Internet Explorer for Mac

Internet Explorer for Mac

Infobox Software
name = Internet Explorer for Mac

caption = Internet Explorer 5.2.3 under Mac OS X 10.5.0
collapsible =
author =
developer = Microsoft
released = April 23 1996 / 2.0
latest release version = June 16 2003 / 5.2.3
latest release date =
latest preview version = N/A
latest preview date =
frequently updated =
programming language =
operating system = Mac OS 7.01 to 10
platform = 68k (up to 4.5)
PPC Intel
language =
status = Discontinued
genre = Web browser
license = MS-EULA
website = [ (]

Internet Explorer for Mac (also referred to as Internet Explorer:mac, IE:mac or Internet Explorer Macintosh Edition) was a proprietary web browser developed by Microsoft for the Macintosh platform. Initial versions were developed from the same code base as Internet Explorer for Windows. Later versions diverged, particularly with the release of version 5 which included the Tasman rendering engine.

As a result of the five-year agreement between Apple and Microsoft in 1997, it was the default browser on Mac OS before it was replaced by Apple's own Safari web browser in 2003. Internet Explorer for Mac remained available for download from Microsoft until January 31, 2006. However, no major updates had been released since March 27, 2000, aside from bug fixes and updates to take advantage of new features in Mac OS X.

On June 13 2003, Microsoft announced that it was ceasing further development of Internet Explorer for Mac. The browser was not included in default installation of Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger" which was released on April 29, 2005. Microsoft discontinued support for the product on December 31, 2005 and removed the application from their Macintosh downloads site on January 31, 2006. Microsoft recommends "that Macintosh users migrate to more recent web browsing technologies such as Apple's Safari." [ [ Mactopia - Discover Office 2008 for Mac from Microsoft ] ]


Versions of Internet Explorer for Macintosh were released starting with version 2 in 1996, to version 5 which received its last patch in 2003. IE versions for Mac typically lagged several months to a year behind Windows versions, but included some unique developments including its own layout engine Tasman.

Internet Explorer 2.0 for Macintosh

The first version of Internet Explorer for the Macintosh operating system was a beta version of "Internet Explorer 2.0 for Macintosh", released on January 23 1996 as a free download from Microsoft's website. This first version was based on the Spyglass Mosaic web browser licensed from Spyglass. Available for both 68k and PPC based Macs running System 7.0.1 or later, it supported the embedding of a number of multimedia formats into web pages, including AVI and QuickTime formatted video and AIFF and WAV formatted audio. The final version was released three months later on April 23. Version 2.1 released in August of the same year, was mostly aimed at fixed bugs and improving stability, but also added a few features such as support for the NPAPI (the first version of Internet Explorer on any platform to do so) and support for QuickTime VR. AOL 3.0 for Macintosh used the IE 2.1 rendering engine in its built-in web browser.

Internet Explorer version 3.0 for Macintosh

On November 5 1996 Microsoft announced the release of a beta version of "Internet Explorer version 3.0 for Macintosh". This release added support for HTML version 3.2, Cascading Style Sheets, Java applets and ActiveX controls. The final version, made available on January 8, 1997, also added support for the SSL and NTLM security protocols and the PICS and RSACi rating systems that can be used to control access to websites based on content ratings. A problem with an operating system extension used in the Mac OS called CFM68K Runtime Enabler, led to a delay in the release of the version 3.0 for Macs based on the 68k line of processors. Four months later on May 14, Microsoft released version 3.01 which included a version for 68k-based machines. This version also included features from the Windows version of Internet Explorer 4.0 such as AutoComplete and Monitoring Favorites that notified users when sites in their Favorites list have been updated. It also included support for JavaScript and introduced a Download Manager and a Cookie Manager.

Internet Explorer version 4.0 for Macintosh

At the 1997 Macworld Expo in Boston, on August 6, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates announced a partnership between Microsoft and Apple. Amongst other things, Apple agreed to bundle Internet Explorer with future versions of the Mac OS and make it the default browser instead of Netscape Navigator.

Five months later on January 6 1998, at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Microsoft announced the release of the final version of "Internet Explorer version 4.0 for Macintosh". Version 4 included support for offline browsing, Dynamic HTML, a new faster Java virtual machine and Security Zones that allow users or administrators to limit access to certain types of web content depending on which zone (for example Intranet or Internet) the content was coming from. The most publicized feature of Internet Explorer 4.0 was support for Microsoft's Active Channel technology, which was intended to deliver regularly updated content that users could personally tailor to their interests. However Active Channel failed to reach a wide audience.

At the same event, Apple announced the release of Mac OS 8.1. This was the first version of the Macintosh operating system to bundle Internet Explorer as its default browser per the agreement with Microsoft; however, version 4.0 was not ready in time to be included so version 3.01 was bundled on the CDs.

