Microsoft has said that it is making "minor changes" to its Internet Explorer (IE) Web browser that will affect how Web page authors embed and automatically start certain interactive programs.
The move comes after a verdict came down against the software company in a patent suit filed by Eolas Technologies.
The changes, which will alter how IE handles some Web pages using ActiveX Controls, will be deployed early next year, Microsoft said. Many Web pages use these components for interactive ads and other online eye-grabbers.
Net surfers may also notice a change as developers who are in the process of updating their pages may add a dialogue box before the browser loads the ActiveX Controls.
The decision comes in response to a jury verdict on August 11 supporting Eolas' claim that it is the exclusive licensee of a patent covering the mechanism IE uses to embed and invoke certain interactive programs. The patent is owned by the University of California.
The jury ordered Microsoft to pay $US520.6 million to Eolas in damages. The software maker has vowed to appeal the ruling, and both parties were still in the process of filing post-trial motions and briefs.
The changes were expected to affect how IE handles some Web pages using ActiveX Controls, such as Macromedia's Flash, Apple's QuickTime, RealNetworks' RealOne, Adobe Systems' Acrobat Reader, Sun Microsystems' Java Virtual Machine and Microsoft's Media Player, the company said.
Microsoft said that it was providing documentation on how developers can update their pages.