Internet Explorer 5

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Internet Explorer 5
File:Internet Explorer 5 logo.svg
File:Internet Explorer 5 on Windows 98.png
Internet Explorer 5 in Windows 98
Developer(s) Microsoft
Initial release March 18, 1999/ 5.0
Stable release July 2000/ 5.5 [1]
Operating system Microsoft Windows (3.1 to 2000) </br> Mac OS X (up to 5.2.3)
Mac OS (up to 5.1.7)
Solaris and HP-UX (up to 5.01 SP1)
Development status Superseded by IE 6.0. Supported (Only IE 5.01 SP4 on Windows 2000 SP4 during the Windows 2000 lifecycle).
License MS-EULA
1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.x
A component of Microsoft Windows
Included with Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000 and Windows ME
Replaces Microsoft Internet Explorer 4
Replaced by Microsoft Internet Explorer 6
Related components
Internet Explorer

Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 (abbreviated IE5) is a graphical web browser released in March 1999 by Microsoft, primarily for Microsoft Windows, but initially with versions available for Apple Macintosh, Sun Solaris, and HP-UX. (See also Internet Explorer for Mac or for Unix.)

It was one of the main participants of the first Browser war. Its distribution methods and Windows integration were involved in United States v. Microsoft. It was superseded by Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 in August 2001, although IE5.x remains the last version for Windows 3.1x, Windows NT 3.x, and Windows 95. Version 5.0 was included with Windows 98 Second Edition (using the Trident II layout), and 5.5 with Windows Me (Trident III) when they were introduced. The Mac edition came out in 2000 and was included with Mac OS X, and the Tasman layout engine.[2]

IE5 presided over a large market share increase over Netscape Navigator between 1999 and 2001, and offered many advanced features for its day. In addition, it was compatible with largest range of OS of all the IE versions. However, support for many OS quickly dropped off with later patches, and Windows XP and later Windows versions are not supported, because of inclusion of later IE versions.

The 1999 review in PC World noted, "Credit the never-ending game of browser one-upsmanship that Netscape and Microsoft play. The new IE 5 trumps Netscape Communicator with smarter searching and accelerated browsing."[3]

Internet Explorer 5 attained over 50% market share by early 2000, taking the lead over other browser versions including IE4 and Netscape.[4] 5.x versions attained over 80% market share by the release of IE6 in August 2001.[5] 5.0x and 5.5 were surpassed by Internet Explorer 6.0, dropping it to the second most popular browser, with market share dropping to 34 percent by mid 2003.[6] In addition, by early 2005 Firefox 1.0 had overtaken it in market share.[7] Version 5.x market share fell below 1% by the end of 2006.[8]

Microsoft spent over 100 million dollars (USD) a year [9] in the late 1990s, with over 1000 people working on IE by 1999 during the development of IE5.[10]

Internet Explorer 5.x rendering behavior lives on in other browsers' quirks modes.[11]

Internet Explorer 5 is no longer available for download from Microsoft. However, archive 16- and 32-bit versions are legally and publicly available from These include Internet Explorer 5.01 (16-bit only), Internet Explorer 5.0 (32-bit), Internet Explorer 5.01 (32-bit), Internet Explorer 5.01 Service Pack 2 (32-bit), Internet Explorer 5.5 (32-bit), Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 1 (32-bit), Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2, and Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2 (NT only).



Usage share of Internet Explorer rose rapidly between its release in early 1999 to being replaced by IE6 in mid 2001;Graph from 1994 to 2009 for all versions of IE[12]

The actual release of Internet Explorer 5 happened in three stages. Firstly, a Developer Preview was released in June 1998 (5.0B1), and then a Public Preview was released in November 1998 (5.0B2). Then in March 1999 the final release was released (5.0). In September it was released with Windows 98 Second Edition. Version 5.01, a bug fix version, was released in December 1999. Windows 2000 includes this version. Version 5.0 was the last one to be released for Windows 3.1x or Windows NT 3.x. Internet Explorer 5 Macintosh Edition had been released a few months earlier on March 27, 2000, and was the last version of Internet Explorer to be released on a non-Windows platform. Version 5.5 was released in July 2000, bundled with Windows Me and 128-bit encryption but had no support for several older Windows.

A 1999 review of IE5 by Paul Thurrott described IE5 in ways such as, "Think of IE 5.0 as IE 4.0 done right: All of the rough areas have been smoothed out..", "....comes optionally bundled with a full suite of Internet applications that many people are going to find irresistible.", "IE 5.0 is a world-class suite of Internet applications.." [13]

Microsoft ended all support for Internet Explorer 5.5, including security updates, on December 31, 2005.[14] Microsoft may continue to support Internet Explorer 5.01 on Windows 2000 SP4, according to its Support Lifecycle Policy.


