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MS Gives 60-Day Deadline to Web Devs

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the annoyances-and-other-wastes-of-time dept.

375

capt turnpike writes "Since losing the patent case filed by Eolas, Microsoft has to change radically the way IE works with a lot of content, especially video and other ActiveX controls. eWEEK is reporting that Microsoft has gotten a one-time, 60-day extension in which developers and companies can try to re-engineer their Web pages and ads to work with the new regime. If devs don't make that deadline, users could face pages asking them to activate much of the content, plus ads."

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375 comments

Good Riddance (5, Funny)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020423)

You mean ActiveX websites will break? . . . And that's a *bad* thing?

Re:Good Riddance (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020518)

> You mean ActiveX websites will break? . . . And that's a *bad* thing?

They're going to fucking bury that technology. They have done it before, and they will do it again. They're going to fucking kill ActiveX.

Microsoft has gotten a one-time, 60-day extension in which developers and companies can try to re-engineer their Web pages and ads to work with the new regime. If devs don't make that deadline, users could face pages asking them to activate much of the content, plus ads.

And someone, somewhere, will get an ActiveChair flung at them.

Apologies, you've missed your target (0, Offtopic)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020584)

There's a limited area in which funny resides, and the borders aren't marked too clearly, so it's tough for people to get it right. You can find more examples of funny that just isn't [uncyclopedia.org] if you think it will help.

Re:Good Riddance (2, Insightful)

hagrin (896731) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020764)

Unfortunately, this is a very bad thing for me.

I'm a .Net Developer who just joined a new company where I am in charge of updating and upgrading an existing environmental tracking program. However, all the charting options (over 300) were written with Steema's Tee Chart ActiveX control. Now, I could use their .Net version that they have released to fix an ypotential problems, but I have a demo scheduled for April 15th which I can already forsee is going to be a potential disaster.

As this is an internal application, the use of ActiveX isn't too obnoxious, but since I have to deal with the existing code in the short-term, the "good riddance" atitude can only come from those who don't actually maintain old code.

ActiveX (3, Funny)

Chas (5144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020767)

*WHAP! WHAP! WHAP!*

  Not so active now. Are ya' sunshine?

*KABLAM!*

Maybe (0, Flamebait)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020427)

Maybe I'm just out of it today, but what does this mean?

All I got so far was that developers would have to "upgrade" their site or the end users would experience ads?

(Off to read the article now...)

Re:Maybe (3, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020465)

From the article, it seems that unless the websites are redesigned, users would have to basically click an "OK" button before ActiveX content would load. This includes any ActiveX controls, including ads. Obviously, websites that use ActiveX to display ads would want to remove the need for a user to "authorize" the display of the ad.

Re:Maybe (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020497)

This actually sounds kind of handy now... :P

Re:Maybe (2, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020491)

Maybe I'm just out of it today, but what does this mean?

It means that users should find a better browser to use and developers should use a different technology for their web applications. Of course, the Microsoft solution would be to switch to IE7 and Visual Studio .NET for a hefty upgrade fee.

Re:Maybe (4, Insightful)

Serapth (643581) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020508)

Frankly after reading the article I havent got a clue where they came up with the ads part.

However, the gist I got from it is any embeded auto playing content ( heres their example list: Adobe's Reader and Flash, Apple's QuickTime Player, Microsoft's Windows Media Player, RealNetworks' RealPlayer and Sun's JVM ) will require activation before playing.
So for example, if you go to a page that has a stock ticker applet in it, instead of it automatically scrolling the current stock market stats, you will have to click it to start. However, if this is true, it would pretty much make Flash useless, as flash based GUIs would become irritating, flash based start pages wouldnt work right, etc...

Lastly, what I dont understand beyond the above question is... why arent Firefox, Opera, Safari etc... also affected?

No matter what you think of Microsoft, in the end, this is bad for the end user and the web in general. Insert misc active X jokes in your replys all you want, you would be suprised how much of the daily web actually depends on this stuff.

