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More Microsoft bully tactics on Opera
Someone is shaking in their boots

 6:39 am on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yet again another bully tactic by Microsoft. Try to guess where this time? Yup again with the browser. Check this out. I switched over to Opera because I was very impressed with how well it was running . While I was going thru and customizing things I hit an option where you can change how the browser identifies itself to the server. You can choose if you want it to say Opera, Mozilla, or if you want it to mask itself as Internet Explorer 6. In order to seperate my clicks on various websites I work on I told the browser to identify itself as the Opera browser. After I logged into hotmail.com to send a file I had just scanned to a co-worker a window pops up saying that the software I am using is going to keep hotmail from working "properly" and there was a button to download internet explorer or one that says to continue to hotmail anyway. Well it turns out I cannot attach files because hotmail isnt working "properly". So I went back into the prefrences and changed the option to identifiy the browser as IE 6. *POOF* Magically hotmail works with the same software that it warned kept hotmail from working "properly". I was then able to attach a document and email it. Pathetic. Very very pathetic. Microsoft must know Opera is the better product if it has to do things like that.



 2:28 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's amazing how blatant they are, make me want to believe in Karma!

Marketing Guy

 2:31 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

While I agree, I would probably do the same! :)

If you used my OS and my web mail, then I would do all I could to make sure you used my browser too.

Funny nobody complains that Playstation games don't work on the Gamecube.... ;)



 3:43 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

So much for Tim Berners-Lee's vision of a web that is browser-independent.


 3:46 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

MS considers "choice" a very bad concept.


 6:18 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Maybe we should have let Saddam Hussein launch one missile and made sure it was aimed at Redmond. Those guys are just so blatent.


 7:24 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

There's a chance that earlier versions of Opera truly did have a problem working with that portion of Hotmail's site. Rather than having it just break when users tried to use the file attach feature, Microsoft added an "if opera" check, so they could pre-empt the problem from occuring, and instead notify the user.

Fast-forward, and now Opera works with this feature, but Microsoft's "if opera" check remains.

A possibility, no?


 7:27 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> A possibility, no? <<

Hmm, a classic F.U.D. response that!


 8:09 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

> F.U.D.

Is that "Fouled Up Disinformation" (or its stronger variant), or "Fear, Uncertainty, or Doubt"?



 9:22 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)


Maybe you would do that but you are also not in court claiming you do not use these kind of tactics to push users away from a competitors product. Seriously, how many average computer users would read that "warning" and click on the button saying 'download IE 6.0' because they were told the browser didnt make hotmail work right? I say a good number.


 1:09 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Actually I disagree that Opera users will "upgrade" to IE. I suspect most Opera users are not unsophisticated computer users who had the browser foisted on them. If this tactic were used on Netscape users though, it may be possible that it would lead some to "upgrade". But let's face it, how many people have even heard of Opera? Those who have and use it are definitely not accidental users.


 1:31 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

I didn't check out the MS code for evidence of intentional malice, but issues like this come up on many web sites just through oversight and inaccurate browser sniffing methods. It's one of the reasons that the chice of agent spoofing is in Opera in the first place. Also, if you are using Opera not spoofing IE, then certain IE DOM objects will not be reported as existing.

You may find this post about Opera's User Agent Spoofing [webmasterworld.com] relevant - see particularly message 5.

Brett began that thread to share SuperStats response to their own inaccurate browser detection (at the time).

I'm not a Microsoft booster by a long shot. But in all fairness, this particular problem isn't necessarily intentional.

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