Microsoft Announces Immediate Availability of Technology To Enable Fast and Safe Download of Web Applications

Microsoft PressPass – Microsoft Announces Immediate Availability of Technology To Enable Fast and Safe Download of Web Applicationss

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 7, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of new technology that enables users to download both ActiveX
™
Controls and Java
™
Applets faster and more safely across the Internet. The new Cabinet File (CAB) technology is a set of open utilities that provides the following benefits:

  • Enables component developers to compress and digitally sign their applications in a format optimized for quicker and more secure download from a Web site

  • Can be incorporated by tool vendors into Java or ActiveX development tools, giving developers a choice of tools for building safer and faster Web applications

  • Allows Web designers to author Web pages that coexist with and are fully compatible with existing Java Applet delivery mechanisms, yet have higher performance and better security capabilities

Microsoft® Internet Explorer version 3.0 is the first browser that can download CAB files from a Web site, decompress them on the user’s desktop, and safely run the Java Applet or ActiveX Control. Microsoft is making CAB technology initially available for the Windows® family, with plans for future Macintosh® and UNIX® versions. Tools to support the use of CAB technology are available now for download at no charge from http://www.microsoft.com/workshop/java/cab-f.htm/.

“CAB technology addresses two of the biggest issues for Web browser users – speed of download and security,”
said John Ludwig, vice president of the Internet platform and tools division at Microsoft.
“Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 users will now be assured that Java Applets and ActiveX Controls are coming from a known source and can start to download these Web objects more quickly.”

Faster and Safer Web Applications

The new CAB technology from Microsoft enables developers to compress one or many Java class files or ActiveX Control files efficiently into a single CAB file for download across the Internet. Java classes that are compressed to CAB files download faster and run more safely in the Java environment on end-user systems. Moreover, Java libraries can be downloaded only once and reused multiple times. The versioning support inherent to the code download mechanism allows easy refresh and download of updated versions of specific libraries only when necessary. In trusted scenarios, developers have the option of digitally
“signing”
the CAB file containing the Java Applet or ActiveX Control using digital signature technology such as Microsoft Authenticode, thereby enabling the applet to access powerful functionality beyond the Java sandbox on the client system. The digital signature verifies the provider of the application and ensures that the application has come from a trusted source. Digitally signing Java Applets via the CAB mechanism allows additional authentication and control that are expected to accelerate acceptance of Java in corporate environments.

Immediate Industry Adoption

Due to its benefits and ease of deployment, many new and existing applications are quickly taking advantage of CAB technology. Microsoft currently uses CAB technology to optimize packaging in applications such as Office 95 and the Windows 95 operating system. A partial list of leading software vendors that will ship products that use or create CAB files within the next month include Autodesk Inc., Dimension X, Farallon Communications Inc., Fulcrum Technologies Inc., FutureTense Inc., mBED Software, Micrografx Inc., Object Database Inc., Software Publishing Corp., Starfish Software Inc., Template Graphics Software Inc., Totally Hip Inc., Tumbleweed Software Corp., Visualize Technologies, VIVO Software Inc. and VREAM Inc. In addition, several other companies including Boreland International Inc., Metrowerks Inc., National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Powersoft Corp. and Starwave Corp. have announced their intent to support and adopt the technology in the future.

“Technologies such as CAB compression and packaging are exactly what Java has been missing,”
said B.C. Krishna, vice president of technology at FutureTense Inc.
“At FutureTense, we plan to immediately use CAB to enable our users to efficiently and automatically download and install the Java code required to view Texture-built documents. In addition, digitally signing the Texture Viewer via the CAB mechanism provides an extra layer of security that will ease deployment in a corporate intranet.”

“It’s great that Microsoft is making CAB technology freely available for packaging ActiveX Controls,”
said Philippe Kahn, CEO of Starfish Software.
“We were easily able to create and digitally sign the package, and the compression significantly reduces the amount of time required by our users to download and install our EarthTime ActiveX Control.” “Macintosh developers have long been looking for a way to optimize download time of Java Applets and ActiveX Controls, and CAB will be a terrific boon,”
said Greg Galanos, president and CEO of Metrowerks.
“We will incorporate CAB into CodeWarrior, the most popular Macintosh development tool today, and bring the benefits of CAB to Macintosh developers and users.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, ActiveX and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems Inc.

Macintosh is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc.

UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company Ltd.

For more information, press only :

Kymra Carruthers, Waggener Edstrom, (503) 443-7000, kymrac@wagged.com

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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