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Chapter 17. CDF and Active Desktop Compo... > Microsoft's Approach to Webcasting

Microsoft's Approach to Webcasting

When Microsoft released Internet Explorer 4.0, it put out an integrated suite of Internet-related software tools that enables you to create and browse Web pages, read electronic mail and UseNet newsgroups, participate in virtual meetings with colleagues at a distance, and collaboratively work on Microsoft Office documents. The browser component of the Internet Explorer suite also included support for Webcasting channels—a medium by which content providers could "broadcast" their work right to a user's desktop.

The word "desktop" in the last sentence isn't used metaphorically, either. Another facet of Internet Explorer 4 is the Active Desktop, a Windows configuration that blurs the boundaries between the traditional desktop and the Internet. Under the Active Desktop, you have a single "Explorer" that enables you to examine files on your system as well as view documents on the Web. Users with the Active Desktop turned on are also able to view Active Desktop Components that content providers build into their Webcast channels.


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