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Eolas COO Says IE Changes A Shame 235

Posted by Zonk
from the buh-wuh-huh dept.
capt turnpike writes "Hot on the heels of Microsoft's announcement of a 60-day period in which Web developers will have to change their pages' architecture, the COO of Eolas, the company whose suit forced these changes, gives an interview to eWEEK.com in which he says these changes are a disappointment. Confused? From the article: 'There is no court order forcing Microsoft to do anything. Anything that is being done is of Microsoft's own choosing,' His position is that publicizing these forced changes strengthens MS's case."
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Eolas COO Says IE Changes A Shame

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  • Very disappointing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blane.bramble (133160) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:22PM (#15036096) Homepage
    From the point of view of his cash flow...
    • by amliebsch (724858) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:26PM (#15036137) Journal
      Exactly. The summary doesn't make it clear that he is saying that the changes are not required because Microsoft could simply pay them for the privilege of not changing it. I say, you sue somebody for doing something, you forfeit your right to complain when they stop doing it!
      • Not only Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ray-auch (454705) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:45PM (#15036298)
        It isn't just the microsoft fee.

        Since IE is (unfortunately) the defacto standard browser, others (if they infringe at all) will follow the lead, and Microsoft will take all the pain of getting web developers to change to cope with the changes.

        The Eolas guy is annoyed because MS routed around his toll bridge, and now everyone else will see the way to go round too, and all his future revenues just evaporated.
        • by errxn (108621) on Friday March 31, 2006 @04:00PM (#15036437) Homepage Journal
          ...others (if they infringe at all) will follow the lead...

          The only problem with this is that Eolas has freely admitted that they are not going to go after any other browser, only IE. As Mozilla, et. al gain popularity and market share, the possibility exists that we'll have a further fracturing of an already splintered HTML/Javascript implementation across browsers.

          One question I have is whether Microsoft has any sort of case against Eolas for discriminatory behavior or extortion, since Eolas has admittedly singled them out. Obviously, IANAL.

          Then again, there's always the wishful thinking that Eolas will realize that they're never gonna get a penny out of their predatory patent, give up, and release it to the public domain. Yeah, wishful thinking.

          • I doubt it. If Bill Gates and a homeless guy were equally responsible for a car accident, do you think the victim could be accused of extortion because they decided not to try suing the homeless guy?

            What could they possibly hope to gain by suing open source developers? Mozilla was a lot less likely to buy a license than Microsoft was.


            • I doubt it. If Bill Gates and a homeless guy were equally responsible for a car accident, do you think the victim could be accused of extortion because they decided not to try suing the homeless guy?


              No, but this is about letting the homeless guy keep on running over them afterwards.

              In which case maybe Gates can argue down the damages because if being runover was so bad, how come they let the other guy carry on doing it...
          • The only problem with this is that Eolas has freely admitted that they are not going to go after any other browser, only IE. As Mozilla, et. al gain popularity and market share, the possibility exists that we'll have a further fracturing of an already splintered HTML/Javascript implementation across browsers.

            The simplest way to implement the workaround just moves some HTML code into an external Javascript file that uses document.write() instead. You would have to go out of your way to make this incompa

          • by Bill Dog (726542)
            The only problem with this is that Eolas has freely admitted that they are not going to go after any other browser, only IE.

            Unless they've delivered to all other browser makers legal documents forfeiting the right to sue them for infringing this patent, that promise means nothing. IANAL but I doubt this could even be done in a legally valid way unless some consideration was involved.
          • I have just been dealing with the ramifications "fix" for several thousand users.

            I BLOWS ME AWAY that Microsoft gets hammered on a stupid patent and then who has to pay? Not Microsoft, not Eolas, but ME! How can they justify taking features away that we bought fully funtioning a long time ago? They have also buried this patch in a Cumulative Internet Explorer Security Update, which to me, amounts to puting a "rider" on a bill that you know won't pass on its own.

            Microsoft's smug spin on it is even more in
            • You're being very shortsighted. So Microsoft can purchase a license to use Eolas' patent. Who pays for that? The consumer. It's a lesser of two evils question. The Eolas CEO comes off kind of smug, so I'm glad they're not buying a license from them.

