Autodesk rushes out IE 7 compatibility fix

Prepares a "hotfix" for two applications in aim to remedy a problem working with Microsoft's browser update.

Autodesk plans to release a patch for two products that aim to remedy compatibility problems with Microsoft's new Internet Explorer 7.

The "hotfix," or patch targeting a specific issue, will be issued for Autodesk Design Review 2007 and Autodesk DWF Viewer 7.0 later this week, said Jennifer Toton, a spokeswoman for Autodesk. The applications are for viewing and printing 2D and 3D designs in the Autodesk Design Web Format (DWF).

"We have been working with Microsoft and had a service pack planned to release on Nov. 7," Toton said Monday. "We didn't think the IE 7 issue was that significant for our customers, and we thought the delay would be fine."

Some Autodesk users had complained that their Web sites that include DWF files no longer worked in IE 7. Microsoft made the IE 7 update available for download last week and plans to push it out to users of Windows XP with Service Pack 2 next month. IE 7 is the first major new version of Microsoft's Web browser software in about five years.

DWF Viewer is a free application that has been downloaded 11 million times, according to Autodesk. Design Review is a premium version of DWF Viewer that adds features such as annotations.

Microsoft had warned of compatibility issues and released several trial versions of IE 7 prior to the final version so that Web administrators and software companies could prepare, a representative for the software giant said last week. The Autodesk problem is one of the minor issues that have surfaced so far with the new browser, the representative said.

A beta, or test, version of the Autodesk fix is available via the blog of one of the company's employees. The final version is slated for later this week, after some more vetting, Toton said. The patch will also be included in Autodesk's service pack update, which is still slated for November, she said.

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