ActiveX Filtering for Consumers


ActiveX Filtering in the IE9 Release Candidate gives you greater control over how Web pages run on your PC. With ActiveX Filtering, you can turn off ActiveX controls for all Web sites and then turn them back on selectively as you see fit. While ActiveX controls like Adobe Flash are important for Web experiences today for videos and more, some consumers may want to limit how they run for security, performance, or other reasons.

In this post, we’ll show how you can improve your browsing experience with ActiveX Filtering. We’ll walk through how this feature works in IE9 and share details on how IT administrators can deploy this feature in corporations. In a future post we’ll share some best practices that Web site authors should use to ensure that their sites work well with ActiveX Filtering.

You can try out ActiveX Filtering in the Release Candidate using this demo from the IE TestDrive site. You can also see the feature in action in this short video:

Background: ActiveX Controls & Browsing

To display interactive content and video, many of today’s Web sites use plug-ins like Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight. “ActiveX” is the technology these plug-ins use to run inside of IE. Like other add-ons, they are essentially Windows applications that run in the browser. Poorly written add-ons and ActiveX controls can therefore affect IE’s performance, reliability, security and privacy in similar ways.

Some controls may be used to display undesirable or malicious content, preventing you from having a good experience when viewing a Web site.

Screen shot showing page with no blocked ActiveX content
ActiveX content may prevent you from having a good experience viewing a Web site

Some consumers are concerned about the potential impact of ActiveX controls and would want to limit them to run only on Web sites where you need them to view the content. ActiveX Filtering is a built-in, more generalized version of browser extensions like FlashBlock and ClickToFlash.

Introducing ActiveX Filtering

With ActiveX Filtering, you choose which sites are allowed to use your ActiveX controls, while all other Web sites cannot use them. ActiveX Filtering helps limit the impact that ActiveX controls have on your browsing experience since the controls can run only on specific sites. ActiveX Filtering also prevents Web pages from showing potentially unwanted content that relies on ActiveX controls.

Screen shot showing page with blocked ActiveX content
ActiveX Filtering enables you to focus on the content you want to view

By default, IE9 does not filter any ActiveX controls on Web sites to ensure you experience the sites as intended by their authors. If you desire increased control of ActiveX controls while browsing, you can enable ActiveX Filtering via the Tools menu:

Tools / IE9 Tools Menu Icon > Safety > ActiveX Filtering

Once you enable ActiveX Filtering, IE prevents ActiveX controls from running on all Web sites. When you visit a Web page that contains ActiveX controls, notice that ActiveX content is blocked from loading on the page. IE displays fallback content chosen by the site’s author if it is available.

Instead of displaying a prominent notification prompting you to install or enable controls, IE stays out of the way of your browsing while it also makes it easy for you to turn off filtering when you need to. IE displays an icon in the address bar to indicate that some content has been filtered on the site.

Screen shot showing some ActiveX content blocked icon in address bar

If a Web site contains ActiveX content that you want to view, you can turn off filtering for just the current Web site. When you click on the icon in the address bar, IE displays the fly-out window:

Screen shot showing some ActiveX content blocked fly-out window

You can click “Turn off ActiveX Filtering” for just the current site. Once you take action, IE refreshes the Web page to ensure that ActiveX controls are properly instantiated in place of any fallback content that was originally present on the page. ActiveX controls from other Web pages under the same domain (in the above case, msn.com) will also be unblocked.

The icon on the address bar changes color to indicate that you have turned off filtering on this Web site. After you’ve finished viewing the content, you can turn ActiveX Filtering back on by clicking on the icon again, which re-displays the fly-out window:

Screen shot showing no content blocked fly-out window

The address bar icon and fly-out window are also used for the Tracking Protection feature. If you have installed a Tracking Protection list you may see this icon appear on sites that only contain content blocked by Tracking Protection. In these cases you’ll need to launch the fly-out window to determine what content has been blocked. If you want to reset all the exceptions you’ve made for ActiveX Filtering and Tracking Protection, you can use Delete Browsing history. Be sure to select just this one checkbox:

Screen shot showing section to delete ActiveX Filtering data from the Delete Browsing History dialog
Section to delete ActiveX Filtering data from the Delete Browsing History dialog

ActiveX Filtering for Managed Desktops

Administrators can deploy ActiveX Filtering for their organizations easily by setting a group policy. The feature is disabled by default for the Local Intranet Zone so that intranet Web sites and LOB applications can continue to use ActiveX controls without disruption, and can be adjusted separately for each security zone.

Try it out!

To have a trustworthy browsing experience, it’s important that you are in control of the applications running in your browser. With ActiveX Filtering, you can now browse the Web with more control of your ActiveX controls. You can easily turn on the controls on sites that contain ActiveX content you want to view. This feature successfully limits the content that is allowed to run ActiveX controls, thus minimizing any potential performance, reliability, security or privacy impact on your browsing experience.

We encourage you try out this feature on the Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate today, using the demo available from the TestDrive site. Please let us know if you find sites that don’t work properly with ActiveX Filtering. We look forward to hearing your feedback through blog comments and the Connect site.

—Herman Ng, Program Manager, Internet Explorer

Comments (61)

  1. Mitch says:

    This is an amazing feature that I am very happy to see added to IE9!   In the beta disabled active X controls had become much more annoying popping up the message in the new notification bar at the bottom for every page and this is a great solution.   It would be great if there was a way to select which addons however were disabled.  For example one may want to allow silverlight on all sites given the fact it runs sandboxed in low integrity vs flash which does not.  It would be great to have more control to either whitelist some addons globally or only enable certain addons through the menu rather than all that may be on the page.   This really is a great way to improve browsing and I am happy to see such a fantastic feature make IE9!

  2. S says:

    It would be nice if there was more granularity than simply "keep all tracking protection and ActiveX Filtering website exclusions" (i.e. do nothing) and "delete all website exclusions" (through the delete browsing history dialog).  It would also be nice to be able to selectively enable ActiveX on a page.  For example, if a site occassionally has a useful Flash video, why do I have to enable Flash for the entire page (like Flash ads surrouding the video).  More annoyingly, on my next visit, Flash will still be enabled for all items, even if I don't want to watch a Flash video.  I think ActiveX filtering is a good idea, but I hope that it continues to evolve and become more powerful.  I have the same suggestion for Tracking Protection: provide a way to selectively enable/disable items.  Also, tracking protection is handicapped because lists can't be specified, even manually, to block items hosted on the same site.

    By the way, shouldn't the tools menu for Tracking Protection have an elipse (…) after the menu item?  When you click ActiveX Filtering, a change is made immediately (hence there shouldn't be an elipse after it).  But when you click Tracking Protection, no change is made and a dialog opens with options.

  3. CvP says:

    it would be great to have a list of items (and their details) blocked in a separate box which could be accessed by clicking a "details" button in that popup.

  4. Ken Cox [MVP] says:

    A good start, but what about all the Javascript errors you get when disabling controls? That's not a great user experience either.

    There should be a way for the browser to trick the script into thinking the control is there – or at least implement some Javascript exception handling to suppress errors that stop the rest of the page from working.

  5. Awesomo says:

    Are you serious? Yet another ridiculous icon in the address bar! And yet you still can't display favicons in the adress bar drop down? Microsoft never ceases to amaze me at how they add all kinds of wonky features vs. Fixing actual bugs in the application.

    In case you missed the memo… Users don't want activeX period.  Just deprecate this legacy technology and move on – please.

  6. Mortimer Merryweather says:

    Hi! Could you provide an HTML5 WebM version of the video, please? I'd rather not view the video with add-ons because of the affect on my browser's performance, reliability, security and privacy.

  7. steve says:

    After much discussion a few months ago about the lack of reasonable testing and debugging tools in IE across multiple versions there was a single response with a convoluted hacky option using multiple virtual PC images to attempt to test.

    We awaited more info on a REAL SOLUTION to the problem that Microsoft has created for developers but we have yet to see one.

    Therefore to recap the issue and verify that is still not solved I'm bringing this back up.  A real, complete non-windows7pro only solution is needed yet none has been provided.  Please indicate when we can expect a final solution to this mess.

    Can someone from Microsoft please make a statement about shutting down the IE6/IE7/IE8/IE9 images at http://www.spoon.net/

    ======================================================================================================

    This was **THE** most useful resource for testing multiple versions of IE and the shutdown really ticked developers off!

    As a long time web developer of Enterprise Web Applications I've tried all the options out there to try and simplify testing IE and the lack of realistic options is a royal PITA.

    1.) Multiple IEs – IE8 breaks the functionality of IE6's textboxes – thus its a NO-GO

    2.) IETester – works great until you need to test popup interaction and then it fails – thus a NO-GO

    3.) Virtual PC with timebombed images of IE6, IE7, IE8 – works ok, but the 12Gigs of HD space needed is frustrating when each full image of Windows dies 4 times a year, running a full Windows image is slow and you have to beg for updates because the releases are not co-ordinated and announced well at all – thus its a NO-GO

    4.) IE Super Preview – Last I checked this did not allow full testing of IE user interaction, JavaScript DOM changes, popups etc. – thus its a NO-GO

    5.) Multiple PC's to run multiple versions of windows and IE.  With all the hardware, software, and physical space needed – its a NO-GO

    6.) Spoon.net IEs – They work, they work just like local native apps once running, and there's no hacking of my real local IE install. – the **ONLY** problem with these IE's is that Microsoft shut them down

    Please understand that we (developers) just want something that works.  Testing in multiple versions of IE is a pain to begin with and with IE9 on the horizon it is only getting worse.

    I'm not sure where the issue stands with Spoon, but I would really like a solution worked out fast.

    Steve

  8. 8675309 says:

    anyone know why on occasion suddenly all plugins go into promt mode on ie8?

  9. DanglingPointer says:

    @ieblog, I agree with Ken Cox, there should be rescue mechanism in case the script tends to communicate with the blocked control, despite the concepts of good web-development practices of implementing alternatives. Also, when the Tracking Protection is enabled, its entry under Tools>Safety should be checked. Same goes for other items of the same submenu. Conversely, provide the same in the legacy Tools menu (Alt + T).

    Thank you much & keep up the great work!

  10. Herman [MSFT] says:

    @Mortimer Merryweather: The video is in MP4 format and embedded into the post using the HTML5 Video tag. You shouldn't need to use add-ons or plug-ins to view the video.

  11. ABOUT_MSDN_BLOG says:

    Incidentally, why it takes minutes to "Publish" the comment here on MSDN blog when using IE9 and same works swiftly on FF4b12 ???? :=S

    Also CTRL+Z to undo the text input in the textarea, while using IE9 (and it only happens in IE, no kidding!!!!), results in a weird mixing of the text. Please please please review it sometime!

    The script on: download.microsoft.com prevents the mouse control to enter the text area immediately for all browsers, but on IE9 the delay is very prominent. Please alteast test your product with the MSN websites !!!

    Then there are 53000 tickets on connect! Oh, I forgot to mention, the Ajax based loading of main bug list for IE9 on connect.microsoft.com sometimes start loading forever and it keep failing that way no matter how many time you refresh. I tried to debugged the issue using F12 dev tools, there is no problems in script, the network monitor listed => {social.msdn.microsoft.com/passport (Aborted) 0 B < 1 ms <frame> 6833 0 0 0 0 17893}. However, if I click Dashboard it works fine (no issues with passport login redirection there!). Other browsers don't exhibits that behavior on connect.

    Sincerely, there are some major/critical issues in IE9's chakra engine, which prevents the IE from working fluidly & swiftly for indefinite time. Please address them before they get stretched!

    ~MyFavorite=MyCrowSoft

  12. L. says:

    I like ActiveX filtering, but I would like a list of current stored settings (for which sites ActiveX has been enabled) and a way to edit it (add/remove entries) rather than a blanket erase.

  13. L. says:

    How does ActiveX filtering interacts with InPrivate mode?  I would guess that changes to the filtering settings would be local to the session, but this seems unreliable (sometimes the settings are reverted after closing all browser windows, sometimes they aren't).

  14. Mortimer Merryweather says:

    @Herman [MSFT] : "The video is in MP4 format and embedded into the post using the HTML5 Video tag. You shouldn't need to use add-ons or plug-ins to view the video."

    I very much agree that I shouldn't. However in practice I have to due to an inexplicably stubborn resistance to providing WebM versions of the videos posted on this blog. Stand with us, Herman! Bring WebM video to the IE blog.

  15. kris says:

    looks like MS finally noticed the FlashBlock firefox plugin was a pretty good idea and decided to copy it.

  16. Brian Timble says:

    Ken Cox:

    If a site is designed without a fallback for disabled controls, then complain to the site.

    I would rather not want IE to try to handle this.

    It would make it much more difficult for developers to to develop and test their sites.

  17. Brett Zamir says:

    Contrary to some other open format and open source advocates here, I am very much in favor of giving choice to users, including granting privileged access where it can be communicated well to users–even if some will inevitably be duped to do unsafe things, that is a criminal issue to me–we can't refuse access to or stop building roads just because some people may get into accidents; yes, make it safer, of course, but you won't get my vote if you oppose the idea of roads. I also support this work of IE in providing more convenient granular control. It's fine to call a company out when they're being deceptive, but it's pretty petty to heap on criticism blindly. My hope is that open source platforms increase their support for optional privileged access (e.g., as I've expressed at bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi ), while hopefully being able to mutually work with Microsoft and others to standardize such access (my preference would be using the CommonJS Modules syntax to request such privileged access and fall back with a specific type of exception if the user refuses permission). Seeing the WhatWG mailing list discussing a FileSystem interface gives me some hope here. Certainly Geolocation can be abused (maybe even more seriously than file system access) and thankfully it is going through, albeit with informed user control. I also look forward to Kinect-like standard APIs for the web, and every other cool technology… I also really hope the browsers start to allow more shared access across different sites, such as sites requesting access of client-side databases, so that sites can work collaboratively with other sites–maybe not the first priority of powerful web companies, but important for "Open Data".

    The one thing I was confused with and would disagree with if true, is what appears to be a policy of keeping ActiveX on by default? Does this mean it asks permission by default or it actually runs privileged code by default?

  18. Ron says:

    This looks suspiciously like Flashblock and AdBlockPlus, both of which have been available for ages on The "Hot Little Wolf" Browser.

  19. TangHuifeng says:

    很给力,哈哈

  20. jabcreations says:

    ActiveX Filtering for Consumers, icons without text-labels and inside of the address bar? So by consumers you mean tech-savvy people and not say every one else? Because non-technical users don't know about hovering for a title and many non-technical people I know would be completely oblivious to what this is and what it does.

    "Okay, click on tools."

    "I don't see anything that says 'tools'."

    "See the round cog at the top?"

    On top of that even if they were to enable the ActiveX filtering the panels don't appear by default, you have to click on the icon. Again the icons don't have text labels by default (or worse in any state) so most non-technical users are NOT going to use them.

    Is the goal to make IE's GUI as unusable and undesirable as possible? These are the reasons my clients don't use IE and they don't complain about the issues that arise out of the poor GUI moves by Microsoft.

    1.) Use friendly icons with text-labels to the right like Opera.

    2.) The only thing that goes in to the address bar is the ADDRESS!

    3.) Make the icons with text labels movable around the various toolbars.

    4.) The favorites and commands toolbars are BACKWARDS, the favorites belongs on the right and the commands belong on the left.

    5.) The toolbars can't be moved vertically and they should.

    6.) The file menu belongs at the top and should be on by default, seriously consider merging it with the top toolbar that contains the maximize/restore, minimize and close buttons.

  21. @JAB Creations says:

    They don't have labels because if you are stupid enough not to be able to hover and read tooltip, you do NOT need to click those. Just type web address. press enter. browse. click x button.

  22. @ieblog says:

    IE-team should look into providing let's-design-your-own-browser kind of customization. By the way, these blocking/filtering apps came into existence long time ago. There should be an in-depth analysis of every ActiveX control prior to its loading and the filter should automatically warn/inform/block the control as per the risk/intrusion detection (maybe powered by Security Essentials). IE9 runs on MS own WindowsOS, so demanding to address this level of subjectivity, though not easy but, is not impossible. After that write another blog which would qualify as a feature depicting ease-of-access and the users will appreciate it.

