League Football Education (LFE)

Microsoft release Flash update for IE 6

In: General |
16/04/06 |

Microsoft’s latest patch for Windows XP released on the 28th February 2006 changes the way that Flash and other Microsoft ActiveX controls, loaded by the APPLET, EMBED or OBJECT elements behave in IE 6 (Internet Explorer 6.)

Examples of programs that use ActiveX controls include the following:

  • Adobe Reader
  • Apple QuickTime Player
  • Macromedia Flash
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player
  • Real Networks RealPlayer
  • Sun Java Virtual Machine

As a result of this latest update, users now have to activate a Flash movie on a webpage with a mouse click – before they can interact with it.

The “forced update” will come into effect on the 11th April 2006 and will mean that this new behavior in IE 6 is unavoidable.

The Lawsuit

It all stems from 2004 and Microsoft’s lost lawsuit to Eolas Technologies and the patent for;

“Distributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document”

Basically Eolas holds the patent for how things like Flash and Quicktime/Mediaplayer movies are added to a webpage – in any browser.

You can read more on the lawsuit here

The Solution

However there is a way to solve this. The patent only concerns embedded content, not content from an external source.

Instead of adding the applet, embed or object tag directly to the web page, by adding it using an external JavaScript file the ActiveX control will work in exactly the same way as it did before the release of the update.

Both Microsoft and Adobe have provided the following solutions;

NB: Firefox users will not currently experience the same problem.