|Initial release||March 18, 1999|
5.5 Service Pack 2 (5.50.4807.2300) / July 23, 2001
|Included with||Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000 and Windows ME|
|Predecessor||Internet Explorer 4 (1997)|
|Successor||Internet Explorer 6 (2001)|
|Website||Internet Explorer Home|
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 (IE5) is a graphical web browser, the fifth version of Internet Explorer, the successor to Internet Explorer 4 and one of the main participants of the first browser war. Its distribution methods and Windows integration were involved in the United States v. Microsoft Corp. case. Launched on March 18, 1999, it was the default browser in Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000 and Windows Me (later default was Internet Explorer 6) and can replace previous versions of Internet Explorer on Windows 3.1x, Windows NT 3.x, Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 98 First Edition. Although Internet Explorer 5 ran only on Windows, its siblings Internet Explorer for Mac 5 and Internet Explorer for UNIX 5 supported Mac OS X, Solaris and HP-UX.
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 the largest range of OSes of all the IE versions. However, support for many OSes 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."
IE5 attained over 50% market share by early 2000, taking the lead over other browser versions including IE4 and Netscape. 5.x versions attained over 80% market share by the release of IE6 in August 2001. 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. In addition, Firefox 1.0 had overtaken it in market share by early 2005. Market share of IE5 fell below 1% by the end of 2006, right when Internet Explorer 7 was released.
Microsoft spent over US$100 million a year in the late 1990s, with over 1000 people working on IE by 1999 during the development of IE5.
The rendering behavior of Internet Explorer 5.x lives on in other browsers' quirks modes. Internet Explorer 5 is no longer available for download from Microsoft. However, archived versions of the software can be found on various websites.
Internet Explorer 5 was the final version of Internet Explorer which supports Windows 3.1x, Windows NT 3.x, Windows 95 and all Windows NT 4.0 versions newer than SP2, but except SP6a. The next version, Internet Explorer 6, only supports Windows NT 4.0 SP6a or later.
The actual release of Internet Explorer 5 happened in three stages. First, 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 for Windows was released in June 2000, bundled with Windows ME and 128-bit encryption. It dropped support for several older Windows versions.
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."
Microsoft ended all support for Internet Explorer 5.5, including security updates, on December 31, 2005. Microsoft continued to support Internet Explorer 5.01 on Windows 2000 SP4, according to its Support Lifecycle Policy; however, as with Windows 2000, this support was ended on July 13, 2010.
Version 5.0, launched on March 18, 1999, and subsequently included with Windows 98 Second Edition and bundled with Microsoft 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, and a side bar for web searches was introduced, allowing quick jumps throughout results.
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. The bug was fixed in Internet Explorer 6 when running in standards-compliant mode.
An "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 and Windows Script Host, which provides scripting capabilities comparable to batch files, but with a greater range of supported features.
Version 5.5 followed in June 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 it is no longer available for download from Microsoft directly it can also be installed with MSN Explorer 6.0 as msnsetup_full.exe. The full version of MSN Explorer can be downloaded only if you use Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98, Windows 98 SE and Windows 2000 if Internet Explorer 5.5 has not yet been installed. The full version will work on also Windows ME and Windows XP but you will need to download it on Windows 2000 or earlier and transfer the setup file to the newer operating system. If you still want to download it on a newer operating system the only way is to use an outdated web browser such as Netscape 4.8.
Although newer browsers have been released, IE5 rendering mode continues to have an impact, as a 2008 Ars Technica article notes:
Main article: United States v. Microsoft Corp. (2001)
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".
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.
IE5 introduced many new or improved features:
IE5 for Windows came with Windows Media Player 6.0 (with new Real Audio codecs), NetMeeting 2.11, Chat 2.5 and FrontPage Express 2.0. Other optional installs included Offline Browsing Pack, Internet Explorer Core Web Fonts, and Visual Basic Scripting (VBScript) support. Internet Explorer versions 5.0 and 5.5 are no longer available from Microsoft.
Desktop Market Share
|— April 2022 via Net Applications[note 1][note 2]|
|Internet Explorer 7||0.01%|
|Internet Explorer 8||0.08%|
|Internet Explorer 9||0.07%|
|Internet Explorer 10||0.04%|
|Internet Explorer 11||1.43%|
Microsoft Edge excluded from the list.
IE 5.01 SP2 was the last version to support Windows 3.1x and Windows NT 3.x. Support for 3.1x and NT 3.x was dropped after that, as well as support for HP-UX, Solaris, the classic Mac OS, and Mac OS X. Windows 2000 was the last to support IE 5.0 (with which it was released) well after support in other Windows systems was deprecated. IE 5.5 SP2 was the last version to support Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 versions below SP6a, but above SP2. In addition, users of Windows NT 4.0 SP6a, Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows ME could upgrade to IE 6.0 SP1. IE5 was not developed for 68k Macs, support for which had been dropped in Internet Explorer 4.5.
Internet Explorer 5 for Apple Macintosh requirements:
|Version number||Release date||Significant changes||Shipped with|
|5.0 Beta 1||June 2, 1998||Support of more CSS2 features||N/A|
|5.0 Beta 2||November 15, 1998||Support of bi-directional text, ruby character, XML/XSL and more CSS properties||N/A|
|5.0||March 18, 1999||Final release. First version to support Windows 98 SE.||Windows 98 SE|
|5.01||November 8, 1999||Bug fix release. First version to officially support Windows 2000.||Windows 2000|
|5.01 SP1||August 15, 2000||Vulnerability patch.||Windows 2000 SP1|
|5.01 SP2||May 16, 2001||Vulnerability patch. Last version to support Windows 3.1x and Windows NT 3.x.||Windows 2000 SP2|
|5.01 SP3||August 29, 2002||Updates, included in SP3.||Windows 2000 SP3|
|5.01 SP4||June 26, 2003||Latest updates included with 2000 SP4.||Windows 2000 SP4|
|5.5 Beta 1||December 25, 1999||Support of more CSS properties and minor changes to support of frames||Windows Neptune|
|5.5||June 19, 2000||Final release. First version to officially support Windows Me.||Windows Me|
|5.5 SP1||October 20, 2000||Vulnerability patch.||N/A|
|5.5 SP2||July 23, 2001||Vulnerability patch. Last version to support Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 versions below SP6a, but above SP2.||N/A|
|5.6||August 18, 2000||Unique version with Windows Whistler (XP) Beta||Windows Whistler build 2223-2296|
Early versions of Mac OS X shipped with Internet Explorer for Mac v5.1 as the default web browser, only until Mac OS X 10.2, where the default web browser in Mac OS X Panther is Safari.