A CDE Definition
Enabling real-time content on a Windows desktop. Introduced with Internet Explorer 4.0 in 1997 for Windows 95 and Windows NT, Web pages could be turned into desktop items that were updated automatically. For example, a stock ticker Web page could be made a desktop item, or a company's intranet home page could become wallpaper visible on each user's computer. Active Desktop supported Active Channels, which were subscriber-based content delivery systems from external or internal websites. Active Desktop was dropped in Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2003 was the last server OS to support it. See Active Channel.
An earlier information delivery system from Microsoft that provided a platform for "pushing" information to users from Internet content providers and internal intranets. Based on the Channel Definition Format (CDF), channel providers stored XML-based CDF files on their Web servers, which contained the URLs to the pages that made up the channel's offerings. When users selected a channel from their desktop, the underlying CDF file is accessed.
The Active Channel was supported starting in IE 4 (Internet Explorer Version 4.0) and dropped in IE 7 due to the popularity of widely used syndication formats such as RSS. See Active Desktop, push technology and RSS.
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