Microsoft brings back automatic ActiveX

Microsoft brings back automatic ActiveX

Eolas settlement allows interactive websites to function without user clicks

Microsoft is to remove a feature from Internet Explorer that required users to activate certain interactive features on a website.

Prior to April 2006, the features functioned without any user interaction. The changes were made in an effort to circumvent a patent owned by Eolas and the University of California.

Microsoft agreed in August to pay $521m to settle the patent dispute.

"Microsoft has now licensed the technologies from Eolas, removing the 'click to activate' requirement in Internet Explorer," said Pete LePage, a senior product manager at Microsoft, on the company's IE Blog.

"Because of this, we are removing the 'click to activate' behaviour from Internet Explorer."

Microsoft plans to release the update by December, when users can download an optional Automatic Component Activation Preview.

The general public will receive the update by April 2008 through Automatic Update in Windows.

The Eolas patent regulates how objects can be embedded into the HTML code of a web page. The patent does not affect JavaScript applications, Netscape or Firefox.