Version of 5.5 of Internet Explorer has been made available for download from Microsoft’s Web site – although Microsoft seems to be making almost no noise about the release. Launched at the company’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC), the release was almost overlooked in all of the huballoo surrounding the sneak peak at Windows 2000 64-bit Edition given by Bill Gates at the conference.
The main new features include HTML editing from within IE, vertical text layout, and a print preview button – as well as improved support for printing in general, cascading style sheets, frames and the SMIL streaming media language.
The HTML editing tools are basic, but allow designers to stipulate content to be editable in a WYSIWYG way within the browser. Vertical text layout allows traditional Chinese and Japanese characters to be correctly laid out. Print preview, which Microsoft claims is the most requested feature by users, allows the printed forms of HTML pages to be looked at before sending to the printer.
The browser will also now include Macromedia’s Flash and Shockwave players as standard. Internet Explorer 5.5 in currently only available for the Windows platform.