Microsoft Launches Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 With Exclusive, Free Content Offers From Top Web Sites

Step-Ahead Browser Now Offers a Better Internet Experience for Users

Redmond, Wash. - Aug. 13, 1996 - Microsoft Corp. today announced a better way to experience the Internet with the release of Microsoft® Internet Explorer version 3.0 to the World Wide Web. Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0, available for download at no charge, enables users to view the next generation in rich and exciting Web content, communicate and collaborate with friends around the world, and personalize their surfing experience. To encourage users to try Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 and the latest in exciting, activated Web sites, Microsoft, in conjunction with a number of content providers, is offering free access (connect charges may apply) to popular content such as that from ESPNET SportsZone and The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition, and exclusive access to content on sites such as Hollywood Online.

"Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 brings users a superior way to experience all of the exciting, dynamic content on the Web and provides a launch point for industry innovation," said Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft. "For example, leading sites such as ESPNET SportsZone, The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition and MTV Online have been designed for Microsoft Internet Explorer and are creating content that is a step ahead of anything on the Internet today."

Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 Users Offered Free Content

Seven of the most popular Web sites introduced exclusive content offers available between now and the end of December only to users of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0:

"With the advanced technologies available in Internet Explorer, we can really bring an interactive feel to our content on the Web," said Neil Budde, editor of The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition. "We are always looking to provide our online subscribers the best experience, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 users get to view it all for free."

"Our ESPNET SportsZone premium service features some of the world's most exciting and complex Java™ Applets for sports fans," said Patrick Naughton, senior vice president and CTO at Starwave Corp. "Microsoft Internet Explorer has proven to have the best-quality, highest-performance Java implementation, as well as clean integration with ActiveX Technologies such as the ActiveMovie™ API for our video highlights. Our relationship with Microsoft will allow all users of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 to access to these exciting technologies."

Hundreds of Sites Webwide Adopt Active Content

Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 and the new active Internet Web sites were unveiled at a premiere party at the Center for the Arts in San Francisco last night, hosted by Gates and attended by leading industry executives. The launch of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 is being celebrated in 17 cities with free content and special promotions with more than 35 local ActiveX partner sites. Complete details of local promotions can be found at .com/ie/.

Leading companies have already activated their sites based on the technology in Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0, and there are already 300 active content sites on the Web as of launch. The following sites were demonstrated at the Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 launch last night (see attached list for URLs): Bacon Brothers, Blue Marble Advanced Communications Group, Charles Schwab, C|NET.COM, FTD, Family Planet, HotWired, Intel Corp., Mr. Showbiz, Napa Valley Wineries, The Nature Conservancy of Washington,, Premiere Mag, Prevue Online, PythOnline, Sunny Delight, TravelWeb and Virgin Records.

Developer support for ActiveX Technologies continues to grow at a rapid pace. Over 140,000 developers have expressed interest in the Microsoft Site Builders ActiveX Web developer support program since it launched only three weeks ago, and thousands more developers are signing in each day. Developers use ActiveX to make Web sites come alive using multimedia effects, interactive objects and sophisticated applications, creating a user experience comparable to that of high-quality CD-ROM titles. To help developers get the most out of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 and ActiveX, Microsoft has published a gallery of active content. It is accessible from the Web Gallery toolbar button in Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0, or on the Web at

Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 Broadly Available

Microsoft Internet Explorer will be distributed by major online services and Internet service providers (ISPs) worldwide, including America Online Inc., AT&T Corp., CompuServe Inc., EUnet International and EUnet Germany, France Telecom Interactive, MCI Communications Corp., Netcom On-Line Communications Services Inc. and UUNET Technologies Inc. In addition, more than 2,500 other ISPs will distribute Microsoft Internet Explorer with their offerings. Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 will also be included with the next OEM Service Release of Windows 95 supplied to computer manufacturers.

"America Online was the first major online service to commit to offering Microsoft Internet Explorer as the standard browser for its millions of customers," said Steve Case, chairman and CEO of America Online. "With the launch of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0, our customers will be a step ahead as they access the World Wide Web. As always, we will continue to deliver the best technology to our members, resulting in the most compelling online experience."

In addition to the English language version launched today, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 and included components are available this week in Brazilian Portugese, French, German, Japanese, Italian and Spanish. Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 is scheduled to be available in 27 languages within weeks of launch, offering the broadest international support of any browser.

Microsoft also announced plans for comprehensive cross-platform support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0. Versions for Macintosh®, UNIX® and Windows 3.1 are scheduled to enter beta testing shortly, and to ship by the end of the year. Microsoft's highly praised Web browser for the Macintosh, Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.1 for the Macintosh, is scheduled to ship this week. Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.1 for Windows 3.1 is scheduled to enter beta testing later this month.

