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Internet Explorer 5.5
Last updated: 7/13/00

Search.  After poking around the "new" search capabilities, I found that the Search function had not really changed; however, I'll digress and take this opportunity (since I went to the trouble to grab some screen shots) to point-out a  feature which some people may have overlooked.  Actually, the search displays are pages on Microsoft's site, so they should be the same on IE 5.0, etc.  If one clicks more in the abbreviated main search menu an expanded list of search resources is presented as shown to the right.  Look up a word is in the list and includes an online encyclopedia, dictionary, and thesaurus, which are very handy.

The Find a Web page defaults to MSN's search engine, but can be customized for other search engines.  Goggle, is still not included as one of the search engine choices, but if you choose Yahoo!, you will get Google, as Yahoo! recently switched to Google for its web search engine.

Esoteric gut enhancements.  Most of the significant  changes in IE 5.5 won't be noticed at first because they involve new capabilities for developers/programmers.  These include  Dynamic HTML functions such as transparent frames, which allow one frame to show through another, faster frame rendering (our Discussion Forum, which is the only part of the Digest in frames, seems faster), and many fancy features found in desktop applications, such as drop-down menus and pop-up objects (menus, etc.) which can be displayed outside of the browser window.  Once these features are incorporated into web sites they will be quite apparent (if you have the right web borwser).  You can read more about these changes on Microsoft's site.

Download to install later.  For those who want to download the entire IE 5.5 suite or full download for specific versions of Windows, run Setup as previously mentioned, choose "Install Minimal, or customize your components," click Advanced, and check Download only (I forgot to before capturing the screen).  Note "Full" at the end of the line.  From there you can select a Full down load for Windows 95/98, NT, 2000, and even Windows Me.  Goodbye Windows 3.x, Windows for Workgroups, and NT 3.51 unless it's in the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (EIAK) like it was for the IE 5.01 EIAK  The files for the download will be put in C:\>Windows Update Setup Files unless you specify otherwise.  The full download for Win 95/98 is about 30 MBytes.

Bottom Line.  Is this version of IE worth downloading and installing?  Yes, if you have a broadband Internet connection.  Maybe, if you are using a dial-up, have good connection, and are patient/retired.  Should one switch from Netscape?  I think so.

Larry

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