Microsoft's current beta versions of Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 5.5 SP2 do not let users to view content made in QuickTime, reports Cnet.

This collaborates messages received from concerned Macworld readers. On July 31, Microsoft released a service-pack upgrade for Internet Explorer 5.5 called SP2. Upon installation, QuickTime support was broken.

Cnet says Apple is promising to address the problem. Central to it is Microsoft's abandonment of another Web standard - originally pioneered by Netscape - called Plug-ins. This extends the capability of browsers by adding features supplied by other programs. Microsoft is discontinuing support for Plug-ins, in favour of its own, similar technology, ActiveX.

Microsoft is also to cease support for Sun's Java standard, replacing it with ActiveX. Cnet calls ActiveX an identified source of "serious security risks, offering a powerful tool for malicious programmers to take control of a target computer, for example". Microsoft issues fixes to address problems as they come to light.

In other Microsoft news, the company returned to the US courts yesterday requesting a six-week delay before the continuation of its antitrust case with the US government.