In a bid to make iMac users happy, Microsoft will release a kinder, gentler version of Internet Explorer for the Macintosh dubbed IE 4.5. Jody Ropert, the group product manager for the Macintosh business unit at Microsoft says that IE 4.5 is smaller, faster, and more stable than the current release, IE 4.01. It also uses the self-repairing technology from Mac Office 98 so that it can correct any problems without requiring user intervention.

IE 4.5 for the Macintosh should be available sometime in the Spring, while a 5.0 release designed to bring the Mac version of IE up to the same level as the Windows version is expected next Summer.

And iMac users have more to be happy about: Apple's latest consumer box was responsible for catapulting the company's marketshare above 10% for the month of November. This is the first time in two years Apple has had market share over 10%. The Apple iMac represented 7.1% of all computer sold last month while all of Apple's other machines combined held steady at less than 3%