        • With the $500,000,000+ jury Powerball winnings they got I don't see how future earnings would be a concern. Why play the lottery when you can play the courts?
      • Yeah. The article, on the other hand, does:

        "Eolas Chief Operating Officer Mark Swords called on the software maker to purchase a patent license instead of worsening the browsing experience."
    • It's just lucky for them that they didn't try to sue IBM over a patent this frivilous...
    • no kidding:

      'There is no court order forcing Microsoft to do anything. Anything that is being done is of Microsoft's own choosing,'

      So, the court order didn't force anybody to do anything, I guess. Oh, except to pay Eolas bucketloads of cash forthe supposedly novel concept of being able to open up non-html content by clicking some arbitrarily low number of times.

      I'm sure they weren't thinking this could *ever* happen [shock!]...

    • This guy will be kicking himself the rest of his days remembering telling Balmer "NO! 50 Million is not enough, we demand 250! Or we'll see you in court." So long patent abuser.

      Even if MS paid them it would be a bit like dealing with kidnappers or blackmailers. The price could rise again when the contract is us.
  • by Naked Chef (626614) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:24PM (#15036113)
    the completely broken patent and copyright system in the U.S. that allows such ridiculous lawsuits to happen in the first place, which encourages companies like Microsoft to file thousands of "defensive" patents per year, exacerbating the problem. But nobody can figure out what stifles innovation....hmm.
    • I've gotta say, I don't really see the innovation yet being stifled. Maybe it's a foregone conclusion, and maybe I'm just missing something, but things do seem to be proceeding apace. Honestly, it all seems a bit 'Chicken Little' to me.

      Maybe the fact that people can't 'innovate' tiny little changes to other people's ideas is forcing creativity to higher levels.

      I have nothing to back my opinions up, unfortunately, but I also have nothing refute them.
      • The fact that this company basically patented a software design pattern isn't evidence? Modular achitectures are one of the most basic ideas of software, and this company claims that it owns that idea in the area of web browsing.
      • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:51PM (#15036350) Homepage Journal
        Damn you, you overflowed my ignore list. Now I must find the least vacuous contrarian to remove.
        • Why are you ignoring him again? Because by ignoring anyone that chooses to express a slightly different opinion than the one you hold the world becomes a happier place...

          Feel free to replace some other differnt thinking chap with me.
      • by Jtheletter (686279) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:59PM (#15036413)
        I've gotta say, I don't really see the innovation yet being stifled. [...] Maybe the fact that people can't 'innovate' tiny little changes to other people's ideas is forcing creativity to higher levels.

        This has nothing to do with a lack of creativity or inventiveness on the inventor's part, this has to do with broad and vague patents that cover too much, or too obvious things. In addition the entire patent space is comepltely cluttered with these sorts of things making sorting out relevance from the noise frustrating, time consuming and expensive.

        Being an engineer I've had quite a few ideas for new things, one of the biggest problems I have faced is trying to determine if it's even worth applying for a patent or spending time developing it. Unlike a huge corporation my funds are very limited, so I don't have an extra $1,000++ to just take a shot at patenting something that may not even be accepted, or even worse - is accepted but is later found to infringe on someone else's overly broad patent. Have you ever tried to research existing patents to determine if something you've come up with is new? Not only is it time consuming and difficult, the language of the patents makes it nearly impossible to figure out if something applies even when you think you may have found a hit. The solution is to hire a patent company/attorney to do the search for you, but now we're talking easily $150/hr in fees for the service, and on top of that your patent needs to be worded in the same obfuscated legalease to have a chance at actually providing your idea with protection.

        Innovation is being stifled by the sharp increase in barriers to entry. I've looked into it and just applying for a patent and including search and support costs it easily costs $2500 on the cheap end. Sure you could just pay the patent office fees and give them what you've come up with on your own but you'd basically be throwing your money away since in all likelyhood you will need some sort of councel to get it through the system.

        All of these huge corporations filing "defensive" patents is making it so difficult/expensive that the individual inventor who doesn't already have business funding capital is pretty much out of luck. :(

        • by johansalk (818687) on Friday March 31, 2006 @06:12PM (#15037657)
          I have experience relevant to what you said since a few years ago I was in your situation, the lone inventor. Please allow me to tell you what I think about it.