  23. hAl says:

    @  ABOUT_MSDN_BLOG

    "Incidentally, why it takes minutes to "Publish" the comment here on MSDN blog when using IE9 and same works swiftly on FF4b12 ???? :=S"

    You are right but it is not exclusive to IE9.

    With IE6 it took 63 secornd the last time I measured to pulbish a comment on this blog.

    The blog software/platform that Microsoft is using is just laughable.

  24. mbe says:

    OK, so now this is probably at best a suggestion in time for IE10, but having a click-to-flash-like setting for ActiveX controls built-in would be great. That is, controls are replaced by a static box with a single "start control" button, which instantiates the ActiveX control when clicked (and perhaps then remembers that the user wanted that control to run). An excellent start at any rate.

  25. 新浪 says:

    打酱油了

  26. Joel says:

    @hAl – using IE6?!?!? please tell me you dug this up just to test and that this is not your default browser!

    I think we can all agree that it is high time Microsoft moved off this terrible blogging platform as it doesn't scale well and has horrible editing/publishing.

    @Jab – there are waaaaay too many icons in the address bar for sure.  MSFT already had this disaster with the taskbar icons in the tray… now they are abusing the addressbar the same way – trully sad they can't learn from their mistakes.

  27. KS says:

    And now please backport this to IE8!

  28. Viktor Krammer [Quero] says:

    I would also love to see API support for ActiveX Filtering for IE add-on / IE Web browser control developers, such as functions to turn it on or off programmatically, query the state, add/remove sites from the whitelist, selectively filter ActiveX by a callback etc. This would allow developers to leverage this great feature in content filtering IE add-ons / IE browser shells, for example building an extended user interface for the feature.

  29. Lance says:

    @steve – while you (or your company) may support IE6 and IE7 they are obsolete and every day fewer people and businesses use them, and though their are hold outs keeping them if you clam support for the business that comes with them, you have to accept the costs of developing with it or not support it. If that is inconvenient too bad.

  30. C Johnson says:

    The filtering is totally and I mean COMPLETELY useless.

    You might as well pop up a big windows that says "We hid something on this page – guess what and guess where!"

    You are either "protected" or informed, but never both at the same time.  TELL me what plugins you blocked, give me a bloody clue at least.  the arguments that go with the activex component would be nice.

    Even then, EVEN THEN – it would still be useless, because you could add "Somewhere on this page is an adorable kittle video, and an activeX component that has been exploited ready to nuke your system- go ahead, you like the kitten video, so open yourself up to hell!"

    It would be helpful if the page held actual content placeholders and I could SELECTIVELY activate the controls – with enough informaton available about each instance to be freaking informed.

    Till then, it is a feature that is better off than on.  At least then you don't have the mysteriously broken pages or false sense of security.

  31. John Dowdell says:

    Hi, watched the video, read the text, didn't read all the comments, but am I getting the correct summary?

    ActiveX Controls, by default, will work as before. You cannow  set the browser to display-all or display-none of the Controls in a page. You can also whitelist domains. You do not have control over whether individual ActiveX Controls display or not, and cannot approve individual instances of a Control either.

    Is this an accurate understanding? Any other important and concise details?

    tx, jd/adobe

  32. Herman [MSFT] says:

    @John Dowdell: That's mostly correct. You can control which domains an individual control can be used with IE's Per-site ActiveX capabilities in Manage Add-ons.

  33. asuka says:

    this is great as in china a lot of websites have a great deal of ads…which slow down the browser and system a lot for some low-ram-users…

  34. 茉菊莉花 says:

    噢賣糕的!!

  35. huxim says:

    腥浪威武

  36. Arthas says:

    新浪很给力吗。

  37. frank says:

    Not bad, but it's apparently all or nothing for a given page (or site?). If that's the case "click to play" (not limited to flash) would be better.

  38. 雅虎 says:

    新浪躺着也中枪

  39. 柏拉不图 says:

    到此一游

  40. says:

    操你妈-美国( US)

  41. zNaT says:

    新浪··   电信真爽啊  广告都传播到外国了

  42. fox says:

    新浪V5———by新浪微博观光团

  43. Björn says:

    @Ken Cox [MVP]: The Firefox add-on NoScript does in some cases (not entirely sure when, but for example on Youtube if placeholders are active) create a dummy to deter Javascript exceptions from breaking the site.

