In August of this year when Microsoft settled the long running Eolas patent dispute, I speculated that this would mean the end of the two-step activation of ActiveX controls in Internet Explorer that Microsoft had implemented to avoid the Eolas patent. That speculation was borne out today when Microsoft announced that the two-step will soon be over.
Back in April 2006, we made a change to how Internet Explorer handled embedded controls used on some webpages. Some sites required users to “click to activate” before they could interact with the control. Microsoft has now licensed the technologies from Eolas, removing the “click to activate” requirement in Internet Explorer. Because of this, we’re removing the “click to activate” behavior from Internet Explorer!
So you’re probably wondering when we are going to release this update? The first chance will be with an optional preview release, called the Internet Explorer Automatic Component Activation Preview, available in December 2007 via the Microsoft Download Center. Additionally this change will be made part of the next pre-release versions of Windows Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3. After giving people enough time to prepare for this change, we’ll roll this behavior into the IE Cumulative Update in April 2008, and all customers who install the update will get the change.
More details by following the link and at the MSDN information page.