          First of all, if you thought the situation now is difficult, then just imagine what it would be like had the "barriers to entry" been, let's assume for a second, eliminated. What you'd then have is every "bright" kid and his "my-kid-is-bright" mom filing a patent; then really talk about patents that are too many and too broad. Now don't anyone tell me that's a good thing and creativity will spring up from it, nonsense. Even when you're someone with considerable postgrad expertise and have a creative routine you'd be amazed at how way too often it seems that every "original" thing you come up with had already been discussed and dissected at length in some volume somewhere in far more detail than you'd imagined, sometimes even tens of years ago. We're not in the stone age, prior art is vast now and any considerable invention these days requires a considerable expertise. Barriers to entry should be prohibitive enough to weed out the nonsense.

          Second, if you thought filing a patent was costly, then I'll assume you've never tried to bring anything to market. The costs of patenting something pale in comparison to bringing a new thing to market. Now don't anyone tell me that having a patent will enable you to bring it to market, I'll say you've never been there. The truth is that even with a patent it is very difficult. Established companies have their set ways and own interests, they're fighting to survive against their competitors and can't be distracted by yet-another-invention from yet-another-weirdo, and even if you eventually persuade them that it's a good thing they're more likely to fight against you than for you. Also, most capital is very conservative and shies from anything untested in the marketplace. Useful does not always mean profitable. Answer me this, why should you be given exclusive rights to something that you can't bring to the people?

          Then again, let's go back to basics. What was the intention of the patent law? It wasn't so someone from his bedroom can stalk the people over his "inventions", nor that more people invent more. The original intention of the patent law was so that those with immense trade expertise accumulated and kept in secret (ie, big business) would share that expertise with the people. The patent law wasn't intended so that some guy in his pajamas would tell us how something is done, it was intended so that experts from a big business would have an incentive to write a few documents describing how something is done and share them with the people. Had there been no patents then big business would still continue to invent, only that they'd do it in secret.

          If you're going to have patents, then patenting needs to be prohibitive enough, otherwise you shouldn't have any patents at all.

          There's a saying in filmmaking; if you can't persuade someone to finance your film, you shouldn't be making it. I think it applies here too.

      • >I've gotta say, I don't really see the innovation yet being stifled.

        You are missing the obvious because companies make an effort not to advertise their litigation problems. The last couple companies I've worked at were under the gun for some ridiculous obvious-type patents. They were either in litigation or ended up paying royalties. The royalties money is higher than you think. They pass the price onto you, the consumer, when you buy their products. So its transparent only in the way that you're pay
      • by Anonymous Coward
        ...but it is a very real problem. As soon as the company I work for started doing good business, we showed up on the radar of a whole pile of patent trolling companies. One company had a patent on storing customer subscription information in a "computer file". And we had to cough up the money. Currently we're under attack from another company that has a patent on notifying postal carriers to pick up packages "using a computer".

        Patenting these "inventions" did not in any way help society. We came up wit
    • It is a shame that Ebola (or whatever they call themselves) isn't going to get licensing $ on top of their bloated jury award lottery winnings. *drying tears*

      It is amazing that I find myself feeling sympathetic for bloated megacorp Microsoft.

      I wonder if I'll ever see tort, patent, or copyright reform in my lifetime?
  • by Jerry (6400) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:24PM (#15036115)
    or something like that.

    As much as I dislike Microsoft I am glad they told those patent lizards to take a hike.
  • by Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:28PM (#15036156) Homepage

    This whole case makes me feel violated. Not only is it a patent-troll case, but it's one that makes me side with Microsoft on something. I feel so unclean...

    • This whole case makes me feel violated. Not only is it a patent-troll case, but it's one that makes me side with Microsoft on something. I feel so unclean...

      It doesn't bother me; I'm glad to see MS get bitten in the ass over a silly patent, and I hope it happens again and again. It's the same kind of thing that happened to RIM. Both these companies were proponents of stupid software patents, but then when someone else uses this ridiculous system against them, they complain.

      But even worse, you don't see th
  • You don't say (Score:2, Interesting)

    by supra (888583)
    > Eolas Chief Operating Officer Mark Swords called on the software maker to purchase a patent license instead of worsening the browsing experience.
    Gee, who would've guessed they're interesting in selling a patent license...

    Hopefully MS' actions here will put a damper on all those ludicrous patents and their holders to collect.
    I hope Eolas spent a bundle on litigation and gets nothing in return. That'll teach them.
  • Confused? Yes, I am. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by misfit13b (572861)
    This text parses horribly.

    "Some guy's suit forced MS to make changes of their own choosing which will cause web developers to change their architecture which are a dissapointment, yet strengthen MS's case."

    What changes are the dissapointment? What the hell are you talking about? How about a link or two, or using a word other than "change"?