At the following year's San Francisco Macworld Expo on January 9 1999, Microsoft announced the release of "Internet Explorer 4.5 Macintosh Edition". This new version, which dropped 68K processor support, introduced Form AutoFill, Print Preview, the Page Holder pane which let a user hold a page of links on one side of the screen that opened pages in the right hand and support for Mac OS technology like Sherlock.

Internet Explorer 5 Macintosh Edition

Again a year later on January 5, 2000, Microsoft announced a new version of Internet Explorer at the San Francisco Macworld Expo, "Internet Explorer 5 Macintosh Edition" which was released two months later on March 27, 2000. The Windows version of Internet Explorer 5 had been released a year earlier, but used the Trident II layout engine. Version 5 introduced a new rendering engine called Tasman that was designed to be more compliant with W3C standards such as HTML 4.0, CSS Level 1, DOM Level 1, and ECMAScript. It also introduced a number of features that were later added to other browsers such as complete support for the PNG image standard (which previous versions did not support at all), DOCTYPE switching, Text Zoom and XML source view. It also included an Auction Manager for tracking auctions in sites like eBay and an Internet Scrapbook to allow users to quickly and easily store and organize web content (for example an image or a piece of selected text). The initial release was just for Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9, however two months after that release on May 15 a Mac OS X DP4 version was released, bundled with the Mac OS X DP4 that was handed out to developers at the 2000 Worldwide Developers Conference. The Mac OS X Public Beta included another preview of the Mac OS X version of IE. The release of Mac OS X v10.0 on March 24 2001 included yet another preview of the Mac OS X version of IE and that was updated later, and the release of Mac OS X v10.1 on September 25 2001 included the final version of IE 5.1 for Mac OS X. IE 5.1 for Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9 was released on December 18 2001.

According to Jorg Brown, one of the IE for Mac developers at Microsoft, after version 5 most of the team that produced IE for Mac were moved to another project. IE for Mac was relegated to something they were expected to work on in their "spare time". [ [ Microsoft Ends IE for Mac ] ] On June 17 2002 Microsoft announced the release of version 5.2 (the first Mac OS X-only release) which included a few performance and security fixes and support for Mac OS X features likes Quartz text smoothing.

During 2002 Microsoft reassigned developers to develop version 6 of Internet Explorer for Mac, that was intended to be used as the base for a new product. MSN for Mac OS X would be a subscription-only browser that worked with the online MSN service, incorporate features like an address book, junk mail filters and an MSN Messenger client. However after hearing that Apple had started development of their own browser, they canceled the standalone browser development and concentrated on the MSN browser, which was released on May 15 2003.

On June 13, 2003, PC Pro reported that Macintosh Business Unit general manager Roz Ho had confirmed that aside from updates to fix security problems, there would be no new versions of Internet Explorer from Microsoft. Three days later on June 16, Microsoft released the final version for Mac OS X, version 5.2.3 and a month later on July 11, they released the final version for Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9, version 5.1.7. The last versions of Internet Explorer for Mac had a distinguishing blue logo that was the base for the logo used in Internet Explorer 6 for Windows (The Windows one just had a lighter blue, and it was less 3-D).

Internet Explorer 5 for Mac Distinguishing features

These are features found in Internet Explorer for Mac, which were not found in common contemporary browsers (with the possible exception of Internet Explorer for Windows). Some are still not features in many browsers.

* Support for furigana.
* Scrapbook feature lets the user archive any page in its current state.
* Auction Manager feature automatically tracks eBay auctions.
* Although Internet Explorer for Mac did not have any PNG support at all until version 5.0 (a year or two after most popular browsers), the PNG support added in that version was unusually robust, including transparency and color correction.
* An option to change the browser color, such as to match the color of the user's iMac. The first builds had 9 choices of colors, but later builds had 15.
* Print Preview functionality allowing for adjustment of the font-size from within the preview pane.
* Page Holder sidebar functionality allowing users to hold a page in the sidebar (links-only view available too) and load clicked links in the main browser window. Much of this functionality was replaced with tabbed browsing in later browsers, but not the links-only view.
* Adds the URL from which content was downloaded to the Finder's Comment field (visible through Get Info).
* A white-on-black address bar for much of its life, that always used small Geneva non-anti-aliased text.

Other features

These are features found in Internet Explorer for Mac and some other of its contemporaries.
* Auto-complete in the address bar responds to typing partial URLs or page titles, searches favorites and history
* Go menu allows access to the persistent global browser history
* Tasman rendering engine offers superior Fact|date=March 2008 CSS support compared to Trident III in other Internet Explorer 5 versions, and was not affected by the Internet Explorer box model bug (not fixed until Trident IV in IE6)
* Text zoom allows the user to resize text on any page, regardless of how text size is specified

Version summary


See also

* Internet Explorer for Windows
* List of web browsers
* Comparison of web browsers
* Browser timeline

External links

* [ Microsoft drops development of Internet Explorer for Mac]
* [ IE 5.2.3 for Mac OS X Download Site (]
* [ IE 5.1.7 for Mac OS 8/9 Download Site (]
* [ Download page for Internet Explorer 5 for Mac]

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