Re:Maybe (5, Interesting)

mingot (665080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020564)

Lastly, what I dont understand beyond the above question is... why arent Firefox, Opera, Safari etc... also affected?

Because the guy who owns the patent has stated that he is only going to sue microsoft.

Re:Maybe (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020861)

Just curious, but where/when did he say this? Wouldn't mind seeing a source for this claim as it would give some interesting insight into this fellow.

Re:Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020566)

"it would pretty much make Flash useless, as flash based GUIs would become irritating"

I haven't run into a single Flash-based site that wasn't irritating to begin with, much less now that you'll have to click OK a hundred times before it loads.

Re:Maybe (2, Interesting)

jdub_dub (874345) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020591)

Additionally... can't ajax/dhtml count as "automatically playing content"? It would be pretty trivial to create a scrolling stock ticker in ajax/dhtml which automatically starts when the page loads.

How do you stop this? Disable Javascript? :p

Re:Maybe (1)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020620)

flash based GUIs would become irritating, flash based start pages wouldnt work right

Flash is already irritating, and flash based start pages don't always work right. If anything, having to click to activate flash content will make it less irritating. There's even a firefox plugin devoted to this very task.

Re:Maybe (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020644)

the funny part is is ms just releases a patch that lets web designers use js to click the button for people.. it is quick and elegent and good god a security nightmare.. Still it would be funny

Why firefox and the others need not worry (1)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020675)

Because this guy (eolas) didnt sue them and isnt going too. It seems that he had(s) a beef with microsoft, never gave them an option to pay him the billions to drop the suit, and took them to court for an injunction rather than "damages" ....

Re:Why firefox and the others need not worry (1)

5KVGhost (208137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020811)

Oh, I see. He's the friendly sort of chap who only sues companies who decide to actually fight his ridiculous patent. That certainly satisifies me. Clearly Firefox, Safari, and other developers of web apps have absolutely nothing to fear from such a reasonable and upstanding fellow. At least not until he's done with Microsoft.

Re:Maybe (1)

AeroIllini (726211) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020857)

However, if this is true, it would pretty much make Flash useless, as flash based GUIs would become irritating, flash based start pages wouldnt work right, etc

How is this different, again?

That doesn't hurt Microsoft! (-1, Troll)

snoopyowns (963875) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020431)

Wow, so basically one of those lawsuits against Microsoft now hurts the End User. Just goes to show Microsoft shouldn't copy other people's designs and make their own to prevent this kind of problem.

Re:That doesn't hurt Microsoft! (5, Insightful)

Eccles (932) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020495)

Just goes to show Microsoft shouldn't copy other people's designs and make their own to prevent this kind of problem.

Tim Berners-Lee wrote the USPTO calling for this patent to be overturned due to prior art. A broad embedded content patent in 1998? Pu-lease. It's as bogus as a $3 bill.

Re:That doesn't hurt Microsoft! (4, Insightful)

gid13 (620803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020546)

Software patents AT ALL is a problem. I don't care if it was the first person who patented something like this suing, it's just not good for the end user. Suppose MS patented browser extensions, and then sued Firefox or Opera devs... And they probably will start doing stuff like this in light of this decision. I'm no MS fan, but I was on their side for this case. No good can come of this.

Re:That doesn't hurt Microsoft! (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020869)

No good can come of this.

Not true. It could go a long way towards patent reform, or better yet, complete abolishment. I want to see these kind of things continue to either force a resolution, or else take us back to the stone age. Anything that demonstrates the folly of the concept of intellectual property is a good thing. I say, Bring it on.

Re:That doesn't hurt Microsoft! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020555)

It also just goes to show that software patents only bring lawsuits and stifle true progress. Even if this affects the evil microsoft and its evil activeX. Microsoft can take this sort of legal action, small software developers/innovators can't. The whole patent system needs a redesign, if we don't abandon it all together...

