Important changes to Internet Explorer
Back on October 9 I reported in this blog that the EOLAS patent was rearing its ugly head again:
Back then I said I didn't know what the end result of the resurrection would be. Well, now we know.
“After a forthcoming update, Microsoft Internet Explorer users will not be able to directly interact with Microsoft ActiveX controls loaded by the APPLET, EMBED, or OBJECT elements. Users will be able to interact with such controls after activating their user interfaces. A new MSDN topic describes how Internet Explorer will handle ActiveX controls, shows how to load ActiveX controls so their interfaces are activated, and describes the impact of this behavior on accessibility tools and applications hosting the WebBrowser Control.
For more information, please see Activating ActiveX Controls:
End result: Users of Internet Explorer will have to either click on the Control or use the TAB key to set focus on the Control, then press the SPACEBAR or the ENTER key to activate it.
Back in 2003 Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer would be modified to address the EOLAS patent (a downloadable update was made available on MDSN, and maybe Technet, but was never released to the general public per se). The modification stopped activex controls from loading in a page until the user clicking on OK in a dialogue box. On some sites a user could be forced to click on multiple dialogue boxes while a page was loading. I remember testing the contemplated changes way back then at www.javaboutique.com - it was a very painful experience. Thankfully the update was scrapped in early 2004 after a successful appeal against the patent.
The current design is, I am relieved, far less disruptive for a user.
Which “forthcoming update“ will contain the changes? Well, I don't expect it before Internet Explorer's February security update.
A really old page of mine about the EOLAS patent, long since archived, can be found here: