One of the "fixes" from patch Tuesday was to alter the way IE handle ActiveX controls (after loosing the patent lawsuit that Eolas filed). And now, every time we (by "we" I meant those
idiots users who are still using IE) sees an ActiveX control such as Flash (as pictured above), the user must activate the control by left clicking on it.
Ok, so what’s the big problem? Well first of all, isn’t this just plain annoying and stupid? Take the example of the search box that’s created in Flash – the user now have to click on the area of the (ActiveX) control and then click again to place the cursor in the search box. And no, you cannot argue this is a "security feature", as whatever is implemented in the control still execute – it just means now you’ll have to spend an extra click before you can interact with the control. Again, the change is counter-intuitive to the end users.
Secondly, and more importantly, what will this mean (not literally, but philosophically)? Now that Microsoft is forced to implement this change to such an obvious idea (the idea that a control is executed automatically whenever a page loads) patented by Eolas, does this mean sooner or later, all browsers will have to make such changes? If so, does this mean we can now patent ideas as opposed to an invention? Especially such a simple idea like this, which I’m sure a 5 year old kid from anywhere would have figured out.
I’m really disappointed.
What do you think?
Should Eolas be awarded the patent in the first place?
Should software be "patentable"?