Re:That doesn't hurt Microsoft! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020580)

Don't be a spong. Eolas' patent is laughable (ask any programmer!) and should never have been granted in the first place, and there was ample prior art even if you think it's right that software is patentable.

Re:That doesn't hurt Microsoft! (1)

acroyear (5882) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020773)

what was the prior art?

According to Cringley years ago (who was talking about this back in '99) the patent was filed (and a demonstration given to Sun and Netscape separately, based on the opensource Mosaic codebase) *before* Java was actually released as part of Netscape 2.0.

Meaning they really do seem to be first because they predated the first embedded app of Java in Netscape.

A good reason to dump ActiveX (5, Insightful)

jimmyhat3939 (931746) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020453)

My guess is that Microsoft actually doesn't mind this one bit. ActiveX was a mistake from the get-go, with its permissions-based scheme which is dramatically more hackable than Java's sandbox-based scheme.

There are other technologies that can plug the hole. For some applications, an Ajax page could provide the same level of interactivity as ActiveX. For stuff like Flash, they can have a plugin architecture more line Firefox's.

Bottom line is Microsoft will use this to "encourage" websites to move away from ActiveX and toward their next annoying proprietary technology.

Re:A good reason to dump ActiveX (5, Insightful)

Kaellenn (540133) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020484)

I highly doubt MS is going to shun their own proprietary technology (especially since they've already said it would be present and "enhanced" in IE7 and Vista.

Wishful thinking; but nothing more I'm afraid.

Re:A good reason to dump ActiveX (3, Funny)

Andrzej Sawicki (921100) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020788)

Except that by "enhanced" they might mean "nerfed", if is so suits them. It's been done before, no?

Re:A good reason to dump ActiveX (1)

Brobock (226116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020647)

My guess is that Microsoft actually doesn't mind this one bit. ActiveX was a mistake from the get-go, with its permissions-based scheme which is dramatically more hackable than Java's sandbox-based scheme.

There are other technologies that can plug the hole. For some applications, an Ajax page could provide the same level of interactivity as ActiveX. For stuff like Flash, they can have a plugin architecture more line Firefox's.


Well, our company developed a PKI Signer ActiveX control that generates hashes based on their certificate. This is something AJAX would not be able to pull off. Some things do need to be called externally.

Re:A good reason to dump ActiveX (1, Insightful)

ENOENT (25325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020714)

This is good how? A random web page can pop up an ActiveX control that will use your private key to sign something?

Sounds REALLY SECURE.

(Especially since users ALWAYS click "OK" whenever any kind of dialog box pops up.)

Re:A good reason to dump ActiveX (1)

Brobock (226116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020775)

So you know, PKI certificates ask for your password before signing a document and we have authentication measures in place so the user knows it is our component doing the signing. The program will not arbituarily take your key and sign something else, the program returns a hash and nothing but back to the document.

Re:A good reason to dump ActiveX (1)

ENOENT (25325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020901)

That's what your program does.

Now estimate the difficulty of making a not-so-nice ActiveX control, and think about what it could do with the same level of access to your signing key, especially in jurisdictions where digital signatures are legally binding.

Re:A good reason to dump ActiveX (0, Troll)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020902)

No,no,no you see, it's slashdot. Nothing good can come from using Microsoft technology.

Roll your eyes, sigh then just melt into the groupthink that is Slashdot. You want to become a mindless parroting serf like everyone else. It's all good. "Everything is going to be O.K."...

Remember, ActiveX is bad, Linux is good. With Linux you can't do bad. You can have a website that administers a whole cluster of Linux servers protected ONLY by a htaccess prompt and it will be awesome as long as it's running on Linux!

Re:A good reason to dump ActiveX (3, Informative)

supra (888583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020774)

This affects all active (aka "rich) content in IE. Aside from ActiveX, this includes technologies like Flash, Java, etc.

