IE, Flash, and patents: here comes trouble

IE, Flash, and patents: here comes trouble. Microsoft has again been told to cripple its market-leading browser in compliance with the Eolas patent lawsuit. IE/Windows will no longer be able to seamlessly play Flash, Quicktime, PDF, and other rich media formats. Other browser makers like Netscape and Opera may also be forced to cripple their browsers, making the web look like 1993 all over again. Clumsy, disruptive workarounds that diminish user experience might allow browsers to present rich media files, but site owners would have to pay for development — and Eolas might sue anyway. The patent ruling will hurt everyone. Patents on the web are always bad, but this one stinks to Heaven. We find ourselves rooting for Microsoft. [Jeffrey Zeldman Presents: The Daily Report]

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