Microsoft has announced that it will make "minor changes" to its Internet Explorer Web browser following a recent judgement against the company for infringing a patent concerning interactive Web-content.

The changes will affect the way that Internet Explorer handles Web pages using ActiveX controls. ActiveX enables programs such as Macromedia Flash, QuickTime, RealOne, Acrobat Reader, Windows Media Player, and Java Virtual Machine to work together in Internet Explorer.

Microsoft has posted the following statement: "Developers who build ActiveX controls, Web developers who use ActiveX and Java Applets on their Web sites, and developers who host the Web Browser OC or MSHTML should consult this documentation to understand how the user experience is changing, and also how to modify their pages to manage the user experience for their content." Further information is available here.

Macromedia has announced the launch of the Active Content Developer Center – a facility that will provide information, tools, and resources for responding to the changes to Internet Explorer.

Macromedia president of products Norm Meyrowitz said: "We’ve made available a number of solutions to help developers, website administrators, and business owners navigate through this change and ensure a straightforward transition."

Macromedia is also making a set of free tools – Active Content Update Utilities – available through the Active Content Developer Center. These will be “available shortly”, and will allow developers to support content created with Macromedia technologies such as Flash, Shockwave, and Authorware.

The changes to Internet Explorer will take effect early next year, says Microsoft.