While completely failing to breathe a single word on Internet Explorer 8, Microsoft is still focused on the copy of the browser that originally shipped with Windows XP. In this context, the Redmond company announced that it is introducing an update to Internet Explorer 6 running on the 64-bit editions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, in order to alter the browser's behavior when managing ActiveX controls.
The 18.9 MB update dubbed WindowsServer2003.WindowsXP-KB912945-x64-ENU.exe is up for grabs since November 13, 2007. "This update includes minor changes to how Internet Explorer handles some web pages that use Microsoft ActiveX controls. Certain webpages will require users to manually activate Active X controls by clicking on it or using the TAB key and ENTER key. This update contains all previously released security updates," Microsoft informed in the overview of the release.
The fact of the matter is that Microsoft is cooking more ActiveX-related modifications, but this time for all the supported versions of Internet Explorer. The IE Automatic Component Activation will be updated in order to scrap the "Click to activate this control" behavior. The Internet Explorer Automatic Component Activation Preview will be made available for download in December 2007 via Windows Update. With all the efforts centered on IE6 and IE7, Microsoft is completely neglecting to deliver even the slightest details related to the next version of Internet Explorer – IE8.
"After you install the update, you cannot interact with ActiveX controls from certain Web pages until these controls are enabled. To enable an ActiveX control, manually click the control. When you install this update, the Plugin.ocx binary is completely removed from Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. The Plugin.ocx binary is a private component of Internet Explorer without any public interfaces.
Plugin.ocx is used to host Netscape plug-ins as ActiveX controls. The functionality of Plugin.ocx was disabled in 2003 in Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP for security reasons. This update removes the non-functional Plugin.ocx code completely", Microsoft added.Internet Explorer, IE, 64-bit, Microsoft