According to InfoWorld and Techweb, the beta of Internet Explorer 4.0 will be released on March 17. These rumors persist on the IE 4.0 public newsgroups, where anticipation has reached a fevered pitch. IE 4.0 will be demoed this week along with Exchange Server 5.0 at Spring Internet World in Las Angeles. Interestingly, many industry observers are blaming IE 4.0 on Microsoft's recent security bug problems, citing the company's drive to make IE a major part of the OS as a serious flaw.

"The more flexible a system is, the less secure it is," said Joe Wells, an anti-virus consultant at Wells Research, in Newbury Park, Calif. Also, Microsoft's overly quick delivery of features and upgrades is responsible for some security problems.

Meanwhile, a report in the Nando Times today states that Microsoft will announce the release date of the Internet Explorer 4.0 Platform Preview tomorrow:

"On Tuesday the nation's largest software publisher plans to announce plans for releasing a test copy of the newest version of its Internet Explorer program for browsing the World Wide Web.