Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 to be Final Standalone Version
Monday June 2nd, 2003
Over the last few days, several people have written in with the news that there will be no further standalone versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Future enhancements to the browser will only be delivered in the form of operating system upgrades. The news was confirmed by Internet Explorer Program Manager Brian Countryman in a May 7th online chat discussing the changes made to Internet Explorer for Windows Server 2003. He said: "As part of the OS, IE will continue to evolve, but there will be no future standalone installations. IE6 SP1 is the final standalone installation... Legacy OSes have reached their zenith with the addition of IE 6 SP1. Further improvements to IE will require enhancements to the underlying OS." The next consumer version of Windows, codenamed Longhorn, is due in 2005.
Update! According to a CNET News.com article, the standalone version of IE may, in fact, continue to be updated. "If you're using IE now, for Mac or Windows, you will have access to any appropriate updates," the report quotes a Microsoft representative as saying. "There will be continued innovation and improvement... It's not going anywhere as a product. What happens in the Longhorn timeframe — it's too early to discuss."
Now I could be wrong here but hasn't MSN Explorer already been released about a year ago? I'm sure I remember being constantly hassed by Hotmail asking me if I'd like to try it out.
Isn't it just an extremely newbie friendly front-end to IE that attempts to combine MSN Messenger into the same UI, and hides all the complicated things (like the fact that you can actually visit sites that don't have an MS or MSN logo in the corner of their page ;-)