Tell me about what /really/ matters for me... (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020466)

So, how does(n't) this all affect Firefox, Mozilla, Opera, and other sorts of browsers? At the technological, legal, and market-share levels?

Re:Tell me about what /really/ matters for me... (5, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020539)

If ActiveX is screwed to the point that some heavy engineering is needed to get the websites back into normal operation, some developers might start moving towards open standards that the non-IE browsers support pretty well.

Re:Tell me about what /really/ matters for me... (2, Interesting)

acroyear (5882) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020747)

As noted elsewhere, ALL browser plug-in architectures are vulnerable (the reason TBL got involved in the first place). IE was just the first target because 1) they didn't license it (actually thumbed their noses at it), and 2) they have the largest market share.

Mozilla could be hit at any point Eolas feels like it.

Eolas expected Microsoft to finally roll over and eat it and take out an official license. Microsoft called the bluff, only Eolas is still holding the higher hand right now.

Re:Tell me about what /really/ matters for me... (1)

sud_crow (697708) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020553)

I was thinking the same thing... ever since i read about this. I thought that this patent could be used against any browser with plugins (extensions?) capabilities

Anyway, it occurred to me, that it might be that Mozilla or Opera dont have *by FAR* the money that Microsoft has, or maybe they actually don't care to hurt other browsers or companies, just make the greatest money maker in software to pay its bill for using their 'intelectual property'.

Of course, i dont agree with IP, but i didn't gave them the patent on plugins!

Re:Tell me about what /really/ matters for me... (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020802)

I read that Eolas won't go after the other browsers and would allow them to continue status quo.

I was under the impression that it was Microsoft that stole the idea and pitced it to the standards board as their own for everyone to use which is why Eolas came after them.

Re:Tell me about what /really/ matters for me... (4, Insightful)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020803)

ah yes, money. there is nothing to be gained from filing suit against mozilla. of course that's why my school district gets sued, but the teachers themselves rarely do.

this highlights a real problem with our IP laws and patents. while patents are good for things, for ideas they are horrible.

Eolas and Mozilla: still open, can still close (4, Informative)

acroyear (5882) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020568)

As of 2003 (when Eolas won judgement against M$), Mozilla hadn't attempted to reach any agreement. Their post [mozilla.org] on the subject says to simply keep an eye out and be ready to change if we have to change.

Wikipedia currently is still saying "Other browsers such as Opera, Mozilla Firefox and Apple's Safari might have to implement a similar change to avoid infringement, or to license Eolas' patent".

How about no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020468)

Maybe the fact IE users have to click extra to make the flash movie play will convince them to stop using IE?

Re:How about no? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020529)

Maybe the fact IE users have to click extra to make the flash movie play will convince them to stop using IE?
Sorry, but how so?

It looks to me like this change has next to no downsides. This is what's only available as an extention (Flashblock) in Mozilla/Firefox, and then only for Flash. This change will make IE more usable, not less.

Re:How about no? (1)

Senzei (791599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020718)

You would think so, but countless cases of "Just click ok to get it off the screen" say otherwise. If IE starts requiring people to perform an additional step to authorize the crap that they want, and they hear some other browser does not, they may well decide to pack up and head to less mentally demanding pastures.

One-Click Activation (5, Insightful)

gregarican (694358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020471)

From TFA: However, sources tell eWEEK that the situation could be chaotic when the IE patch ships as an automatic update to users of IE 6 on Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003.

Each page a user visits will require them to click a button to activate the underlying ActiveX control. Wow. BFD. And that is just for those websites that haven't updated their content by June. Chaotic? Far from it.

Re:One-Click Activation (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020657)

Each page a user visits will require them to click a button to activate the underlying ActiveX control. Wow. BFD. And that is just for those websites that haven't updated their content by June. Chaotic? Far from it.

This could be a good thing, too, in terms of security. Imagine, having to click on a button before a website runs a script. You know, this might prevent malicious websites from spreading malware through a vulnerability in ActiveX, huh?