  44. Ted says:

    Since the posts on this blog are in English, as is the language that the web is programmed in… can you clarify what the 2 massive screenshots in Chinese? are all about? There was no legend provided to indicate what the difference between the two is/was and why one is better/worse than the other? (e.g. I can't read either of the screenshots!)

    That said, as mentioned by others providing this as an all or nothing approach on a page is completely useless.

    If Flash is installed as an ActiveX (I have no idea if it is or isn't) then yes, I want that to always load – however the sneaky "attempt to install a crapware toolbar" activeX provided by (probably well known) shady vendor is the one that I want to block – and I want to block it on EVERY SITE FOREVER!

    Unfortunately by adding this feature the way you did – you've solved a problem that didn't exist! – Congratulations! Well Done. – Not!

    It would be much better if an independent 3rd party site was used to lookup the ActiveX ID.  If that ID has been well known to be malicious, then BLOCK IT!  If it was just used to display a harmless advert by a developer that doesn't know HTML/Images/Flash and doesn't realize that there are better technologies outside the MSFT tech stack – then let it run.

    On a side note – has VBScript finally been officially deprecated from IE9 and thus no longer executes?

  45. Kris says:

    It's great to see that Microsoft takes protection against bad ActiveX controls a bit further but for IT administrators I'm still missing the following:

    1) be able to allow or block ActiveX controls based on the publisher (I know this ain't bullet proof but it's better than some other protections)

    2) be able to allow or block certain types of add-ons, for example: don't allow toolbars or don't allow toolbars in the internet zone

    3) do something more with the ActiveX Installer service in Windows, for example: install activeX controls from these sites, but if it comes from another site block the activeX. Today, you prompt for administrator crendetials or consent which is not what you want.

    Regards,

    Kris

  46. FremyCompany says:

    http://spoon.net/browsers/ shows me "IE is now in a private beta version". It means that IE will be brought back to spoon.net anytime soon.

  47. Andrew says:

    @Steve, I use VMs to test different versions of IE. Just recently set up my 7 VM for IE9 (and it is extremely fast by the way). Why are you complaining about space? As usual, cheap developers (everything must be free-type people) complaining here. Even so, hard drives are cheap.

    On topic:

    Do note that Flash is an ActiveX control, so this plugin system cannot be deprecated unless Microsoft wants to implement NSAPI or something similar or the supposedly new NSAPI that will be coming soon (and will be available in Chrome and Firefox).

  48. Richard Giliberti says:

    @steve – The answer is to install XP with IE6, Vista with IE7, and 7 with IE 8 on different partitions of the same hard drive and choosing the version you want to load at boot time.  If the latency of having to reboot to change testing environments is bothersome, use a SSD instead for ten second OS load times.

  49. Tom says:

    @Richard Giliberti – no that isn't a solution.  you are on your main dev environment, running a server, running a db, your IDE, your browser, your email, etc.  You want to test the page out that you are working on right now in all browsers.  You can do this for Firefox, for Chrome, for Safari, for Opera (and multiple versions of each) and you can test one, and only one version of IE!  Rebooting your PC to run IE6 in XP doesn't help you if your DB/Appserver are installed locally in your Windows Vista or Windows 7 partition.

    Testing in all versions of IE should be as easy as hitting RELOAD in that (already running, logged in) browser.  Anything else is a failure.

    Tools like Spoon (and almost IETester) solved this – but Microsoft seems to think that developers don't matter – so they shut Spoon down.  We were not amused.

  50. Tom says:

    Please allow blocking of scripts and URL references to sites the user doesn't want to retrieve data from.  Many many sites have links to images, scripts, css etc that do not exist.  Viewing the load time from connect until data retrieval for each item on a normal web page shows how slow the invisible or barely visible items make the total time to load a page.

