Microsoft will be releasing a public beta of Internet Explorer 5.0 in late April or early May, developers close to the company disclosed on Monday. The final version of the product, which will ship in two separate versions (one for Windows 3.1 and one for Win32 systems), is expected this Fall. The 32-bit Win32 version of IE 5.0 will feature new XML technology, code-named "Chrome", that will support new multimedia features and 3D.

One interesting change that may occur in IE 5.0: the removal of the Channel Bar that was so prominently featured in IE 4.0. The final decision for the Channel Bar has yet to be made, but should Microsoft finally kill it, they will offer other ways to access Channels from the Windows desktop