Twelve major Internet Service Providers (ISPs), including AT&T WorldNet and Earthlink, have adopted Internet Explorer 4.0 as their default browser. Microsoft made this announcement today, a week after announcing an agreement with over 50 computer manufacturers to bundle the browser with their new systems. Microsoft is also selling IE 4.0 to IT managers as the best enterprise solution at the Explorer 97 conference.

"If you wake up grumpy one day and say, 'No Java,' you can set everyone up for no Java," said Rob Bennett, Explorer product manager, unknowingly conjuring images of Microsoft's decision to ban Java from its Web site.

Bennett said Microsoft was on track to ship Internet Explorer 4.0 for Windows 3.1, Windows NT 3.51, and Macintosh in the fourth quarter this year, with the Sun Solaris version due in the first quarter of 1998. Netscape, however, was unimpressed.

"It's their 'Reacting to Netscape Everywhere' program," said Dave Rothchild, Netscape's director of client marketing. "They worked for a month and came up with a list of vendors that are going to ship Windows."