Microsoft is on a test-build roll this week. The latest team to offer a test build of a new release is the Internet Explorer (IE) one.
On the IE Team blog, Microsoft officials posted on December 11 about the availability of the so-called Internet Explorer Automatic Component Activation (IE ACA) update.
The IE team has posted for download public test builds of IE 6 and IE 7 that disable the "click to activate" feature that Microsoft added to IE in April 2006 in order to comply with a patent-infringement ruling against Microsoft. In August, Microsoft settled with the plaintiff, Eolas, for an undisclosed amount. Consequently, Microsoft no longer needs to provide a separate "click to activate" control to supplement IE.
Microsoft has made available a number of IE builds that disable the control: IE 6 for XP, IE 6 for Windows Server 2003, IE 7 for XP, IE 7 for Windows Server 2003 and IE 7 for Windows Vista. All of those builds can be accessed via a Microsoft Knowledge Base article page on the browser refresh.
Microsoft officials said in November that the company planned to release a test version of the IE refresh in December 2007. The final release of the IE refresh is set for April 2008, and will be released as part of an IE Cumulative Update, according to Microsoft.