Re:One-Click Activation (1)

slackmaster2000 (820067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020661)

From the very next paragraph in TFA:

"Despite what Microsoft says about minimal impact, it makes it much harder to use an application that has a lot of ActiveX or Applets. Each time you load a page with a control, you have to activate it. So if the user goes to PageA with a control and activates it, then goes to PageB with a control and activates that one, if they then go back to PageA again then have to activate it again," said the source, who requested anonymity.

Re:One-Click Activation (1)

gregarican (694358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020756)

Annoying yes. Chaotic no. It's kind of like if someone had their IE security settings to prompt them before running Active Scripting. They would be clicking multiple times per website visit for sure.

Impact on JavaScript (3, Interesting)

cyngus (753668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020482)

Aren't there a good number of JavaScript events that are handled through ActiveX on IE, for example onblur() and onclick()? I hope that I'm wrong or else I've got a lot of JS recoding to do, I hate JS.

Re:Impact on JavaScript (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020632)

So what you are saying is that you create active-x websites? I hope these aren't public facing.

Re:Impact on JavaScript (2, Interesting)

cyngus (753668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020660)

Ummm no, it means that I believe some JavaScript events are actually implement in IE by using ActiveX. So when you write an onclick() handler, the flow of control passes through ActiveX. I support IE at all, only because I have to, and in fact my company has discussed dropping IE support completely now that Firefox market and mind share is getting higher.

Re:Impact on JavaScript (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020804)

I hope these aren't public facing.
ummm, like Ajax, specifically the xml request stuff, on IE is done via ActiveX. So I guess Google should take down maps and gmail?

Re:Impact on JavaScript (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020689)

Not to mention the famous XmlHttpRequest

Click here to activate Advertising (4, Funny)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020510)

The sweet irony of it al

This will be a disaster! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020513)

Users will be forced to click once before punching the monkey.

Re:This will be a disaster! (1)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020697)

Well, the image slideshow doesn't start on its own.

Re:This will be a disaster! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020845)

That's the funniest thing I've read all day.

Hats off.

Functionality removed as part of security update (2, Interesting)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020524)

They are lucky that there are so many vulnerabilities in IE that they need to release a patch every 1-2 months... without that, users could easily choose not to update.

Even then, they will have to be very careful. With some coverage in the general media, a lot of users could decide that it is better to diable windows update than to find their applications being crippled because of pointless quarrels in court.

Not just ActiveX... (4, Informative)

akac (571059) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020541)

For all those .\ users who say "ActiveX good riddance" - yes, EXCEPT that QuickTime, Flash, and all the other IE plugins are guess way - ActiveX plugins.

So that means every page with any usage of plugins will be broken.

Re:Not just ActiveX... (1)

Kaellenn (540133) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020562)

Yup; ever since MS decided to drop support for "netscape-style" plugins.

Wouldn't it be great if those developers (namely Adobe/Macromedia and Apple) decided NOT to rewrite their plugins for the new ActiveX spec and instead decided to say, "switch to firefox or opera if you want to use our plugins."

Ah...pipe dreams....

Re:Not just ActiveX... (1)

mingot (665080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020583)

Yes, it would be great. It would kill flash. (Little else, though.)

Re:Not just ActiveX... (4, Informative)

acroyear (5882) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020719)

the "Netscape-style" plug-ins would still be vulnerable; Mozilla is still vulnerable, as is Safari (and its Konquerer codebase).

the patent isn't on the specifics of Active-X, but the absolute general vague as hell concept of the browser plug-in. According to Cringley (years ago), Eolas showed a version in the opensource Mosaic codebase to Sun and Netscape *before* java was included in Netscape 2.0. Java is vulnerable.

Re:Not just ActiveX... (2, Insightful)

OneSeventeen (867010) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020650)

For all those .\ users who say "ActiveX good riddance" - yes, EXCEPT that QuickTime, Flash, and all the other IE plugins are guess way - ActiveX plugins.

