IE6 Integrated Only?

Mary Jo Foley has the scoop concerning the heated debate on the Redmond Campus about the future of Internet Explorer version 6. Not even in its first beta stage yet, Foley reports that MS executives are currently struggling over the idea of issuing IE6 as a stand alone product. Since MS also has the MSN Explorer, and the upcoming Netdocs version of the browser, sources told Mary Jo that the company may not issue IE6 as a downloadable package at all.

One source close to the discussions said "MSN Explorer is being positioned as the premiere platform for the consumer. Netdocs is being positioned as the business platform with a business browser. So there's no room left for IE, It's being squeezed."

The upcoming beta may not be issued as a stand alone download either it turns out. In fact, the entire program may only be issued exclusively as a part of Windows Whistler, Foley was told. An MS spokeperson later denied those claims, adding that the company would release Beta 1 as a download after the company releases it.

Sources also told Mary Jo that because Microsoft is developing several versions of Windows Whistler, IE may come in separate versions depending as well. MSN Explorer is the favorite for the consumer version of the OS, while the Netdocs version is favored for the Professional version.

For the rest of the story read over at ZDNet.

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