    Yeah, I know. -1, Offtopic

  • by hudson007 (739981) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:29PM (#15036166)
    Is making ActiveX harder to use a bad thing? "By Microsoft's own admission, IE users will only be able to interact with Microsoft ActiveX controls loaded in certain Web pages after manually activating their user interfaces by clicking on it or using the Tab and Enter keys."
  • Asks why change? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nolife (233813) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:29PM (#15036168) Homepage Journal
    What I read...
    Why would they change? They should just pay us and our layers instead. If they don't pay, we may actually have to take a risk and develop something based on our patent or we will go broke. So yes America, and all that is reading our press release, Microsoft is bad, not us. Repeat that 10 times to as many people as you know and it will eventually become the truth.
  • Microsoft is apparently of the position that this [IE modification] helps their litigation position.

    My God I think he has stumbled upon something! I see now that most everything driving business- and further- the world is based on helping one's own litigation position, how can this be?
  • I'm seeing a lot of these comments side with Microsoft here, stating that Eolas is patent trolling. But, if Linux were to really take off, don't you think Microsoft would start filing a bunch of infringement lawsuits against Linux (or other F-OSS), in the same way Eolas did to Microsoft?
    • by Sneftel (15416) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:36PM (#15036236)
      Probably, and then the same people here would in that instance not side with Microsoft. None of the comments here are "Microsoft is in the right here, and therefore we must agree with everything they do forever". It IS possible to support a position rather than an entity.
    • With the likes of IBM and Novell behind linux and others such as Apple dependant on linux related technologies (webkit, gcc, etc.). Microsoft may not want to go slinging patents willy nilly in Linux's direction just yet. They may well find a few directed back at them.
    • But, if Linux were to really take off, don't you think Microsoft would start filing a bunch of infringement lawsuits against Linux (or other F-OSS), in the same way Eolas did to Microsoft? And OpenSource developers would respond by modifying the alledgedly infringing code as soon as it was pointed out to no longer infringe, much as Microsoft has done. And your point is? Clearly Microsoft is doing the right thing in this case, and still being criticized for it. I despise Microsoft as much as anyone, but in t
    • Entirely possible. And if that happened, most people here would be siding with Linux in that instance.

      Patent abuse is still patent abuse, even when it's aimed at someone you dislike.
    • Probably yes, but at least Microsoft creates something. Eolas doesn't do shit other than patent vague ideas. At least that's all I can see that they do from their website. While I'm opposed to most software patents, the ones I am most opposed to are the ones which are never even used by the company that filed for them.
    • They almost certainly would, and they'd be wrong. I hate stupid patent tricks even more than I despise Microsoft, but I do not doubt that Microsoft will use them if they think they can get away with it.

    • Uhm. No.

      The KKK has a right to free speech just like you or I or anybody else in this thread. Defending their right to free speech protects the rights ALL to have free speech. Even if they are a bunch of bastards and what they say is abhorrent.

      So defending Microsoft when they are in the right, or are standing up to some lawyer bullshit is not a contradiction, it is simply the lack of hypocracy that you seem to want to expect in Slashdotters.
    • Entities, like human beings, are subject to good, bad, evil, mistakes and what not.

      Sometimes, Microsoft can be an ass and you'd hate Microsoft and other times, Microsoft could do something nice that would make you side with them.

      But most of the time, just like most people, they're just trying to get along and do what's best for them.

      So, sometimes those actions are in line with what the Slashdot crowd perceives to be "right" and sometimes it's not.
  • Fools (Score:5, Insightful)

    by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:33PM (#15036212)
    There is no court order forcing Microsoft to do anything. Anything that is being done is of Microsoft's own choosing,'

    You sued them, and apparently won, resulting in two paths of action for Microsoft. Stop the infringing activity, or pay you to be allowed to continue.

    They indeed made a choice. Too bad it wasn't the one you wanted.
  • the end of activex? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by radical_dementia (922403) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:36PM (#15036229) Journal
    I think perhaps one reason they are avoiding buying a patent license is because they are planning on doing away with activex. I've already heard the xmlhttprequest used for Ajax will be built in to IE7 and not as an activex control. Its possible other things like Flash and Acrobat will do the same.
    • xmlhttprequest is a javascript object that was implemented as an activex control. unfortunately, since ms did-away-with/never-had netscape compatible plugins, ie's plugins all have to be activex.

      they couldn't build flash or acrobat into ie, as theyre built by different companies
      • Even if IE still used netscape's plugin architecture, it wouldn't matter. Any plug-in architecture that handles EMBED, OBJECT, or APPLET tags by loading the appropriate plugin when necessary is subject to the patent.
  • PR Stunt (Score:3, Informative)

    by moochfish (822730) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:36PM (#15036234)
    Sounds like a PR stunt trying to make MS look bad for going around their patent instead of paying royalties. He already got 500 million; he's upset he's not getting even more.

