Silver lining

In the web design field, technology can change at a rapid pace. One of my talks last month was a session about the Eolas patent lawsuit against Microsoft that threatened to change the way millions of people view rich media content on web sites. The night before my presentation files were due to the conference organizers, Microsoft removed the Eolas version of their software from their site, having decided that the patent would be overturned, or they would win the appeal.

This left us in a bit of a bind, as it was too late to change the conference schedule. So we gave the talk anyway, and I saved the best part for last. As a result of the changes in the browser, and in an effort to give web designers a way to test their sites with the Eolas version of IE6 for Windows, without having it take over the non-Eolas version, Microsoft did the impossible, and allowed two versions of IE to exist on the same Windows machine, without having to boot into a new partition, or run multiple instances of VMWare or VirtualPC. This has long been the bane of web designers and a perennial FAQ on web design lists for many years.

Some sharp folks figured out what changes were made, and created versions of IE 4-6 that could coexist happily with each other and made them available for download. If you haven’t done so yet, head over to Ryan Parman’s and get them while you can.

Not only do we get a silver lining, but it looks as if the cloud is going away as well. As of late last week, the US Patent office has nullified Eolas’ patent, essentially doing away with any claims they have against Microsoft.


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In which Mark talks about the Eolas case...

March 9, 2004 | web standards

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