Users a Step Ahead With Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0

Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 gives users a better, more exciting way to browse the Internet, and it offers developers the most technically advanced platform for creating Web sites. Innovative Internet conferencing, collaboration and browser customization support give Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 the richest feature set of any browser while still offering an easy-to-use and personalized Internet experience.

The exclusive combination of advanced features in Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 includes the following:

Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3.0 is available now for no-charge downloading over the Internet at Microsoft's Web site, To view an active version of this press release and other Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 launch materials, including partner releases, visit

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows, ActiveX, Active Movie, NetMeeting and Direct X are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems Inc.

Macintosh is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc.

UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company Ltd.

Netscape is a trademark of Netscape Communications Corp.

For online product information:

Microsoft Internet Explorer Web page,

Microsoft NetMeeting Web page,

Web Sites "Activated" Using ActiveX Technologies


Site/URL: Bacon Brothers: (

Premiere Magazine: (

Contact: Mark Avnet

(212) 462-1575

Company: 7th Level Inc.

Site/URL: PythOnline: ( , (

Contact: Mary Crisp

(214) 498-8184

Company: Alpenglow Inc.


Contact: Mark Stephens

(206) 485-3222

Company: Blue Marble Advanced Communications Group

Site/URL: Blue Marble: (

Sunny Delight: (

Travel Web: (

Contact: Judy Laughren

(212) 474-0595

Company: Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Site/URL: Charles Schwab: (

Contact: Tom Taggert

(415) 627-8947

Company: CMP Media Inc.

Site/URL: NetGuide Live: (

Contact: Catherine Jarrat Koatz

(516) 562-7827

Company CNET: The Computer Network


Contact: Karen Wood

(415) 395-7800, ext. 1552

Company Chrysler Corp.

Site/URL: Chrysler: (

Contact: Michael Valasco

(312) 836-7427

Company: Ethos Corp.

Site/URL: (

Contact: Chris Dominguez

(415) 389-4799

Company: FTD Inc.

Site/URL: FTD: (

Contact: Alan Marcus, Edelman Public Relations

(212) 704-4481

Company: Hollywood Online Inc.

Site/URL: Hollywood Online: (

Contact: Stuart Halperin

(310) 581-4488

Company: HotWired

Site/URL: HotWired: (

Contact: Catherine Litzow

(415) 276-8421

Company: Intel Corp.

Site/URL: Intel: (

Contact: Adam Grossberg

(408) 765-1669

Company: Interactive Imaginations

Site/URL: Riddler: (

Contact: Ken Kerrigan, Edelman Public Relations

(212) 704-8155

Company: MetaBridge Inc.

Site/URL: The Nature Conservancy: (

Contact: Dianne Hofbeck

(206) 467-7929

Company: MTV Online

Site/URL: MTV: (; (

Contact: Caroline Vincent

(212) 258-8485

Company: National Geographic Online

Site/URL: National Geographic: (

Contact: Amy Strand

(202) 862-8688

Company: The Seagram Classics Wine Co.

Site/URL: Napa Valley Wineries: (

Company: Mary Ann Vangrin, Balzac Communications

(707) 255-7667

Company: Starwave Corp.

Site/URL: ESPNET SportsZone: (

Mr. Showbiz: (

Family Planet: (

Contact: Jennifer Yazzolino

(206) 957-2026

Company: United Video Satellite Group Inc.

Site/URL Prevue Online: (

Prevue Online: (

Contact: Brian Boyd

(918) 488-4388

Company: Virgin Records Ikonic

Site/URL: Virgin Records: (

Contact: Leslie Hutchison

(415) 908-8038

Katy Boos

Big Sky Communications

Company: The Wall Street Journal

Site/URL: The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition: (

Contact: Kris LeBoutillier

(609) 520-4638

Microsoft and VeriSign Announce Availability of Digital IDs For Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 Users

Digital IDs and Client Authentication Technology Provide Secure Identification Over the Internet

REDMOND, Wash. - Aug. 13, 1996 - Microsoft Corp. and VeriSign Inc. today announced the availability of client authentication technology for Microsoft® Internet Explorer 3.0 users. Using VeriSign Digital IDsSM in conjunction with the client authentication technology that ships with Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3.0, users can now uniquely identify themselves to Web servers and securely access information over the Internet. With client authentication technology, users will be able to take advantage of a higher level of security in communicating online to gain access to private or paid-for information. Starting today, users can register for and receive their Class 1 or Class 2 Digital IDs from VeriSign. VeriSign Class 1 Digital IDs are free (a $6 value) for Microsoft Internet Explorer users.