    At least this will keep the other browsers safer from further litigation down the road. If MS had bent over backwards and paid, every other browser that ever gained any market share would have been next in line to pay retroactive royalties. Now that MS just changed the rules of the HTML world (as usual), it's not crazy to think other browser vendors won't be ready to follow just to avoid having to pay the costly lesson that MS had to pay.
  • That Microsoft chooses not to control their own destiny at the cost of the consumer's experience?

    How completlely predictably stupid. This chapter in the ever-continuing saga of "idea ownership" that was brought about by the terrible terrible legal precedent in 1998 [harvard.edu] (State Street Bank & Trust Co. v. Signature Financial Group, Inc), is marking a major decline in both the freedom of the market as well as potentially, freedom of the individuals who participate in that market.

    I'm very lacking of pity for Mic

  • Don't Cheer for MS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by algae (2196) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:41PM (#15036274)
    It seems like by taking this action, Microsoft is actually *reenforcing* the validity of software patents. Yes, bully to them for refusing to pay licensing, but by dropping the disputed technology, Microsoft is tacitly admitting that the patent is valid.

    Of course that makes total sense, giving the MS is patenting software techniques left and right, and has reserved the right to sue Free Software distributors over it. If they can get e.g. RedHat to devote person-hours to removing patented algorithms from their distribution, then that's time and money that they're essentially forcing RedHat to throw out the window.
    • by jfengel (409917)
      The Supreme Court pretty much said it for them [slashdot.org]. All Microsoft is doing at this point is living with the reality that the court handed them. They don't like it, but there aren't any legal recourses left.
    • by dropping the disputed technology, Microsoft is tacitly admitting that the patent is valid.

      Or that the Patent Office and Courts -- especially those with technological illiterates on the juries -- are Fucked!

    • but by dropping the disputed technology, Microsoft is tacitly admitting that the patent is valid.

      I don't see that. If Microsoft is admitting anything, it's that the courts decided against them and now they have to abide by the law. While that is unusual for Microsoft, it's not really something you can complain about. The patent is valid because the courts decided it is. You can argue that the patent laws are stupid, or that the presiding judge was a dunderhead, and though I will be the last to contradict yo
  • by bigtallmofo (695287) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:41PM (#15036283)
    If every patent victim were to utter those words to the person or corporation attempting to shake them down, the incentive to perpetrate such frauds would be gone.

    The problem is that corporations like Microsoft typically have a short-term mentality that tells them, "If we litigate, it will cost X. If we pay them off, it will cost Y." They then pay off the con artists if X > Y. Unfortunately this doesn't take into consideration the fact that this rewards bad behavior and leads to the paying of infinite more Ys in the future.

    I applaud Microsoft's decision and I hope Eolas goes down in flames.

  • by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@NosPaM.cornell.edu> on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:42PM (#15036286) Homepage
    These changes sound a lot like a variant of Flashblock to me.

    Yeah, that's right, these changes that "worsen the user experience" are almost identical to the functionality of a rather popular Firefox extension.

    I consider requiring user input to run ActiveX controls to be a Good Thing. Thank you Eolas for finally forcing MS to make drive-by malware autoinstallation more difficult.
  • He said the IE modifications spelled out by Microsoft, which will reportedly disrupt the way online advertising and streaming media content is delivered over the Internet, is an inconvenience users could do without.

    Not having ads shoved down your throat is an inconvenience? To whom, the users? That's a good thing!

    Me thinks Swords is really reaching to say a disruption of online advertising is a bad thing.

  • Looking for a clue (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LodCrappo (705968) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:53PM (#15036366) Homepage
    I have read 5 articles on this whole thing now. I still am not sure exactly what it is that Eolas has patented... the ability to run activeX without clicking an extra button? or something about havign external applications of any kind able to process content inside the browser window? Can anyone explain?

