Microsoft has released the long-expected, award winning Internet Explorer 5.0 browser for the Mac.

Available initially as a free download from the company’s Web site, reports of its release first circulated yesterday.

IE 5.0 features the new Tasman rendering engine, which provides improved Web rendering features. Microsoft claims its browser is compliant with all Worldwide Web Consortium-approved Web technologies – Java, HTML, XML and more.

It also includes uniformity - a Web page designed on a Mac will appear the same on a PC if accessed through IE 5.0.

At just over 7MB, Internet Explorer 5.0 is available for download here.