Back in August, Microsoft and Eolas ended a long-standing patent dispute over the embedding of interactive objects such as plug-ins, applets, or ActiveX Controls, into web pages. The settlement apparently consisted of a one-time payment, whose amount is still undisclosed, and has allowed Microsoft to finally strip the annoying “click to activate” warning from Internet Explorer.

Microsoft has made available what it calls the “Internet Explorer Automatic Component Activation Preview” of IE6 and IE7 for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003. The preview is optional for current IE users, but an update will be rolled into IE versions that are bundled with Windows Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3 in the coming months.