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The dialog that launched a million Firefox downloads

The dialog that launched a million Firefox downloads

If you're using IE you may begin to see this dialog more often then you would like:

What horrible UI.

The above dialog is a result of the legal battle over embedding active content in web-pages. The new dialogs skirt around a patent:

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

Coming soon to an IE browser near you all your ActiveX web pages will start to break. You'll either see the above dialog or you may see the tooltip variation where you will need to click on the control to activate the content.

What will break:
- Any page with a QuickTime movie
- Any page with a Flash object
- Any page that uses shockwave
- Any page that embeds Windows Media Player
- Perhaps other embedded content (Word, Acrobat?)
- Any intranet pages that use custom activeX controls.

It could be very ugly. It'll take months for many sites to alter the page code to avoid the error and many older sites that are not maintained regularly will never get updated.

For individuals this will be annoying and many will look for alternatives. For larger corporations that use ActiveX controls internally this will be a major problem. In the first 30 days after the patch is released I suspect that few corporations will deploy the patch as they scramble to figure out the potential impact. Many corporations will likely use this opportunity to evaluate FireFox as an alternative.

FireFox currently has 10% of the browser market. It's likely that individuals, OEM's and Corporations looking for an alternative will convert to FireFox by the millions.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.