Internet Explorer 5 under Solaris

Version 5.0, launched on March 18, 1999, and subsequently included with Windows 98 Second Edition and bundled with Office 2000, was a significant release that supported bi-directional text, ruby characters, XML, XSLT and the ability to save web pages in MHTML format. There was enhanced support for CSS Level 1 and 2. The first release of Windows 98 in 1998 had included IE4. However, Internet Explorer 5 incorrectly includes the padding and borders within a specified width or height; this results in a narrower or shorter rendering of a box.[15] The bug was fixed in Internet Explorer 6 when running in standards-compliant mode.

With the release of Internet Explorer 5.0, Microsoft released the first version of XMLHttpRequest (XHR), giving birth to Ajax (even though the term "Ajax" wasn't coined until years later.) XMLHttpRequest is an API that can be used by JavaScript, and other web browser scripting languages to transfer XML and other text data between a web page's Client-Side and Server-Side[16], and was available since the introduction of Internet Explorer 5.0[17] and is accessible via JScript, VBScript and other scripting languages supported by IE browsers. Windows Script Host was also installed with IE5, although later on Viruses and malware would attempt to use this ability as an exploit, which resulted pressure to disable it for security reasons.[18] Smart Offline Favorites feature was added to the Active Desktop component introduced in IE4.

HTML Application (HTA) is a Microsoft Windows application written with HTML and Dynamic HTML and introduced with IE5. Internet Explorer 5.0 also introduced Favicon support. Windows Script Host was introduced, which provides scripting capabilities comparable to batch files, but with a greater range of supported features.

Version 5.5 followed in July 2000. First released to developers at the 2000 Professional Developers Conference in Orlando, Florida, then made available for download, version 5.5 focused on improved print preview capabilities, CSS and HTML standards support, and developer APIs; this version was bundled with Windows Me. Version 5.5 also includes support for 128-bit encryption.

Although newer browsers have been released, IE5 rendering mode continues to have an impact, as a 2008 Ars Technica article notes:

IE5.5 (and below) was decidedly nonstandard in its rendering behavior. Hundreds of millions of web pages were written to look "right" in IE5.5's broken rendering. The result was something of a quandary for Microsoft when it came to release IE6. They wanted to improve the standards conformance in IE6, but couldn't afford to break pages dependent on the older behavior.
The solution was the "doctype switch". The doctype switch allowed IE6 to support both the old IE5.5 behavior—"quirks mode"—and new, more standards-conforming behavior—"standards mode."[11]

United States v. Microsoft

On April 3, 2000, Judge Jackson issued his findings of fact that Microsoft had abused its monopoly position by attempting to "dissuade Netscape from developing Navigator as a platform", that it "withheld crucial technical information", and attempted to reduce Navigator's usage share by "giving Internet Explorer away and rewarding firms that helped build its usage share" and "excluding Navigator from important distribution channels".[19]

Jackson also released a remedy that suggested Microsoft should be broken up into two companies. This remedy was overturned on appeal, amidst charges that Jackson had revealed a bias against Microsoft in communication with reporters. The findings of fact that Microsoft had broken the law, however, were upheld. The Department of Justice announced on September 6, 2001 that it was no longer seeking to break up Microsoft and would instead seek a lesser antitrust penalty. Several months later the Department of Justice agreed on a settlement agreement with Microsoft. As of 2004, although nineteen states have agreed to the settlement, Massachusetts is still holding out.

Major features

File:IEMac icon.png
IE5 Macintosh logo
File:IE Unix.PNG
IE5 Unix/Windows logo

IE5 introduced many new or improved features:[20]

  • Web Page, Complete [20]
  • Web Archive (MHTML) (only with Microsoft Outlook Express 5)[20]
  • Language Encoding (new options such as Install On Demand)[20]
  • History Explorer Bar (new search and sort options)[20]
  • Search Explorer Bar (new options for searching)[20]
  • Favorites (make available offline)[20]
  • AutoComplete Feature[20]
  • Windows Radio Bar Toolbar[20]
  • Ability to set a default HTML Editor[20]
  • Internet Explorer Repair Tool[20]
  • FTP Folders allows browsing of FTP and Web-Based Folders from Windows Explorer. (see Shell extension)[20]
  • Approved Sites (PICS not required for listed sites option)
  • Hotmail Integration[20]
  • There was also a Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 Resource Kit [21]
  • Compatibility Mode allowed Internet Explorer 4 to be run side by side with IE5, although IE 5.5 would be the last version with this feature.[22][23][24]

Bundled Software

IE5 for Windows came with Windows Media Player 6.0 (with new Real Audio codecs), NetMeeting 2.11, and Chat 2.5, FrontPage Express 2.0. Other optional installs included Offline Browsing Pack, Internet Explorer Core Web Fonts, and Visual Basic Scripting (VBScript) support.[25] Internet Explorer versions 5.0 and 5.5 are no longer available from Microsoft.