    Also, I found this quote from Eolas:

    "We released our browser back in 1995 to the world free for non-commercial use, so that should be an indicator to people that the open-source community shouldn't have anything to fear from us. "

    Does Firefox/mozilla use any of the disputed technology? I would guess not if it's only ActiveX we're dealing with, but I'm not sure.. quicktime and realplayer were mentioned in one article. Any then I wonder, if Eolas really won't go after open source projects that use their tech, then could Firefox be outfitted to do exactly what IE will no longer be able too, and so then save people the trouble of redesigning all these sites?

    • They released a browser? what browser was that?
      • by acroyear (5882)
        a version of the original open-source Mosaic with their embedded media plugin code. granted, that was before the term "Open Source" became vogue. Prior to that it was simply "well, is it GPL'ed or just BSD or MIT'ed?".

        it got little attention outside the browser development world (Netscape 1.0 was out by then, and stealing the whole show), but it was demoed to Netscape and Sun in the lead-up to Java embedding in Netscape 2.0, so it is prior art to Java in the browser (and thus, flash, shockwave, and the wh
        • but it was demoed to Netscape and Sun in the lead-up to Java embedding in Netscape 2.0, so it is prior art to Java in the browser (and thus, flash, shockwave, and the whole ActiveX concept, much less Mozilla's plug-in architecture).

          Which is complete BS. There is prior art, but it did not originate from them! A plugin is nothing but a shared library or a DLL which implements a specifc API set. For them to have pior art means computers didn't exist until after they release their browser...which creates a c
          • Prior art is relative. i agree with you that its wrong for them to have gotten this patent, but it shows the flaws of the patent system.

            throughout the 90s, anybody who transfered a non-web app to the web got "the patent" on it. anybody who applied an existing pattern to a browser got "the patent". anybody who took an existing webapp, say "shopping for records on the web" (remember, someone got that patent too even though i'd been buying online through cduniverse's telnet interface since 1990) and used th
  • by ObligatoryUserName (126027) on Friday March 31, 2006 @03:56PM (#15036389) Journal
    The Slashdot crowd continues to underestimate Microsoft and misunderstand the market. The reaction to all of this is proof of that.

    Quick question: what's more important ease of use or openess of code? (Watch people talk about how you can have both and how their pet project will bring this about.)

    Simply put, the web is the biggest threat to Microsoft and they're continuing to neutralize it. This is the same type of smart move they made when they stopped shipping Java because "they were forced to". Consistent ubiquitous client-side technologies that aren't controlled by Microsoft are dangerous to them. This move is all about neutralizing Flash by stacking on some FUD.

    "We don't need Flash!", I hear you all scream "We have Ajax!" --- think about it, what's the difference between Flash and a browser? Microsoft controls the browser. (And it's very very unlikely that that will change as long as Windows is the dominant OS.) They're going to continue to make enchancements and include bugs in their browser that will make it less productive to do cross-browser development and then provide tools and features for Windows only use that will sidetrack people doing standards based development.

    The web development community is falling into the same trap that Microsoft used to win the first browser war.
    • The less I see of Java the happier I am.

      Personally I would be happy to have a 'click to load Java so this little app can cause your browser experience to hang for 10 seconds while we consume 30megs of your RAM'.
      • click to load Java so this little app can cause your browser experience to hang for 10 seconds while we consume 30megs of your RAM

        Don't equate shit app programmers with a good programming lanugage. I can write a shitty flash app that chokes up your browser just like you described. It's a shame they teach non-CS folk to program in Java because some of the crap they put out really reflects badly on what can be a very powerful language. I have a few applets that I've written that start immediately and are
  • Not Such a Big Deal (Score:3, Informative)

    by MightyMait (787428) on Friday March 31, 2006 @04:00PM (#15036435) Journal
    Well, having had a quick look at the MSDN article [microsoft.com] linked to from the eWeek article, it doesn't look like such a big deal.

    If the object is instantiated by in-line code, it will still respond to scripting commands but will not respond to user commands until they click somewhere in particular. If an external "JScript" file (does it hurt that much to say "Java", M$?!?!), is used to instantiate the object, there is no change in the way the page will behave.

    So, we can make minor changes to all our ActiveX control-embedding pages to keep them behaving the way they do now, or not. The world will not end.
    • does it hurt that much to say "Java", M$?!?!

      Someone needs a history lesson.

