Microsoft to launch test build of Internet Explorer refresh in December

Microsoft to launch test build of Internet Explorer refresh in December

Summary: Following its August settlement of a long-standing patent dispute with Eolas, Microsoft is readying a refresh of its Internet Explorer (IE) browser that will remove an interim "Click to Activate" control setting.

TOPICS: Browser, Microsoft

Following its August settlement of a long-standing patent dispute with Eolas, Microsoft is readying a refresh of its Internet Explorer (IE) browser that will remove an interim "Click to Activate" control setting.

Microsoft to launch test build of Internet Explorer refresh in DecemberMicrosoft is planning to make available for download in December to interested customers an optional "preview" test version of IE browser -- called the Internet Explorer Automatic Component Activation Preview. This version will eliminate the "Click to Activate" control that Microsoft instigated in April 2006 in order to alleviate potential infringement on Eolas' patents. Users will be able to get the preview via a standalone download from the Microsoft Download Center. It also will be built into the next "pre-release" versions of Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 and Windows XP SP3, Microsoft officials said, via a posting on November 8 to the IE Team Blog.

Microsoft is planning to deliver to all customers who install the update the final version of the refreshed IE release in April 2008 as part of an IE Cumulative Update.

Microsoft is emphasizing that the refresh "will require no modifications to existing webpages, and no new actions for developers creating new pages."

"We are simply reverting to the old behavior. Once Internet Explorer is updated, all pages that currently require 'click to activate' will no longer require the control to be activated. They’ll just work," explained Senior Product Manager Pete LePage on the IE Team Blog.

When Microsoft initially changed IE's ActiveX control behavior, it warned partners and customers the changes, though relatively minor, potentially could be disruptive.

The IE refresh is not the next major version of Microsoft's browser. Microsoft is continuing work on a new build of Internet Explorer, code-named IE 8.0. Company officials have declined to provide a timetable for when test or final versions of that product will hit.

Topics: Browser, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Sorry, Still Using Firefox...

    IE is still around?
    • You like Firefox, I like IE7

      I used to do Firefox. But IE7 had a lot of better features, that it was worth upgrading for me.

      IE7 still remains the most secure browser, followed by Firefox (who is definitely more secure than IE6).

      IE7 does better RSS feeds, where you can see the whole post right on the screen, and you can even do metasearch.

      IE7 does more with tabs, like QuickTabs (screenshot of all your tabs, and Tab List (a list of tabs).

      IE7 is still far more compatible with many sites, I remembered browsing with Firefox, and an occasional site couldn't be seen in Firefox.

      And IE7 has a ton of free add-ons, just like FF.

      So I'll keep my IE7, and you keep your Firefox.

      BTW: IE7 is NOTHING like IE6. So don't you compare the two as the same.
    • Around? UYou must be talking about Netscape

      Because IE still is the broswer of choice for the VAST MAJORITY. And given the GAPING security holes in FireFox, I don't expect it to last much past the "fad" stage.
      • Soory, protected mode is still a MINORITY . . .

        Sorry, but that's making a lot of assumptions:

        -IE6 is STILL the biggest browser - and it's been full of holes since its release.

        -Firefox may have holes, but "gaping" I'm not so sure about.

        -IE7 has holes, but in protected mode most of them are covered by Protected Mode. BUT - protected mode is, at the moment, only available in Vista. Considering the reception Vista is getting, I'd venture that most people running IE7 are not running Protected Mode.

        Conclusion: Yes, IE7 with protected mode is very safe. Unfortunately, I regret to inform you that the vast majority of people are NOT running IE7 in protected mode.

        I don't see how you can call Firefox a "fad" anyways, it's been around for a while and has developed quite a following. I seriously doubt it's going away anytime soon. It's been gathering strength constantly.

        Don't feel too bad - competition is good! It drives innovation. Without Firefox, I doubt Microsoft would've made IE7. They stuck with IE6, and it didn't look like that was gonna change - until Firefox jumped in and started eating away at IE's market share.
        • Vista is the number two OS behind ....

