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CNET: IE Upgrade Cuts Off Quicktime

Aug 16, 2001, 10:38 (47 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Evan Hansen)

Reader Myddrin ties in the meaning of a story apparently completely unrelated to Linux for us in something we welcome: reader-contributed insights into news items. If you'd like to do something similar, feel free. Just keep it short in case we can't (or won't) use it. In this case, to add to Myddrin's take, the spread of ActiveX may be offset by Konqueror's recent abilities in that area, but it's clear from watching talkbacks that not everybody's happy with that.

Myddrin writes:

Ok, what does this have to do with Linux, you ask?

Answer this bit:

The QuickTime compatibility problem comes as Microsoft is revamping its support of third-party Web applications from within the browser. At stake is the role of computer code known as "plug-ins," technology pioneered by Netscape Communications to extend the function of Web browsers by welding them closely to other programs.

With IE 5.5, Microsoft discontinued support for plug-ins, according to a Microsoft representative. Instead, the browser relies on technology developed by Microsoft known as ActiveX that links desktop applications to the Web.

ActiveX has been seen as a challenger to Sun Microsystems' Java programming language, which Microsoft has said will no longer be supported by default in its pending Windows XP operating system and IE 6.

It looks like MS is trying to do an end-run around all competing web plug-in technologies, and forcing ActiveX on Windows users. Given that non-IE web browsers are an increasingly small part of the pie, this could bode-ill for all of us using Linux.

It seems to me that some small-time operators will be dropping their netscape plug-ins and moving to ActiveX, and it seems like it would make it less likely for Linux ports in that case.

And of course raises the question of "why?"

Why drop a defacto standard and replace it with something proprietary that has caused no end of trouble for MS users?

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