the cycle. You cannot even access a list of search engines until you have used that first engine. After that, you can click the Next button to summon a look-up list and then select the alternate engine you want to use.

In addition, IE5 offers a grab bag of lesser, but still very welcome, enhancements. In fact, day to day some of the so-called minor enhancements may prove to some users to be even more welcome than the major enhancements. Take, for example, IE5's new ability to complete Uniform Resource Locator entries automatically as users type them by looking at sites previously visited.

Another seemingly minor enhancement is IE5's new ability to save an entire Web page, including images. That may not seem like a big deal until you try to mail an article to a contractor and find that, with another browser, the page comes through with the diagrams.

While nearly all of the improvements in this version of Internet Explorer are ease-of-use enhancements to the user interface, there are a few other improvements that will please users and systems administrators. IE5 makes connecting to the Internet easier through its new ability to autodetect the available types of connections and connect appropriately. The program also provides enhanced support for Hypertext Markup Language 4.0 and Extensible Markup Language -- two technologies increasingly being used to build Web pages.

The caution to consider before moving to Internet Explorer from another browser is that the program is hungry for memory and disk space. Where Netscape Communications Corp.'s Navigator requires only 8M of system memory and 11M of disk space, a minimal install of IE5 under Windows 95 or 98 requires 16M of RAM and 45M of disk space.

NEXT STORY: Popularity Problems

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.