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Internet Assistant

The Microsoft Internet Assistant (IA) is one of the latest additions to the suite of client programs for WWW access. IA is a very cute add-on to Word for Windows (version 6.0a or later) that permits the user to access WWW servers from within the Word application. Basically, the PC must have a TCP/IP winsock compliant stack installed, and then IA intercepts accesses to URLs and turns them into HTTP requests to the appropriate server.

IA is a bit more than just a client. It also incorporates an HTML editor, and the ability to write Word documents that include embedded URLs. Thus one can author and view the WWW from one and the same application. This gives it an immense advantage over other clients since the user does not have to learn a new interface or word processing package. It is only a matter of time before other Microsoft applications such as Powerpoint, Excel, and even Apple applications follow suit.

Jon Crowcroft
Wed May 10 11:46:29 BST 1995