IE Automatic Component Activation Preview #2 Now Available

The second optional preview for the Internet Explorer Automatic Component Activation is available. This preview is compatible with the February IE Cumulative Update package. As announced earlier on this blog, the final behavior will be widely distributed in the April 2008 Internet Explorer Cumulative Update where all customers who install the update will get the change. Read Knowledge Base article 947518 for full details along with links to the specific downloads for each operating system.


PEte LePage
Senior Product Manager

Comments (41)

  1. macbirdie says:

    Great! I’ve been using Vista SP1 for a few days now and it’s incredible how a small thing as the lack of "Click to activate" can make browsing experience with IE so much less annoying. Thank you.

  2. ti says:

    Will IE6SP1 obtain this functionality in April 2008?

  3. Great!

    Is it gonna be available to IE6 for Windows 2000?

    Have a good day,


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  5. @ti and Esteban

    There’s no need for any IE ACA update on Windows 2000 since it hasn’t been affected on the EOLAS "patent" dispute based change at all.



  6. speaking of windows updates says:

    Can you kindly pass on the following to the Windows / Update team.

    I find it extremely annoying that the ammount of CPU time that AutomaticUpdates consumes.

    Every month, I basically have to stop working while it runs all of the installation activities.

    Please ask them to put logic in the tool to throttle the CPU usage, or at least enough smarts to dolly down the usage if other apps are competing for it.


  7. David says:

    Definitely the wrong place for this, but I feel driven to confirm that bug. After switching from Windows Update to Microsoft Update, it takes several minutes of 100% cpu usage to check for updates. You get used to it when checking manually, but if you have autoupdate enabled, your system will just get really slow at random times, enough to make you start looking for the cause. Then you realize "oh, it’s just that nasty Microsoft Update bug again".

  8. some guy says:

    will this be a full re-install (new package) of IE or just an update?

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  11. Sharon says:

    I find it VERY aggravating that these #$&! MS updates generally screw up the works lately. The update done on 2-12-08 has rendered my IE7 on XPs2 TOTALLY USELESS. "Page cannot be displayed.." is all I can get when the browser opens. I’ve done everything MSVP’s have recommended, STILL DOESN’T WORK. I’ve disabled my TrendMicro, still doesn’t work. I’ve taken the PC back to a restore point 2 days before the update, but I can see the MS files that were renamed still holding onto that freakin’update! I’ve uninstalled IE7 and reinstalled it, still doesn’t work!! What the..?? Somebody shoot me if I EVER let MS update my machines again. Blunder after blunder on MS part, they never seem to learn anything or pay attention to our pleas for help. If someone could PLEASE tell me how to get rid of this problem, I will be eternally in your debt. There’s no help out there on the web, everyone else is in the same boat I am.

  12. @some guy

    The IE ACA update includes another version of mshtml.dll only. You need to have installed the present Cumulative Update for your IE to apply the IE ACA though.


    Are you using any third-party personal firewall software? If true, have a look into the configuration of that one which is most likely blocking iexplore.exe to access "the internet".



  13. william says:

    How bout 2 or 3 words on IE8?

    Its not like we haven’t been asking about it!

    So far we have:

    – IE8 passes ACID2 (with a hack)

    – hack required in IE8 to make your pages look proper.

    Followed by 600+ comments asking about how carved in stone this hack is, what this hack will actually fix, and oh yeah (what about the hundreds of major, known bugs in IE (6, 7)…. which ones are now fixed?!)

    What really drives us up the wall is the SILENCE!

    If you don’t want to tell us anything else, then post something indicatin such, and give a DAMN GOOD explanation as to why!

    By posting NOTHING here, you make it look like you enjoy leaving us completely in the dark, and that you consider this whole "talk with developers" thing to be a Joke.

    Ignoring us only makes us more angry at the whole situation with IE.

  14. Mike Jones says:


    Why do people like you consistently feel the need to ‘spam’ other blog posts with the same old unrelated rants and complaints?

    This post is not related to IE8 per se, so your comment is completely irrelevant.

  15. Webdesign says:

    Great! I’ve been using Vista SP1 for a few days now and it’s incredible how a small thing as the lack of "Click to activate" can make browsing experience with IE so much less annoying. Thank you.

  16. william says:

    @Mike Jones

    re: "same old unrelated rants and complaints"

    Maybe you are new here (I don’t know) but when MSFT was in the process of developing IE7, going through Betas, and had an Open Feedback system, the volume of unrelated comments and complaints didn’t occur on the blog, because there were other avenues to work with.

    Since the IE7 release when MSFT shut down their public bug tracking system, stop doing monthly developer chats, and stopped posting "almost once a week", communicating with the IE team has become more and more difficult.

    The situation was clear when Chris posted the meta tag hack for IE8 standards mode, that with a high (600+) volume of comments, that there were many aspects of this approach that were worthy of investigation, discussion and analysis.

    Since that posting, we have heard nothing more about it, and the comments are closed.

    I would bring up my comments in a monthly online chat… but those don’t happen any more.

    I would enter/track my bugs/issues in a public bug tracking system… but that doesn’t exist anymore (not even for historical reference)

    Consider this for a moment.

    1.) IE is the ONLY browser without a public bug tracking system.

    2.) IE has the most bugs out of any browser.

    3.) IE has the most market share of any browser.

    4.) IE releases no roadmap to future developments.

    5.) IE8 will break behaviors that were expected in IE6 and IE7.

    Yet MSFT provides no means whatsoever to establish 2-way communication with the IE development team!


    We are not asking for them to outline in extensive detail every aspect of their development, but "some", "any" level of information would be a far cry better than what we have now.

    I want to build applications that use SVG.  I’m not comfortable shipping them when the only plugin for IE has halted development.  A simple "yes/no" in terms of their intentions to try and ship a native implementation in IE8 would be very helpful.

    Final point.  Until MSFT steps up to the table to keep developers in the loop, and share information, answer questions, post an FAQ etc. you can only expect people to flood these posts with requests for information.

    If they provided some answers, the volume of questions would drop ten fold.

    If you feel that MSFT is posting all the information that you need and care about, then great, just read the posts, and ignore the comments.  However the other 99% of us would like some answers.

  17. Mike Jones says:


    Sorry for the harsh tone of my last message – I had a bit of a bad day.

    I’m not new here at all. I’ve seen comments like yours on post after post over the past few months – yours just happen to make me snap.

    I totally understand your frustration – believe me. But leaving comments like that on blog posts that aren’t related to what you’re even talking about is immensely frustrating.

    Yes, you say I should ignore them – but as a reader of a blog I shouldn’t have to. This post is about component activation in IE as a platform on the whole… not at all related to IE8.

    I appreciate there are no other avenues for you to voice your opinions – and that is wrong. But:

    1) Based on the fact the IE team aren’t being particularly vocal about your points proves they aren’t going to take any notice of what you are saying anyway.

    2) I _am_ interested in IE8, but this post is about component activation, which, as a flash developer, is something extremely important to me. I am interested in what others have o say, and I _shouldn’t_ have to go rooting through comments by people ranting about how bad IE8 is going to be. That’s al i’m trying to say.

  18. Harvey says:

    @william & Mike Jones:

    There’s an old saying that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

    It was this very blog that raised huge backlash to the… "un-thought-out" naming of IE7 for Vista as "IE7+" it went against everything in software development and administration but somehow it made it to this blog as the "decided name".  The massive, vocal response is what made the IE Team re-evaluate the name and drop the "+".

    I agree with Mike’s #1, and #2, but as a member of the development community, to stay quiet when things are going so horribly wrong would not justify my disgust when IE8 is released, if it does not meet expectations.  

    Its just like voting. If you don’t vote, don’t complain with who gets elected.

    I agree with everyone here asking for information.  We have a vested interest in where IE is going.  The only reason we aren’t more vocal is that we are getting it for free.  I can assure you if I was paying to develop on this platform, I would be expecting significant patches, and a roadmap, or I would be moving on.

    [/End Rant]

  19. oqbo says:

    I think you actually have to do it, rather than thinking up the idea.

  20. iPhoneapps says:

    Is their a vista version or an iphone compatible version available?

  21. Ponta says:

    On my Japanese PC, after installing version 7, the key board input of "Yen" in the URL could not be done!!!


    Think well before you do anything!!!

    TOU STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Victoria says:


    I am pretty sure there will _NEVER_ be an IE version for the iPhone!  Apple has their own browser Safari, that currently far outpaces any development in IE (and even many aspects of other browsers)

    For mobile browsers, Safari, Opera & Firefox* appear to be the only realistic option at the moment.

    *Firefox has made some efforts in this direction, but I’m not fully versed on it so I’m not sure how strong their mobile offering is.

  23. Steve says:


    Firefox for mobile (or ‘Minimo’) did look promising. However, the lead developer appears to be stepping down from the project, so who knows what is in store for it now.

  24. This could be one of the gold mines for Vista application

  25. Chris says:


    Free? We aren’t complaining because we are getting it for free. I cringe everytime I hear about how someone is having a problem with IE7 or even still hearing about IE6. That isn’t what I consider FREE when you have to spend 20 minutes cleaning off the latest and greatest spyware, then I throw Firefox.  

    Firefox is free, Internet Explorer is just a hassle.

  26. emma says:


    I wish I could have said it better myself! Taking 10 minutes to indulge us with information on what on earth is going on in the IE world is all it takes.

    10 lousy minutes!

    Its as if we are asking them for the Cadbury’s Caramilk Secret or something!

    10 measly minutes.. to write anything about IE8.

    10 minutes.  You can squeeze that into a coffee break, its that easy.

    I can’t believe we are forced to write here, because no one at Microsoft will take 10 minutes.


  27. Eisenhorn says:

    @emma and william

    I agree too. This would be pathetically easy for them to do, and would be good if they’d even just tell us what they’re hoping to get done. MS can add a disclaimer if they’re so worried about people getting mad about discussed features not being in the final release. Something that says "All features discussed here are not guaranteed to be in the final release. Best efforts will be made towards getting all desired features in, but some may be cut in order to make a timely release date."