So that means every page with any usage of plugins will be broken.

I guess for this \.user, I mean not only "ActiveX good riddance", but also "Internet Explorer good riddance". If their browser can't display standards-compliant code, most likely due to their shady business practices, then who cares?

They are saying, change the roads because we found out our car needs to be changed. That is unacceptable. My sites will not change, and if someone wants to view them, and it doesn't work in IE, they are free to use Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc. The fewer sites that require IE, the better, and maybe this will be the final straw that pushes at least one more developer away from the instability that is IE.

IE is not a bad browser, it just renders bad code, and takes a little longer on publishing security patches than other browser manufacturers. Because they have decided to go against Web Standards, I have no sympathy. If they were using Web Standards, I'd consider them, ActiveX, and other things IE displays as being something worth designing for.

Overall, I just don't use some of the more fine-tuned features of CSS/XHTML so it looks good in both fx and IE. But why should I care about IE users getting screwed, when they are getting screwed either way? I'm tired of hacking code so it "works" in IE.

As long as my sites are functional, meaning users get the same information, and as much the same experience as possible, I'm happy. I can 99.9% of the time achieve this with standards-compliance CSS. The other 0.1% of the time I just ignore IE. I know the bulk of users are IE users, but why should they change if we keep building an IE web?

Re:Not just ActiveX... (4, Insightful)

mejesster (813444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020886)

Are you literate? This isn't killing IE, this is a suit based on IP about plugins. Any browser that has plugins would be vulnerable to future suits, including your precious firefox and opera and konqueror and seamonkey or whatever else. It has nothing to do with standards compliance or the quality of that steaming piece of shit browser. And how are their "shady business practices" in any way related? This isn't about monopolies, or media/browser integration, it's a patent case against a specific browser. It's comments like yours that make slashdot so painful to read.

Re:Not just ActiveX... (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020680)

For all those .\ users who say "ActiveX good riddance" - yes, EXCEPT that QuickTime, Flash, and all the other IE plugins are guess way - ActiveX plugins.

Wait, we can get rid of ActiveX, Flash and quicktime all in one shot?

So, umm, what's the downside again?

Re:Not just ActiveX... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020884)

yeah, yahoo maps and google finance are so lame, who would want to use flash?

Re:Not just ActiveX... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020906)

That we're not able to get rid of idiots like you at the same time?

Re:Not just ActiveX... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020686)

boo hoo...

Re:Not just ActiveX... (1)

PatriceVignon (957563) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020805)

Great, I might become an Internet Explorer user again, now that it automatically includes a FlashBlock extension! I think Eolas deserves an award for this...

Re:Not just ActiveX... (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020915)

So that means every page with any usage of plugins will be broken.

No. The pages are not broken. They are properly coded. The browser is broken, and I will not be changing my properly-coded pages to accomodate for Microsoft yet again setting up their software to behave differently than every other browser out there. If anyone complains, my answer will be "use a non-broken browser; they're free and multiplatform. My site properly conforms to standards. If you don't want to download a new browser, just click the button, and remember that it's Microsoft's fault".

The Future of the Internet Experience (3, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020545)

"Six months from now, there will be no difference to the Internet experience whatsoever," Wallent said, insisting that customers and developers have been very receptive to making the necessary content modifications.

He's right you know, and it is really too bad...so sad. :(

Hope they fix text-to-speech & voice recogniti (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020578)

While they have the hood open, it'd be nice if apps using SAPI didn't require users to diddle with the default security settings to make it go. (Not that I have any important apps [primus.ca] that use it. ;)

What if they tried to have a lawsuit... (2, Interesting)

Illbay (700081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020581)

...and nobody came?

Hey, this isn't a "pro-Microsoft" rant, but wouldn't it be just dandy if the courts declared "Heal yourselves!" to the myriad silly and frivolous lawsuitery that is drowning the domestic business environment?

