Active Channel

Active Channel was a technology introduced by Internet Explorer 4.0 in 1997. It allowed synchronizing website content and viewing it offline. It made use of the Channel Definition Format, which was designed to "offer frequently updated collections of information, or channels, from any web server for automatic delivery to compatible receiver programs."[1]


Microsoft unveiled the Active Channel component as part of an Internet Explorer 4.0 preview release in July 1997,[2] and brought out the final version with the launch of the 4.0 browser in September that year.[3]

Most Active Channels were provided by bigger entertainment companies like Disney, WB or AOL and also made heavy use of DHTML (Dynamic HTML). Channel defaults varied by country, and were controlled by the choice of country during the installation of Internet Explorer 4 (and therefore Windows 98). Channels could be displayed in a Channel Bar.

Active Channel support was removed from Internet Explorer in version 7,[4] as it had been superseded by the more popular and standards-based RSS format.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ellerman, Castedo (1997-03-10). "Channel Definition Format Submission 970309". Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  2. ^ Karpinski, Richard (1997-07-21). "Microsoft Tunes in Active Channel". Communications Week (673). pp. 11–12. ISSN 0746-8121.
  3. ^ Markoff, John (1997-09-29). "Microsoft vs. Netscape: The Border War Heats Up". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  4. ^ "CDF Reference". Microsoft. 2010. Archived from the original on December 26, 2010. Retrieved 2016-02-20.

External linksEdit