Microsoft Bids Farewell to ActiveX
Not only will Edge replace IE as Windows 10's default browser, it marks a clean break from one of the company's most controversial Web technologies.When it comes to Web browsing on Windows 10, Microsoft's developers are cleaning house. Among the relics of the soon-to-be past is ActiveX. Arguing that the new Microsoft Edge browser is more than a reskinned version of Internet Explorer (IE), Edge program managers Charles Morris and Jacob Rossi took to the company's new Microsoft Edge Dev Blog to announce that their group had removed more than 220,000 lines of code, more than 300 application programming interfaces and six document modes from IE's rendering engine while developing the new browser. In their place, Microsoft's coders have added over 300,000 new lines of code, 4,200 interoperability fixes and 49 major features. Edge will be the new default browser on Windows 10 when the new operating system ships this summer. And letting go of aging browser functionality is part of aligning Windows with the modern Web. "Not supporting these legacy technologies in Microsoft Edge has a number of benefits: better interoperability with other modern browsers, improved performance, security & reliability, and reduced code complexity, just to name a few," wrote Morris and Rossi. One of the more notable legacy technologies to get the boot is ActiveX, first introduced in 1996. The feature, originally intended to embed Windows functionality into Web pages, has been a source of security headaches for both the company and IE users at large.
Microsoft Edge will adhere to more modern standards of creating feature-rich Websites. "The need for ActiveX controls has been significantly reduced by HTML5-era capabilities, which also produces interoperable code across browsers," wrote the company's staffers. "Microsoft Edge will support native PDF rendering and Adobe Flash as built-in features rather than external add-ons."