Internet Explorer 5.5

Internet Explorer 5.5 in Windows 98

Developer Microsoft
Initial release July 8, 2000; 17 years ago
Stable release 5.5 Service Pack 2 (5.50.4807.2300) / July 23, 2001; 16 years ago
Operating system *Windows 95
Included with Windows ME
Engine Trident
License Proprietary software
Internet Explorer versions:*4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11

Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 (IE5.5) is a discontinued graphical web browser and one of the main participants of the first browser war. Its distribution methods and Windows integration were involved in United States v. Microsoft. It is included with Windows ME and it is the last version of Internet Explorer for Windows 95. 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.[3]

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. 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."[4]

IE5 attained over 50% market share by early 2000, taking the lead over other browser versions including IE4 and Netscape.[5] 5.x versions attained over 80% market share by the release of IE6 in August 2001.[6] 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.[7] In addition, by early 2005 Firefox 1.0 had overtaken it in market share.[8] Version 5.x market share fell below 1% by the end of 2006.[9]

Microsoft spent over 100 million dollars (USD) a year[10] in the late 1990s, with over 1000 people working on IE by 1999 during the development of IE5.[11]

Internet Explorer 5.x rendering behavior lives on in other browsers' quirks modes.[12] Internet Explorer 5 is no longer available for download from Microsoft. However, archived versions of the software can be found on various websites.

Version number

Release date Significant changes Shipped with
5.5 Beta 1 December 25, 1999 Support of more CSS properties and minor changes to support of frames Windows Neptune
5.5 July 8, 2000 Windows ME
5.5 SP1 October 23, 2000
5.5 SP2 July 23, 2001 Last version supported on Windows 95
5.6[citation needed] August 18, 2000 Unique version with Windows Whistler (XP) Beta Windows Whistler build 2223-2296

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