      JavaScript, originally named Mocha and then LiveScript, was developed in 1995 by Netscape, and debuted in version 2.0. It was named JavaScript to coincide with Netscape's added Java support, even though the languages are not that similar.

      JScript was added by Microsoft to Internet Explorer 3.0 in 1996, in response to Netscape's JavaScript. JScript originally used the Active Scripting engine, also known as ActiveX.

      ECMAScript is the cur
    • by mermonkey (71429)
      Exactly...
      This is really less of an interuption to the user-experience than people are thinking. I too panicked when i started reading this stuff yesterday. I have a widely deployed intranet web app with multiple supported versions and streams out there and was afraid i'd be shipping tons of emergency patches. I installed the "upgrade" and the change to the experience is subtle and intuitive enough not to be disruptive in most cases. Basically just a little tooltip shows up when you hover over embedded cont
  • by Xeger (20906) <slashdot@NoSPaM.tracker.xeger.net> on Friday March 31, 2006 @04:03PM (#15036468) Homepage
    Consider Microsoft's alternatives:

    (1) Continue to infringe on Eolas' patent. Eventually Eolas will sue again, causing MSFT to pay more damages.

    (2) Buy a license from Eolas.

    (3) Change IE so it no longer infringes. Pay Eolas nothing.

    You see, #1 and #2 would make Eolas money. #3 makes Eolas no money. In this light, could we expect Eolas' executives to say anything else about Microsoft's decision? Apparently, they're not happy with $520 million -- and their attitude to Microsoft's decision to work around the patent tells us all we need to know about Eolas' motivations.

    This is a shakedown for money, pure and simple. It's yet another abuse of the patent system. They'll take MSFT for as much as they can, and anything MSFT does to stop loss, Eolas will regard as "unfortunate."

    I'm not a big fan of Microsoft -- but if a thief steals from an tyrant, that doesn't make the thief's transgression any less severe or more permissible.
    • I'm not a big fan of Microsoft -- but if a thief steals from an tyrant, that doesn't make the thief's transgression any less severe or more permissible.

      Actually, as an act of aggression against the tyrant, it has some Robin-Hood like nobility, even if it's not given to the poor. No, this is a common brigand that simply shakes down anyone with a shilling only because the ones without aren't worth the effort.
    • but if a thief steals from an tyrant, that doesn't make the thief's transgression any less severe or more permissible.

      Wait a minute, I thought that was the whole reason Robin Hood was considered a folk hero? Damn you and your confusing moral blanket statements!

      All sweeping generalizations are false. ;)

  • Visit the puke's web site. They've trademarked the words "Invented Here".

    (and no, I'm not going to link to it; it's obvious and it will prevent them from blocking referrals from Slashot)

  • Licensing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by colinrichardday (768814) <colin.day.6@hotmail.com> on Friday March 31, 2006 @04:26PM (#15036663)
    Would the license fees have been charged on a per copy basis? If so, how could Microsoft let people download IE for free (as in beer)?
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday March 31, 2006 @04:42PM (#15036822)
    Eolas deserves nothing in this case. Why? Because they never produced any successful product implementing it.

    Love it or hate it, IE is the currently most used browser. And this is one of the significant features of it. Since Eolas has no competing product, why do they deserve a penny? They can't show any damages. They can't show that they sold their idea to someone else who Microsoft ran out of business. All they can do is say we'll prevent the Internet from being a more convenient place unless we're paid lots of money.

    I'm sorry that Eolas is sad that Microsoft is going to byte the bullet and dodge their patent. Wrong! I'm actually not sorry at all!

  • How many times does this have to happen before these folks figure out how to get paid without ruining their future revenue opportunties? You would think these high-paid CEO's get some knowledge about this when going for those MBAs?

    In TiVos case, had they just sold out to DirecTV, they could have walked away fat, dumb and happy, but they played hardball, kept their intellectual property, and now the whole DVR industry is just going around them.

  • They are upset Microsoft would rather change the product, rather than pay an insane amount of cash to Eolas.

    Now Eolas is effectively worth nothing more than the $500 mill reward they got a few years ago... after all it must have spent on defending the patent... $0 return.

    To bad for them... they have a patent that's worth about as much as the lint in my pocket.

    That's the problem with patents... there's nothing dictating that people have to use your technology. Sorry Eolas... you really lost at the end of th
  • This already the case. I have been wondering why all of a sudden both my XP machines now say "click to activate this control" on every embedded flash webpage. Damn annoying.

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