TechWeb/Reuters: Microsoft Bulks Up Browser For Multimedia

“Microsoft Corp. has taken an opening shot at Internet rival
America Online, Inc. by prepping an improved version of a new Web
browser that blends in video and music capability and content from
its MSN Internet service. … The software is the first of a series
of steps Microsoft is taking this fall to beef up every aspect of

“Among the key improvements in MSN Explorer is the ability to
customize functions. For example, a user who doesn’t care for
sports news can replace that icon with one that links to an
entertainment page… Web novices will also find the browser easier
to use. For example, if a user tries to type an e-mail address in
the Web browser instead of opening an e-mail program, the browser
will realize that the user is trying to write a message and will
launch the e-mail program for them.”

“The software also softens the utilitarian feel of
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Web browser by using pastel colors
and cartoonish icons. It also boasts a built-in media player so
users can continue to surf the Web or work online while watching a
news clip or listening to a song.”