is a deprecated
software framework created by Microsoft
that adapts its earlier Component Object Model
(COM) and Object Linking and Embedding
(OLE) technologies for content downloaded from a network, particularly in the context of the World Wide Web
. It was introduced in 1996 and is commonly used in its Windows
operating system. In principle it is not dependent on Microsoft Windows, but in practice, most ActiveX controls require either Microsoft Windows or a Windows emulator. Most also require the client to be running on Intel x86 hardware, because they contain compiled code.