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Microsoft IE patch eliminates extra step

Licensing agreement allows software maker to eliminate Internet Explorer's "click to activate" step for interactive Web sites with HTML-embedded controls.

The "click to activate" step for using certain interactive Web pages with embedded controls will no longer be required when viewing them with Internet Explorer, Microsoft announced Monday.

Microsoft had kept a "click to activate" requirement for interactive Web pages that embedded controls via HTML, in order to avoid patent infringement.

Microsoft has now licensed the technology from Eolas that allows that interaction to happen automatically. Eolas had been engaged in a long-running patent dispute with Microsoft that resulted in a settlement in August.

The result of that agreement is that IE users will no longer be bothered by that extra step. The change will be included in the Internet Explorer Automatic Component Activation Preview patch available from the Microsoft download site in early December. It will then be included for all IE users when the full IE Cumulative Update goes out in April 2008.

The update will not affect the way pages work, nor will developers and designers need to make any adjustment to the way they build their pages, Pete LePage, senior product manager for Microsoft Internet Explorer, said in a statement.

Those who have been using work-arounds using WebOC or MSHTML to bypass the "click to activate" step automatically on their own may have to make some adjustments. More info on that can be found on the IE blog.