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March 26, 1996

MICROSOFT ACTIVEX TECHNOLOGIES-FRAMEWORK FOR CREATING INTERACTIVE CONTENT FOR WEB, WINDOWS

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft Corp’s new ActiveX Technologies, described as a framework for creating interactive content for the World Wide Web and the Windows personal computer, is designed to accept software components, scripts and existing applications. For the Web, Microsoft has recast its OCX Object Linking & Embedding Controls as ActiveX Controls: they are designed to provide small components for the Internet, intranets and the desktop and to tailor them for these applications Microsoft claims to have added enhancements including progressive rendering and the ability to reduce the size of components by up to 300%. Now, says the company, graphics viewers, animation sequences, credit card transaction objects or spreadsheet applets can be embedded directly into HyperText Mark-up Language pages. The ActiveX Server Framework is based on Microsoft’s Internet Information Server, integrated with Windows NT Server and designed to allow developers to use the Microsoft BackOffice family for the creation of interactive server development. It has two main elements – ActiveX Server Controls (for the creation of server- driven active content) and ActiveX Server Scripts, which can be written in scripting languages including Visual Basic Script, PERL and JavaScript. Microsoft is to submit ActiveX to the World Wide Web Consortium and the IETF for review. ActiveX developers kits are shipping now. A fuller description of Microsoft’s far- reaching ActiveX plans come from our sister publication Client Server News (See News Analysis section), who visited Microsoft’s recent developers conference.

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