With the rapid expansion of Microsoft's Internet Explorer to the number 1 browser on the Market brought about by its price tag of free, it appears as though there is not a clear vision as to the next major update to this application.
Even though Microsoft are continuing to add new features and functions to Internet Explorer, they are not sure where to position the product, for example, in comparison with the more consumer-oriented MSN Explorer that was released last October.
Another product currently under development is the Netdocs product, aimed more at the 'knowledge-worker'. So with MSN Explorer aimed at the consumer, Netdocs as the business platform, where does this leave Internet Explorer?
Internet Explorer version 6.0 has not yet been released but it is thought that this will arrive at about the same time as they release Whistler beta 2, by embedding version 6.0 as part of Whistler beta 2. Microsoft Whistler is expected to be released around February.
Sources have stated that they think that future releases of Internet Explorer will not appear as a standalone application in future, but only available as part of Whistler. However, a Microsoft spokesperson claimed that Microsoft will also make Internet Explorer version 6.0 beta 1 available for download separately.
Currently, Microsoft are marketing Internet Explorer as the browser for the more advanced user, whereas MSN Explorer is aimed for those new to computers. Version 6.0 is thought to include a variety of user-interface enhancements and complience with several world wide web consortium standards.