"With its support for VeriSign Digital IDs, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 provides Internet users with a powerful client authentication solution," said Stratton Sclavos, president and CEO of VeriSign. "We're excited to work with Microsoft in a variety of security efforts bringing a new level of trust to the Internet."

Digital IDs use today's powerful, state-of-the-art encryption to provide a trusted means of authenticating the identity of each party in an electronic transaction. VeriSign's Digital IDs are used much like conventional forms of identification, such as a driver's license or passport, to provide irrefutable evidence of the owner's identity and, in some cases, authority in a given transaction. A Digital ID is issued by VeriSign, the trusted third party that performs the appropriate background checks on an individual or entity according to the Digital ID's level of assurance. Once issued, the Digital ID can be used within any enabled application, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer. VeriSign is the first certifying authority to issue Digital IDs or personal certificates for Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0.

"This is an important step in establishing the public key infrastructure that is so necessary for securing communications and commerce transactions on the Internet," said Hank Vigil, general manager of the electronic commerce group at Microsoft. "VeriSign's leading Digital ID products and services and Microsoft's state-of-the-art authentication technology ensure Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 users the security they need to communicate over the Internet."

Industry Standard-Based Authentication Technology

Microsoft's client authentication for Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 and VeriSign's Digital IDs support Internet standards, including the X.509 certificate format and PKCS #7 signature blocks. Client authentication as implemented by Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 is interoperable with popular Web servers that support secure sockets layer (SSL) 3.0 client authentication.

Microsoft is working to extend the complete set of technology components necessary for webmasters to incorporate client authentication in their Web applications. This includes extending Windows NT® Server operating system support for challenge and response and the SSL 2.0 protocol used by Microsoft Internet Information Server to also include support for client authentication through the SSL 3.0 protocol. This builds on existing Windows NT Server security and will allow administrators to integrate public key certificates with their existing security infrastructure. Through CryptoAPI 2.0, webmasters will be able to access customization services for certificate-based authentication services and certificate management as well as access high-level APIs for authentication, signing, and encryption and decryption services. CryptoAPI 2.0 is scheduled to be available in beta in the third quarter of 1996.

Microsoft Internet Security Framework

Support for client authentication is part of the Microsoft Internet Security Framework (MISF), a comprehensive set of cross-platform, interoperable security technologies for electronic commerce and online communications that support Internet security standards. MISF technologies implemented to date are Authenticode technology, CryptoAPI 1.0, support for client authentication as well as support for SSL and private communications technology (PCT) protocols. In the coming months, MISF is expected to deliver a certificate server, a "wallet," an implementation of the Secure Electronic Transactions (SET) protocol for credit-card transactions, and technology to allow the secure transfer of personal security information.

VeriSign Digital ID Center

The Digital ID Center, located at VeriSign's secure operations facility in Mountain View, Calif., is capable of issuing millions of Digital IDs for Internet e-mail and Web browsing. Visitors can access VeriSign's online Digital ID Center at ( to perform specific Digital ID functions, such as request a Digital ID, find another individual's Digital ID, get their own Digital ID, or simply look through an online information desk. The desk contains information on the technology of Digital IDs and how to use them, a repository of legal practices and policies, and a list of revoked certificates.


Support for client authentication is currently available in Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0. Users can register for and receive a free Class 1 Digital ID (a $6 value), valid for six months, or a Class 2 Digital ID, which has a higher level of assurance and trust, for an annual fee of $12. Individuals can obtain their Digital ID from the VeriSign Digital ID Center at (

VeriSign Inc., the only company focused 100 percent on digital authentication products and services, provides its customers with the confidence necessary to conduct electronic commerce worldwide. VeriSign Digital IDs use today's strongest cryptographic techniques to provide a trusted means of authenticating the identity of each party in an electronic transaction. They play a key role in ensuring the security for electronic transactions and communications. VeriSign has been first to market with server Digital IDs, client Digital IDs, S/MIME Digital IDs, SET payment certificates, and Digital IDs for software publishers and is widely recognized as the de facto standard for Internet trust.

VeriSign was founded as a spin-off of RSA Data Security in April 1995. The company is working with industry leaders such as Microsoft, Netscape, America Online and Visa to open the digital marketplace to all consumers. For more information, contact VeriSign at (415) 961-7500, or visit its Web site at (

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

VeriSign is a service mark and trademark and Digital ID is a service mark of VeriSign Inc