Microsoft will officially announce Internet Information Server (IIS) 4.0 next week at Internet World, the next version of its award-winning Web browser for Windows NT. IIS 4.0 is the centerpiece of the Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack, a free suite of Internet server utilities that will become available in release form by the end of the year. The product is currently in the post-beta "release candidate" stage. The Option Pack consists of IIS 4.0, Message Queue Server 1.0, Certificate Server 1.0, Index Server 2.0, Site Server Express, and Internet Explorer 4.0. It also includes other utilities such as remote access services for virtual private networks and the latest Windows NT Service Pack.

IIS 4.0 uses the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) as its user-interface. The MMC will be a central component of Windows NT 5.0, now expected in the third quarter of 1998. For remote administration, IIS 4.0 also supports a Web-based interface.

“With any Web browser that supports frames and JavaScript, Navigator and IE 3.0 or later, you can manage 100% of the functionality through the browser,” said Jonathan Perera, lead product manager for IIS 4.0