          ... XP. There. are more Vista IE7 users then there are Mac and Linux users combined. IE7 is also very secure on XP even without protected mode. It seems your arguements are all wrong
          • Re: Vista is #2... Linux is number 1?

            [pre]There. are more Vista IE7 users then there are Mac and Linux users combined.[/pre]

            Thank the Lord.... because with all of the security holes inherent in EVERY browser...all that's left is the security of the operating system.
        • Typical NoAxe

          NoAxe specialized in uninformed blurbs. His worldview is simple: he doesn't want to be bothered by anything that is not already in his comfort zone. You see - he will retire in a few years.
        • I use Firefox, but...

          Do you happen to specialize in research on these browsers, or are you merely reporting on something you've read in these forums?

      • what choice ?

        It could only be considered choice if Windows came without a browser or if FireFox or Opera (examples) were / are pre-installed as well.
        Yet again false information is being thrown around without any knowledge of where it came from or what it really meant.
        • Yeah, it's not as if

          there were a choice not to have IE, it's on every Windows box by default and then to further blur the lines of choice are the fact that it is tied into the OS. It's not like every PC owner has a choice - isn't that what the Zealots are all crying about when it comes to Macs. Seems choice is in the eye of the beholder...

          So what is IE again? Web browser of file browser? Pick one. Oh, wait, you can't.
          Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493
          • You Could Delete It And Load What You Want

            Problem is no one ever does that, because they trust that will always have a working product they can easily in Microsoft.
      • Words from the VAST MINORITY?

        Most people don't "choose" a browser, they don't care!
        • Actually that's not true

          MS has taken that choice from Windows users so they don't even know there is a choice, I think if there were options to use something other that your file browser to view web pages it would probably be a bit different, don't ya think?
          Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493

        Bookmarked and saved to throw back up into your wrinkled, pathetic face when it doesn't come true.
      • Choice?

        IE may be the browser most people use, but for most, it is not a matter of [i]choice[/i]. Most use it because it came with their computer. If they have IE 7, odds are it was because it came from Microsoft, either as a download or with Windows, not because they [i]selected[/i] it as their browser. I provide enough support (not my official job function), to be very comfortable stating that as fact.

        I've been using Firefox since before v1.0 and Mozilla before that. The feature set was better at the time and with extensions, still is, in my opinion. IE 7 may be an improvement over IE 6 (I have only limited experience with it at this point), but Firefox works well for me. To be balanced, much of the security is added on, the Netcraft toolbar and NoScript being the main factors. But as far as I know, nothing like NoScript exists for IE in any version. That weakness [i]alone[ii] makes IE much less secure, even if admittedly it doesn't matter as much for the less computer literate.

        Despite what is mentioned mentioned elsewhere, I very rarely come across a site that won't work in Firefox. I have IE Tab for Firefox and I find that a page that doesn't work in Firefox usually won't in IE, either. That isn't an absolute, but it's true enough that the exception proves the rule.

        So, as with OSes, use what you want and deal with the limitations that come up as a consequence. But don't confuse the effects of the majority share in the market of Windows with a [i]preference[/i] for IE.
        • Wrong Again

          I had windows XP Pro. It certainly did not come with that OS. However, I could not wait to download and use the browser; glad I did.
    • Still arround and still the most used ...

      ... browser in the world. Perhaps if you weren't using Firefox you could have found that information.
      • Only because

        it is part of the OS. Nice trick, don't ya think? To boost number of your install base, tie it to the OS - brilliant for pointless notions such as the one you just threw out there.
        Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493
        • Does the reason really matter?

          In business how you become number one does little to change the revenue generated. It would seem it is your notion that is pointless.
          • Smoke

            [pre]In business how you become number one does little to change the revenue generated. It would seem it is your notion that is pointless.[/pre]

            How you become #1 has EVERYTHING to do with the revenue generated.

            Where did you come up with that BS philosophy?