An Internet Explorer update released last week can
interfere with some applications, including Google's Toolbar, according to
PatchLink, a maker of patch management software.
Other applications affected by the Web browser patch include business
software from Oracle's Siebel customer relationship management unit and
certain Web applications that use specific versions of Java, PatchLink said
The problems arise because of changes Microsoft made to how the Web browser
handles Web programs called ActiveX controls. The modifications are designed
to shield Microsoft from liability in a high-profile patent dispute with
Eolas Technologies and the University of California.
Microsoft had warned that the ActiveX tweaks, first announced in December,
can affect how certain sites display in the browser. The software maker
released a "compatibility patch" alongside Tuesday's security update that
undoes the ActiveX changes for another 60 days.
In the Google Toolbar, users may experience an error when closing a
window that contains an inactive ActiveX control, PatchLink said.
The problem affects only older versions of the Google Toolbar, those
before version 220.127.116.11, a Microsoft representative said in an e-mailed
statement. "Google implemented a fix and shipped this to users on March 8 by
using its automatic servicing mechanism," the Microsoft representative said.
"We expect the problem to be fully remedied."
Google did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment. PatchLink
said it was made aware of the compatibility issues by its customer base.
While the Google Desktop error appears to occur only in some instances,
Siebel 7 users face a bigger problem. After installing the IE patch, users
must click several times to be able to use the Siebel customer relationship
management program, one time for each ActiveX control in the program,
Oracle is working with Microsoft to address the issue, a representative
for the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle said. "In May, we anticipate
issuing fixes to address this Microsoft problem for Siebel 7 users," the
representative said in an e-mailed statement.
Microsoft's patch can also affect ActiveX controls that use Java
Platform, Standard Edition 1.3 or 1.4, PatchLink said. Users will have to
click twice to be able to use such a Web program if it uses the affected
Java versions, the patch management specialist said. A newer version of
Java, 1.5, is not affected, it said.
The Java issue surfaced in February, when Microsoft first publicly
released the IE update, the Microsoft representative said. "Microsoft has
made changes to address this issue, and we believe it is resolved," the
representative said. "We are unaware of any new specific compatibility
issues with Java and will fully investigate any issues we hear from
customers and partners."