Click to Activate Requirement Removed from IE

Pete LePage, Senior Product manager at microsoft reports that the as of April 2008 we will no longer need to use the stupid javascript html insertion code to get around the click to activate requirement that was added in April 2006.

There are all kinds of questions we have about this change, like:

  • Why do we have to wait until April 2008 for this change.
  • How was it possible for Eolas to will the case that forced ‘click to active’ in the first place.
  • Why didn’t Microsoft just licence the technology once they lost the case?

Here’s some speculation:

  • testing – for those of us who program for a living, it should be obvious that any change to a product as big as internet explorer is going to need several months to test.  I think, in this case, Microsoft can either choose a release date that gives them enough time to test (and suffer criticism for that) or release it next week and risk introducing a serious bug (and suffer criticism as well as looking like idiots for doing that.)
  • Licensing – Hey, haven’t you heard.  No one’s allowed to win.  I think Microsoft lost the case simply because they are the company people love to hate, just like IBM before them.  (Look out Google, you’re next.)
  • Why not license right away – if this wasn’t for political and business reasons, it should have been.  By providing a javascript work around, Microsoft was able to show that Eolas’ patent claims were not only frivolous, but not worth licensing (or at least not worth licensing at the prices Eolas wanted.)  If you read some of the comments on IEBlog, you’d think the work around took hours to implement each time you wanted to put flash on your web page.  But the truth of the matter is, it took maybe a half hour to find and implement the fix and maybe another 5 minutes for every page after that.  Heck!  I’ve spent more time on CSS inconsistencies between browsers.  One commenter post, “Why license it at all?”  I’m inclined to agree.

No matter.  It is what it is.

IEBlog : IE Automatic Component Activation (Changes to IE ActiveX Update)

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