System and hardware requirements

IE market share overview
According to Net Applications data

— January 2010[26]

Browser As % of IE As % of All Browsers
Internet Explorer 5 0.05% 0.03%
Internet Explorer 6 32.28% 20.07%
Internet Explorer 7 27.11% 14.58%
Internet Explorer 8 35.88% 22.31%
Other 4.68% 5.14%
All variants 100% 62.18%

Adoption capability overview

Internet Explorer 5.0 had support for Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me and Windows NT 3.x, Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 3 or later) and Windows 2000. However, OS releases after Windows Me, such as Windows XP, included Internet Explorer 6 (or higher). Support for NT 3.x and Win 95 support was dropped, as well as support for HP-UX, Solaris, Mac OS, and Mac OS X. In addition, users of Windows 98, Windows Me and Windows 2000 could upgrade to at least the first version of IE 6.0 or IE 6.0 SP1. Also, IE5 never supported 68k Macs, which had been dropped in Internet Explorer 4.5.

PC software

  • Windows 32-bit versions, including Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT version 3.51, Windows NT version 4.0, and Windows 2000[27]
  • Windows 16-bit versions, including Windows version 3.1 and Windows for Workgroups version 3.11[27]
  • Note Although Windows NT version 3.51 is a 32-bit platform, it must run the 16-bit version of Internet Explorer.[27]
  • UNIX, including Sun Solaris 2.5.1, Sun Solaris 2.6, and Hewlett Packard HP-UX[27]

PC hardware

  • Internet Explorer 5.0 for 32-bit Windows Operating Systems [28]
    • Minimum Requirements: 486DX/66 MHz or higher, Windows 95/98, 12MB RAM, 56MB disk space.[28]
    • Download Size: 37MB[28]
    • There was also a 380K active installer that only downloaded selected components[28]
  • Internet Explorer 5.0 for 16-bit Windows Operating Systems[28]
    • Minimum Requirements: 486DX or higher, Windows 3.1 or NT 3.5, 12MB RAM for browser only installation[28] (16MB RAM if using the Java VM). 30MB disk space to run setup.
    • Download Size: 9.4MB[28]

Apple Macintosh

Internet Explorer 5 for Apple Macintosh requirements.[29]

  • PowerPC processor
  • Mac OS version 7.6.1 or later
  • 8 MB RAM plus Virtual Memory
  • 12 MB hard disk space
  • QuickTime 3.0 or later
  • Open Transport 1.2 or later



Also, Mac OS X shipped with Internet Explorer 5.1 as the default Web Browser.

Major version Minor version Release date Significant changes Shipped with
Version 5 5.0 Beta 1 June 1998 Support of more CSS2 features.
5.0 Beta 2 November 1998 Support of bi-directional text, ruby character, XML/XSL and more CSS properties.
5.0 March 1999 Final release. Last version supported on Windows 3.x and Windows NT 3.x. Windows 98 SE
5.01 November 1999 Bug fix release. Windows 2000
5.5 Beta 1 December 1999 Support of more CSS properties. Minor changes to support of frames.
5.5 July 2000 Final release. Last version supported on Windows 95. Windows Me
5.6 August 2000 Unique version with Windows Whistler (XP) beta. Windows Whistler build 2257

Mac OS:

  • Version 5.0 – March 27, 2000
  • Version 5.1 – December 18, 2001
  • Version 5.1.4 – April 16, 2002
  • Version 5.1.5 – July 5, 2002
  • Version 5.1.6 – September 25, 2002
  • Version 5.1.7 – July 2003

Mac OS X:

  • Version 5 – May 15, 2000 released with Mac OS X DP4
  • Version 5.1.1 – May 23, 2001
  • Version 5.1.2 – September 25, 2001 released with Mac OS X 10.1
  • Version 5.1.3 – October 2001
  • Version 5.2 – June 17, 2002
  • Version 5.2.1 – July 5, 2002
  • Version 5.2.2 – September 25, 2002
  • Version 5.2.3 – June 16, 2003


Shdocvw.dll version numbers plus related notes.[1]

  • 5.00.0518.5 Internet Explorer 5 Developer Preview (Beta 1)
  • 5.00.0910.1308 Internet Explorer 5 Beta (Beta 2)
  • 5.00.2014.213 Internet Explorer 5
  • 5.00.2314.1000 Internet Explorer 5 (Office 2000)
  • 5.00.2516.1900 Internet Explorer 5.01 (Windows 2000 Beta 3, build 5.00.2031)
  • 5.00.2614.3500 Internet Explorer 5 (Windows 98 Second Edition)
  • 5.00.2919.800 Internet Explorer 5.01 (Windows 2000 RC1, build 5.00.2072)
  • 5.00.2919.3800 Internet Explorer 5.01 (Windows 2000 RC2, build 5.00.2128)
  • 5.00.2919.6307 Internet Explorer 5.01 (Office 2000 SR-1)
  • 5.00.2920.0000 Internet Explorer 5.01 (Windows 2000, build 5.00.2195)
  • 5.00.3103.1000 Internet Explorer 5.01 SP1 (Windows 2000 SP1)
  • 5.00.3105.0106 Internet Explorer 5.01 SP1 (Windows 95/98 and Windows NT 4.0)
  • 5.00.3314.2100 Internet Explorer 5.01 SP2 (Windows 95/98 and Windows NT 4.0)
  • 5.00.3315.2879 Internet Explorer 5.01 SP2 (Windows 2000 SP2)
  • 5.00.3502.5400 Internet Explorer 5.01 SP3 (Windows 2000 SP3 only)
  • 5.00.3700.1000 Internet Explorer 5.01 SP4 (Windows 2000 SP4 only)
  • 5.50.3825.1300 Internet Explorer 5.5 Developer Preview (Beta)
  • 5.50.4030.2400 Internet Explorer 5.5 & Internet Tools Beta
  • 5.50.4134.0100 Internet Explorer 5.5 for Windows Me (4.90.3000)
  • 5.50.4134.0600 Internet Explorer 5.5
  • 5.50.4308.2900 Internet Explorer 5.5 Advanced Security Privacy Beta
  • 5.50.4522.1800 Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 1
  • 5.50.4807.2300 Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2


  1. 1.0 1.1 How to determine which version of Internet Explorer is installed, Microsoft Knowledgebase Article Q164539
  2. "Microsoft Unveils Faster, Simpler and More Reliable Internet Explorer 5 Macintosh Edition". Microsoft press release. January 5, 2000. Retrieved April 1, 2007. 
  3. Internet Explorer 5.0 Review, PC World, 1999
  4. The Counter, March 2000
  5. The Counter, August 2001
  6. The Counter, August 2003
  7. Netscape's Market Share, March 2005
  8. Netscape's Market Share, December 2006
  9. Victor: Software empire pays high price | CNET
  10. Memoirs From the Browser Wars
  11. 11.0 11.1 Unpacking Internet Explorer 8's multiple rendering modes, Ars
  12. Usage share of web browsers
  13. Paul Thurotts's Supersite for Windows Internet Explorer 5.0 Review
  14. "Lifecycle Supported Service Packs". Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved February 13, 2009. 
  15. Lance Silver (March 2001). "CSS Enhancements in Internet Explorer 6". MSDN Library. Microsoft. Retrieved June 24, 2007. 
  16. Synchronous vs. Asynchronous April 5, 2006
  17. Dutta, Sunava (January 23, 2006). "Native XMLHTTPRequest object". IEBlog. Microsoft. Retrieved November 30, 2006. 
  18. Windows Script Host - disabling
  19. U.S. v. Microsoft: Court's Findings of Fact, May 12, 2005
  20. 20.00 20.01 20.02 20.03 20.04 20.05 20.06 20.07 20.08 20.09 20.10 20.11 20.12 New Features in Internet Explorer 5, Microsoft Knowledgebase Article Q221787
  21. Microsoft Corporation
  22. MS History
  23. MS Article ID 237787
  24. MS Article ID 197311
  25. Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Internet Explorer 5 Reviewed
  26. "Browser Version Market Share". Net Applications. 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 Internet Explorer 5 Resource Kit Chapter 4: Working with Different Platforms
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 28.6 Cintek IE5
  29. IE5 Review, Mac Observer, March 31, 2000

External links

See also

Personal tools

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