A "platform preview" of Internet Explorer, due in March, will replace the standard beta cycle used by most computer software companies. The wording is meant to imply that the product--which will totally revamp the Windows desktop--is more important than your typical applications software.

"The plan is to have a platform preview release that is very focused for developers," said group product manager Yusuf Medhi. "Based on that feedback, we'll move to a broader release that appeals more to the end-user instead of just the developer."

"Key technology people should look at the new things like Dynamic HTML," Medhi said. "It's very much a developers-oriented release."

The final release of Internet Explorer 4.0 is due this summer. Start the countdown, people, I think it's finally coming