graphicpush

Thoughts on branding, design, writing and life by Kevin Potts. Established 2003.

The Eolas Aftermath

While the long-term effects of this are still unclear, Microsoft expects to fully implement these changes in 2004. My guess is that they will try to eventually bend the rules around the ruling and work with Macromedia to embed Flash even deeper than plug-in status.

It seems the whole Eolas patent issue with Microsoft is settling down. While Mike Doyle looks forward to his check for half a billion dollars, the rest of the world is coming to terms with the future of browser plug-in technology. MS has already posted a developer version of IE6 addressing the issue, but it seems that the world-ending fix just might be a simple pop-up window requesting permission to load Flash, Java Applets or other ActiveX controls. While this seems trivial, it disrupts the seamless user experience that has existed for the past several years.

Web developers are waiting in the middle to see if additional lawsuits rain down on Mozilla and Opera, and just how much code adjustment they and their clients will have to make. Others have begun to react as well; Bink has posted more information on the pending changes, and Apple has posted a FAQ and tutorial on loading content through javascript, which circumvents the patent.

While the long-term effects of this are still unclear, Microsoft expects to fully implement these changes in 2004. My guess is that they will try to eventually bend the rules around the ruling and work with Macromedia to embed Flash even deeper than plug-in status. While this might reak of typical MS tactics, their actions will be forgivable if they can restore a seamless web experience for users.