The Technofile Web site has moved.

Technofile is now located at
Please update your links, bookmarks and Favorites.  

Internet Explorer 4.0 features

technofile  by al fasoldt

Columns and commentaries in a life-long dance with technology

Simple gray rule

Internet Explorer 4.0 - Features - February 2

Here's the latest list of features for IE 4.0 from the Internet Explorer 4.0 Info Center Features page:

Please keep in mind that the feature set of IE 4.0 is not final and will probably be modified from what is listed below.

Also, this list is by no means complete. It contains only publicly released information about IE 4.0 from various web sites and newsgroups.


Internet Explorer 4.0


3-D Viewer

3-D viewer technology from Intervista Software. The 3-D technology is based on VRML.


Active Desktop

The name given to the combination of the browser and the desktop. The browser is the the desktop and the desktop is the browser. Also, custom content brought down directly to the desktop in the NewsPane.


Active Themes

Similar to the Desktop Themes from Microsoft Plus, Active Themes set properties throughout the interface such as background sounds, screen savers, icons, images, along with new updated content and/or live content.



Defined topic areas in the NewsPane. You can group information sources into different channels and have them download automatically.


Dynamic HTML

Formerly known by the code named Trident and originally planned as part of IE 5.0. Extensions to HTML that allow you to create dynamic web pages with little coding and allows the HTML to be updated while users are viewing it. You will be able to change fonts, colors, insert more text, remove text, and more, all by updating the page the user has already downloaded. You can move items such as images around a page based on absolute X,Y coordinates. All the features of Dynamic HTML can be done without downloading a new page and without any ActiveX controls.



A lightweight HTML editor. The feature sets of FrontPad to FrontPage are similar to WordPad to Word. Used to create customized views of the desktop, folders, and other elements of the new Web View interface.


Internet Shortcuts Enhancements

With added HTML code on a web site, Internet Shortcuts will track the description of the site, the author of the site, when the site was last updated, and what is new on the site. The number of times you have visited the web site will also be tracked. This information will be in the Properties window of the shortcut.


Hover Select

When the mouse pointer passes over icons, they are automatically selected and underlined. The type turns blue and the pointer turns into a hand. No clicking is necessary to select an icon and instead of a double-click, a single click launches applications and opens documents and folders.


Java VM with AFC

Application Foundation Classes, libraries that offer prebuilt code for creating elements of the user interface for Java applications, will be included in IE 4.0 along with an updated Java virtual machine.



The right third of the desktop which contains specific Channels that provide live updates of information you select. Implemented with WebBars.


Offline Reading

Improved reading of web pages when not connected to the Internet. Utilized by Web Check. Sometimes called Sticky Cache.


PointCast Network 97

Due in the second quarter of 1997. PointCast will be a "premier content provider for the Active Desktop."


Printing Improvements

Drag-and-drop printing as well as enhanced frames and tables printing. Also, background printing and selective printing, which allows users to print only portions of a document.


IE 4.0 will also utilize recursive pages, meaning that when a user prints an HTML page with a table of contents, the browser will automatically print the linked pages in the table of contents.


Microsoft has also been working to enhance web authorship, which would allow web authors to code pages for optimum printing.


Schedule Agent

A system applet that allows you to schedule when programs run. An advanced version of System Agent, an applet included with Microsoft Plus. Used with WebCheck.


Scripting Update

The JScript engine will be updated to make it compatible with Netscape's JavaScript 1.0. The VBScript engine will also be updated.


Site Maps

Give a hierarchical view of the web site. They are not based on the HTML storage built into a site; the web author provides the details about the site with an OBJECT tag.


Site maps are supported with the use of an .SMP file, a plain text file created by the web author that contains the description of a site hierarchy and other information including:


- The document's name, URL, size, and date last modified

- An index to the associated icon or a URL for the associated icon

- The location of the hierarchy

- The way to display the file


Smart Favorites

In the background IE 4.0 can check to see which of your Favorites links have been updated since you last visited. A red dot appears on the icon of those that have changed. Tool-tips tell you what is new (if the page author adds a special META tag) and when the page was last updated.


Start Menu Enhancements

IE 4.0 adds a Browse the Web option which has three branches. Start Page opens your browser to the home page you have chosen. Search the Web calls up your browser and your preferred search engine. Smart Favorites features WebCheck and monitors web pages in your Favorites folder or on your desktop and automatically notifies you of changes to these pages.



HTML frames that behave similar to the taskbar in that they can be docked to any edge of the screen, popped out as a floating window, or made always-on-top.



Part of Smart Favorites. You can have WebCheck do its monitoring either at specified times or whenever your system is idle via the System Agent. It updates Channels and any web pages you have specified. This will allow you to read the information from your desktop channels, and your favorite sites while you are not even connected to the Internet.


Web View

A fifth file-viewing option along with the current Large Icons, Small Icons, List, and Details. Enabling Web View turns your interface into the Active Desktop.

 Image courtesy of Adobe Systems Inc.technofile: [Articles] [Home page] [Comments:]