  51. mimi says:

    IE9,how can filter the "great fire wall" of China…….any body who can shut down the ***

  52. 新浪V5 says:

    新浪V5———by新浪微博观光团

  53. AntiLuddite says:

    Lollllllll @JabCreations. You really are a clueless Luddite who knows NOTHING about computers. XP is a fugly, ancient, insecure, unproductive, pathetic and completely unusable OS. On the other hand Windows 7 is the most beautiful, productive, secure and greatest OS of ALL TIME. Windows 7/Vista has great Start Menu search feature which makes finding ANYTHING on the computer so much easier unlike the pathetic XP.

    Windows 7 is the fastest selling OS in history — more than 300 million copies sold within just 15 months. Windows 7 and Vista combined now has 45% market share while the pathetic XP only has 38%. XP is now dead as a dodo. NO ONE uses XP nowadays except Luddites like you and pirated Chinese users. People are abandoning XP like rats desert a sinking ship. Within the last year I have replace ALL the XP systems I manage with Windows 7 and the customers LOVE it.

    IE9 has the most beautiful and productive GUI of ALL browsers. I simply LOVE this browser. Keep up the good work Microsoft. Thank you so much for abandoning the pathetic XP support with this great browser.

  54. 不明真相的围观群众 says:

    新浪太悲剧了,记得我以前用来测试Adblock Plus的也是新浪主页。

    微软居然跟我不约而同地都选择了它。

  55. SnarkMaiden says:

    +1 on more granularity of controlling what's blocked on the page with this and with tracking, without digging into an interface that isn't linked in the popup dialog – how about under 'turn on activeX' is a link marked Advanced Settings?

  56. 新浪V5 says:

    新浪V5

  57. Richard Giliberti says:

    @Tom – Steve originally complained in item five that he did not wish to use more than one workstation to test out browser compatibility.  He did not say that he wanted to accomplish web design and testing on the same machine.  I believe he can work from his development box if he sets up a terminal server with various IE versions to test against.  I have done testing after COTS and custom applications have come from QA, packaged them with an installer, and sent them via SMS.  I have never been in an enterprise size organization that wished to not use separate development servers and test clients.  I do not understand why he is complaining about trial software in item three.  How does an enterprise not have licenses available for his use?

    If you really want to violate Microsoft's EULA and suffer the pain of configuring virtualized IE on a single developer's machine through Symantec's or VMWare's solutions, please refer to blogs.gartner.com/…/virtualizing-ie6-using-application-virtualization-violates-microsofts-eula

  58. Mike says:

    @Richard Gilberti – testing multiple versions of a web browser (an application that runs on top of the OS) should not require installing multiple OSes real or virtual.

    The fact that IE is the only browser that requires this  completely illustrates why developers can't stand testing in IE.

    Testing and debugging in IE is currently a MASSIVE EPIC FAIL and MICROSOFT's aggressive tactics to shut down/harass 3rd party vendors that solve the problem (VMWare, Spoon.net, etc.) is both disgusting and proves MSFT is not in it for the Developers, developers, developers…

    Extend an olive branch please MSFT… provide us with a solution or provide us with options to easily, legally run enough versions of windows that we can properly test… no crippled short-timebombed VMs, no blocking vendors that just want to virtualize the browser.

    we are about to embark on the WORST browser test bed ever… 4 versions of IE at once… (IE9,8,7,6) don't leave us hanging with no reasonable solution. please.

  59. Richard Giliberti says:

    @Mike – I do agree that testing various browser versions should not entail installing a myriad of OSs as it is not technically required.  Microsoft for their own obvious business reasons has decided to legally prevent that from taking place.  I do not think they are going to change their minds because developers are complaining.  That just seems like a waste of time and energy.  The only reason I had responded was to try to devise a solution that would at least take most of the sting out of it.  A single test workstation should be mandatory for an in-house enterprise web application to best simulate the actual corporate environment.  Internet-based applications can use a terminal server to test against.

  60. John says:

    Using ActiveX filtering on Hotmail makes it quite usable on a low-end PC (Atom) since it disables the cpu-intense flash ads. But unfortunately, ActiveX filtering also turns off Silverligt, which is used when attaching photos. I would very much like to disable the flash ads on Hotmail, but retain the Silverlight plugin which allows me to upload photos to my skydrive.

    I would very much like an option to use ActiveX filtering on a per-plugin basis.