    Even if the bug tracking is locked up so that only MS employees can submit bugs, it would be better than nothing as we’d at least know what MS considers bugs and what is being done about them.

    Last I checked you’re still losing market share even with your forced updates and installs. The silence hasn’t helped you stop losing people so maybe it’s time for a new policy. I know you’ve bragged in the past about the number of installs, but when it’s forced on people that number means nothing if they use something else.

    @Mike Jones

    I will concede that this isn’t the topic of this blog post, but when MS has given us no other options we have to use what we can. Plus there tends to be enough astro-turfing that if we don’t complain loud and often someone less knowledgeable may come here and think IE is a great browser based on the turfing that happens on some posts.

  28. Robert Wray says:

    william – Where are the public bug tracking systems for Opera and Safari then?

  29. John says:

    Can a moderator please remove ALL UNRELATED messages..

  30. Nate says:

    @Robert Wray: re "Where are the public bug tracking systems for Opera and Safari then?"

    Opera’s bug tracking is here:

    just click on "bug report"

    Safari has bug submission built right in to their menu!

    See detailed notes here:

    and you can chat with the WebKit team about bugs found here:


    and finally, report and track webkit bugs here:

    @John: re: "Can a moderator please remove ALL UNRELATED messages."

    Why would they sensor their core audience? Have they not caused us enough grief?

    If they have a never-closed post for each of the following:

    "Enter your IE CSS bugs here"

    "Enter your IE DOM bugs here"

    "Enter your IE JavaScript bugs here"

    "Enter your IE (X)HTML bugs here"

    "Enter your IE UI bugs here"

    "Enter your IE Security/XSS bugs here"


    "Enter your complaints about IE here"

    "Enter your complaints about IE bug tracking here"

    "Enter your complaints about IE communication here"

    "Enter your complaints about IE information here"

    "Enter your complaints about IE technology and standards support here"

    "Enter your complaints about IE8 implementations here"

    "Enter your complaints about IE7 features here"

    Then by all means filter comments from these posts into those, and provide a hotlink to each from the home page of this blog.

    Until then we have no where else to post our rants, concerns, bug reports, security issues, kudos, complaints, frustrations, & requests for information – thus they will end up here.

    What you really want to ask the moderator is:

    Who turned off the bug tracking, and when is it coming back on.

    Who decided to stop the monthly chats, and when will two-way communication resume with the IE Development Team?

    – Signed, all IE Blog readers

  31. Rob says:

    @Nate – those are facilities to LOG bugs, not track them. Where are the, as stated by the original poster, facilities to TRACK bugs? Yes, WebKit provide a bugzilla system, but Safari doesn’t appear to.

    I’m not disagreeing that a public bug system for IE *might* be beneficial, what does get up my nose is when people make statements like "IE is the ONLY browser without a public bug tracking system." which are actually an utter fallacy.

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  33. B. Cortez says:


    Well, if you bothered to look into it even on a superficial level, you’d see that a Bugzilla system has the ability to search, as well as "sign-up" to be notified of changes to the bug report (via email notifications).  Also, you can, amazingly, VOTE for a bug.  This is the weight given to the bug by, imagine this, CONCERNED CUSTOMERS.

    As for Safari, it’s based upon Webkit.  If you bothered to look, or be involved in cross-browser web development in any form, you’d already know that. This is where aour pain lies.  I can teach a monkey to write DHTML for one browser.

    So, Rob, what gets up my nose are Microsoft fanboys that speak before they listen.


    BTW: For the record, I’ve been doing web cross-browser development since 1994 (yes, 14 years now), so I think I’m qualified to respond.

    Cheers!  🙂

  34. Eisenhorn says:


    Just going to second B. Cortez’s statement, basically says everything I was going to except I can only claim web development going back to 1998. I would hope that 10 years in this field is enough to qualify too.

    Please research and learn before you come here and post, it will help us respect you more (since you’re not just gonna post the same pro-MS garbage we’ve all heard before and know is untrue) and give us no reason to completely destroy everything you’ve said in such a blunt way. If you’re actually knowledgeable about what you say and make good points we have to be knowledgeable and make good points too if you’re wrong or we’ll have acknowledge that there’s good stuff in your post.

  35. Robert Wray says:

    Rather than continue with the off-topic-ness of this, I’ve posted a response on my blog,

    Feel free to comment there 🙂

  36. Autoblog says:

    Nice blog )))) very much intresting post, wait continuation…

  37. edward says:


    hmmmm 10 minutes has surely passed by now?

    I guess the IE team is too busy for the rest of the world.   Lets just hope it is because they’ve finally fixed the DOM!

  38. Webhosting says:

    Can you kindly pass on the following to the Windows / Update team.

    I find it extremely annoying that the ammount of CPU time that AutomaticUpdates consumes.

    Every month, I basically have to stop working while it runs all of the installation activities.

    Please ask them to put logic in the tool to throttle the CPU usage, or at least enough smarts to dolly down the usage if other apps are competing for it.


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