Of course, you'd have LOTS of poor widdle lawyers out of business.

But hey, is that REALLY such a bad thing?

Microsoft Umbrella? (5, Insightful)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020582)

I thought one of microsoft's main anti-linux FUD points was that if you use M$ technologies that you'll be protected against patent troubles like this...

wtf happened?

Re:Microsoft Umbrella? (-1, Troll)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020606)

HA, mod up.

Serves them right the damn dirty thieves.

Re:Microsoft Umbrella? (4, Funny)

jefu (53450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020730)

Actually I think it is more like : If you use MS technologies you'll be protected against lawsuits by MS.

Re:Microsoft Umbrella? (1)

TheSkyIsPurple (901118) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020846)

What it would mean is that if you used ActiveX, Microsoft will cover you if Eolas decides to sue you over it.

Re:Microsoft Umbrella? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020858)

I thought one of microsoft's main anti-linux FUD points was that if you use M$ technologies that you'll be protected against patent troubles like this...

wtf happened?


They lied.

If Microsoft wanted to do the world a favor.. (3, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020605)


It would include, as part of this re-engineering effort, a dialog that would appear, explaining to the user, why this is happening- pointing out the destructive nature of software patents. The effect is, that since someone else "owns" the ability to do things a certain way, you are required to do it differently, or fork out some cash. If enough people are made aware of just how sofware patents really do have an effect on what they can and cannot do, perhaps this could be the beginning of some grassroots support for much-needed change.

Re:If Microsoft wanted to do the world a favor.. (1)

tgrigsby (164308) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020876)

Patents are commodities, and patent infringement cases are a business unto themselves. Patent rights can be bought, sold, licensed, collected, litigated, released, etc. And you're suggesting that M$ declare the billions in patent rights it holds to be evil and destructive?

Y'know, on the off chance that that would work, I'm going to write Bill Gates and explain to him the evil of money. At the end, I'll offer to take all that nasty money off his hands and dispose of it.

Hey, it could work...

Well, where's the indemnification? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020609)

C'mon, you Microsoft fanboys, tell us why Microsoft isn't indemnifying those users?

Re:Well, where's the indemnification? (2, Informative)

Spiked_Three (626260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020871)

I'll byte.

indemnify
v. to guarantee against any loss which another might suffer. Example: two parties settle a dispute over a contract, and one of them may agree to pay any claims which may arise from the contract, holding the other harmless.

You see, if you understood the word, you would realize that the end user is not suffering a loss. They are losing some convenience.

Microsoft is just the first case. All other browsers will be required to change their way of business as well. The precedent has been set. There is nothing 'indemnifying" Firefox or Opera.

The one that cracks me up is "its permissions-based scheme which is dramatically more hackable than Java's sandbox-based scheme" - lol - never really read about computers before I take it? The patent does not only affect activeX it also affects Java, since last time I looked, Java was a plug-in. Both are affected by the ruling. That baseless statement of false facts (about hackable) does not even apply.

"Ajax page could provide the same level of interactivity as ActiveX" - please - do you have any idea what you are talking about? I didn't think so. Ajax can help avoid postbacks to the server. ActiveX controls are code that has full access to the Win32 stack. Show me an Ajax control^h^h^h^h^h^h^hscript that does what the ActiveX performance Monitor control does.

activate ads? (2)

LordMaxxon (898539) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020615)

W00t! AdBlock for IE!
(Yes, I know there's plenty of ad-blocking software for IE)

Missing the point (4, Insightful)

szembek (948327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020621)

Where I'm seeing the biggest potential problem is here: Say a company hired somebody a few years ago to make them a brochure style website, and it had a flash intro, banner, etc. The company is used to seeing their website a certain way. When all of the sudden the website starts making them click 'OK' every time they go to their homepage they're going to get pissed off. They also aren't going to know why it's happening, or care, or switch browsers, or bitch about Eolas being a bullshit company, they are just going to call the person who made the site and have them fix it. I think there are going to be a lot of cases like this. Sure big companies are going to see this coming and change their code, and yes nerds will just use FireFox... but many small non-tech-savvy people with websites are going to be hit by this.

