Overriding "Activating" ActiveX Controls

I'm in the midst of a DHTML test pass right now (this is a separate issue from the one I previously blogged about), and I came across a rather frustrating change.  In response to the patent lawsuit between Microsoft and Eolas, we released an update for IE that requires that ActiveX controls get "activated".  If you've seen the dreaded “Press SPACEBAR or ENTER to activate and use this control” on an ActiveX control, you know what I'm talking about.

Our test suite for the DHTML Editor is completely automated.  I kicked off 9 runs this morning (ENU, DEU, ARA, JPN across XP, and Win2K3) and when the runs finished late this afternoon, there was a 40% failure rate!  My "base" run had less than a 3% failure rate.  WTF?!?!  In any event, I found out my tests were all failing because the DHTML Editor hadn't been activated yet.

After doing a bit of searching , I found other people had come across this issue. I did a little bit more searching, and came across this KB article (KB917425) and a patch that let me "fix" the machines, and undo the update that had been provided.  

After installing the patch, the issue has gone away and I'm back to passing tests!