Rivals Create IE Alternative for Browser Plug-Ins
Mozilla, Opera and Apple partner with plug-in developers Macromedia, Sun and Adobe to make multimedia content more functional in non-Microsoft browsers.A group of Web browser makers has banded together to make software plug-ins as functional in their own browsers as in Microsofts dominant Internet Explorer browser. The Mozilla Foundation, Opera Software ASA and Apple Computer Inc. announced earlier this week that they have developed an extension to a plug-in API that serves as an alternative to IEs method of using ActiveX for plug-in scripting. ActiveX also has been faulted in recent weeks for opening IE to security attacks. The three browser makers are working with plug-in makers Macromedia Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc. on the extension. Plug-ins allow other software programs, such as Macromedia Flash or Suns Java, to run within a browser and provide multimedia content.
Except for Microsoft Corp., browser makers have relied on the Netscape Plug-In Application Program Interface (API) for handling interaction between browsers and plug-ins. But until the browser makers banded together, they had used different implementations for scriptability with the Netscape Plug-In API.