How to update your pages (5, Informative)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020683)

Apple has a helpful page [apple.com] detailing what to do in order to get your pages to continue working as usual with IE.

Patents spur creativity - kind of (3, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020685)

Generally, with what I have seen going on I would say they don't in general. On the other hand, patents do encourage people to come up clever alternatives to avoid having to pay money to the patent, that they might have otherwise infinged. Kind of ironic that creativity is not in the patents, but in the avoidence of patents.

More details? (2, Insightful)

slashkitty (21637) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020690)

Does anyone have more details on what exactly has to be changed?

Some people are saying it's going to change everything (flash, movies, some JS, etc) while others say that no one will notice the difference.

What's the difference, and what do developers have to do for there to be no difference?

Widespread example that patents are good for soc.. (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020699)

...hell...wait a minute, I have to click on *this*?

It. Is. Just. Bloody. Nonsense. Period.

The day is April 11th. (4, Informative)

jwaters (45772) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020708)

Most people will be affected by this starting on the next patch Tuesday from Microsoft (April 11th). TFA states:
"Michael Wallent, general manager of the Microsoft Windows Client Platform, confirmed that the changes will be included in a cumulative IE security update that's on tap to ship on April 11 and said the 60-day extension would apply only to a "small set of customers."

The eWeek article doesn't do a very good job of highlighting that.

Who the fuck does Eolas think it is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020712)

From browsing the Eolas website, it looks like they're trying to come off as some innovative Internet company, and they spew some line about how they want to make the Internet a more interactive medium. Perhaps they should suffix that with "for those willing to pay our extortion fees". Fucktards.

Won't disable "non-interactive" ActiveX (5, Informative)

zsazsa (141679) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020748)

Before everybody says "good riddance," note that the upcoming IE update will simply mean you have to click first to enable interaction with the embedded object. This means that things like Flash ads and streaming video will still run automatically -- a user would need to click on them to be able to interact with them, i.e. find the tiny little "mute" or "close" button to make them go away. This page [baekdal.com] previews the update and shows exactly how it will change things.

News Flash (1)

RedLaggedTeut (216304) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020753)

In other news, Amazon has announced it has applied for a technology that will auto-click in a web browser based on configurable trigger patterns.

This can't be good for MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020759)

Instead of settling and paying for a damn patent license, they are saying a big "screw you" to the entire web. THe outcome of this will be the dominance of Firefox.

Re:This can't be good for MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020864)

This will have no effect on the dominance of Firefox. Internet Explorer has been bug-ridden and lacking in features for years. This small change won't affect the adoption rate of Firefox. Furthermore they are not saying "screw you" to the web. They clearly see this patent as irrelevant which is why they're willing to work around it. Microsoft licenses a large number of technologies from other companies that it deems necessary. At the most Microsoft is deploying this change in order to marginalize the power of Eolas's patent in order to get Eolas to license the patent at a dirt cheap price. This puts the negotiations (if Microsoft even wants to entertain them) fully on Microsoft's terms.

This patch TO ie... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020779)

will it be a forced update that you cannot refuse?

Re:This patch TO ie... (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020828)

That is not possible if you haven't updated at all. I refuse the autoupdate and what I have won't change at all.

So what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020798)

Sites forced to use accepted standards and no longer break and mangle code to fit IE

DISASTER!

nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020823)

see, THAT's innovation.

Maybe I don't get it (1)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020899)

Microsoft isn't going to magically intercept every HTTP transaction and see if it's somebody requesting an ActiveX control, though. Won't this only affect people who apply the "security" update (actually a "keep MS from getting sued" update) that they're going to roll out? What percent of users apply security updates anyways?

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