Microsoft Critical Update and Blackboard

April 10, 2006
ITS will not be automatically installing this update on campus computers and urges all clients who install Microsoft updates on their own not to install this update until an acceptable resolution can be found in regard to the following issues, most notably Blackboard:

On Tuesday, April 11, Microsoft is releasing a critical update in response to patent litigation between Microsoft and Eolas (http://msdn.microsoft.com/ieupdate). This update includes security fixes for Internet Explorer and changes the way interactive components like those found in Blackboard respond. After the update, clients will be required to activate applets, ActiveX controls and other embedded objects and plug-ins before they can interact with them. In most cases, activation simply requires hitting the space bar, pressing the enter key, or using the mouse to click on the item. Clients running the Firefox or Safari web browsers will not be affected by this update.



We have reviewed the Blackboard applications in anticipation of this update, and have learned that the following will occur if you update:



•Embedded content (including video, audio, Flash) cannot be controlled until activated.
•An item that contains an equation, or was created from the Equation Editor (WebEQ), will launch a text window that prompts the client to "Press SPACEBAR or ENTER to activate and use this control."
•Each Visual Text Box Editor (commonly known as "WYSIWIG editor") will require activation prior to entering text.
•The Virtual Classroom and Lightweight Chat applets will require activation after a client joins a chat or often may crash Internet Explorer completely.


Blackboard Inc. is in the process of escalating this issue with Microsoft. The Electronic Library will continue to monitor this update and will work with all Blackboard clients to resolve the subsequent issues. Questions about how this update may affect your use of Blackboard or your personal computer can be directed to the Help Desk at 254-710-4357.
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