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This 67 message thread spans 3 pages: 67 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
MSN.com shuts out non-Microsoft browsers

 5:10 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Users trying to access Microsoft's MSN.com with a non-Microsoft browser [news.cnet.com] are finding themselves locked out.



 5:17 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

man - that is soo low. Doesn't appear terribly hard to defeat based on what the Opera guy stated but IMHO it's dirty pool by MS.

The next question is: How might this impact traffic from MSN searches?


 5:20 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

I just noticed this and was talking to Eric about how sleazy this is.......


 5:26 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

They're playing hardball, no doubt about it. Did you note the tie-in to XP and the mention of smart tags?


 5:30 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

:comes back out from hole:

Spoke with Andrew about this, and I'm somewhat apalled. Not only does the MSN interface fail on a few minor usability levels, but it also managed to crash my version of IE:5. When that happened, it caused some odd memory leak within Win2k, and began to slowly freeze.

I stopped it, but I think there's something to be said behind the scenes when a conglomerate like this cannot get their act together. Just think of the errors that may exist within technologies that they cannot control.

Horrific. And odd. But typical given the company.

~ Eroc


 5:36 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Yuck. I'm glad I only use two of their programs... I don't plan on collecting any more. Their business tactics are just entirely beyond my idea of acceptable, moral or fair.


 5:45 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Yet another brilliant public relations victory for M$. They need a few lessons in walking softly but carrying a big stick instead of " we're about to be sentenced and we need to really irritate people and cause another big 'all your net are belong to us' fiasco in the press to make us look like total control freaks."

Were did these people come from?


 6:10 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

I really enjoy watching a well-executed triple-play, and I think that's what we're seeing here.

>we're about to be sentenced
My crystal ball says that their crystal ball says it's going to be a slap on the hand.


 6:18 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

a slap on the hand


...but the slow erosion of consumer confidence and goodwill that their agressive tactics and virus "issues" are causing could end up being more of a wallop upside the head.


 6:20 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

That would also shut out users who use braille to read the web.

I can't imagine the US government would allow that to go on very long if it keeps those with disabilities from viewing their site.

It's like MS is saying to the Government "Come on...I dare ya..."


 6:20 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

I just did, both msn.com and msnmember.msn.com with JS disabled it's practically bare, mostly plain text links. They just changed the design today, just introduced MSN 7.


 6:21 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

I wish they provide a link for feed-back. :-)


 6:24 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Well, they've either changed their set-up, or they didn't bother about us Mac users. NN 4.7/Mac can access the front page of msn.com just fine.


 6:29 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Also work with ns 6.1. Opera gets locked out. Windows 98

Opera on Mac is no go too.


 6:29 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

A very nice cgi proxy script that allows you to set UA to what ever you want:

I set it up run on my work box and changed the US to MSIE. Took about 1 minutes.

search.msn.com is still accessible to non-MSIE browsers.

Truly an amazing tactic, but I think it will back-fire. The people who are not using MSIE will not switch because of msn.com. When pushed, people will usually push back. I think ms is over playing their hand, this may actually turn people away from XP.

(edited by: littleman at 6:30 pm (gmt) on Oct. 25, 2001)


 6:30 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

>erosion of consumer confidence and goodwill

I see that plenty among tech types, but I can't find any significant leading indicators that JohnQ is reacting that way. Most are perfectly content running whatever comes out of the box, even if it's prone to risks -as long as it's cheap. And, the box is really cheap now.


 6:34 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

A lot of JohnQs are set in there ways. I know a lot of Q types who wont use anything other than Netscape 4.x. This won't convert them. MSIE already has the sheeple, this won't help them at all.


 6:40 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

I wonder what effect this move will have on their search partners? A lot of people (myself included) prefer other browsers and I imagine there will be some serious decrease in traffic through MSN as a result.

I see this as cutting off their nose to spite their face. Damn ... and I have such excellent rankings their too!


 6:51 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

MSN does not work with Mozilla 0.9.5


 7:05 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Seem that the last "upgrade" needs some ironing too. Wen using msn.com search box for some keyword with an accentuated caracter, it gets all bamboozled in search.msn.com. Québec gets translated into Québec, whatherver the browser used. Must be one of those "advanced features" wich make them unique.


 7:20 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

They are simply User_agent delivering, anything that does not have MSIE in the UA will go to the "upgrade browser" page. Any UA spoofing perl script will get you in.
They require "Mozilla/4" [anything here] followed by "(compatible; MSIE" and then a "4.0" or anything higher up to "6.9". Nothing else in the UA matters.
So this will work:
Mozilla/4 I hate MS (compatible; MSIE 4.0 blahhblahh

But you won't be able to access it unless you match there REGEX. BTW - it looks like they are not giving any provisions to spiders.


 6:53 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

FINALLY, someone in the mainstream press woke up and realized that Microsoft has been practicing exclusionary policies at MSN. This has been going on for almost two years:

Cnet article [news.cnet.com]

Opera and Moz users need only change one character of their agent string to get into MSN.com.

"We do identify the string from the browser, and the only issue that we
have is that the Opera browser doesn't support the latest XHTML

Opera and Moz work perfectly fine with MSN if you change the agent string.

They DO NOT have a sign on their homepage saying they reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.


 7:30 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

hmmm......I used Netscape 4.78 without any problems...


 7:37 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)



 8:21 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

netscape worked this morning, but at home I use opera, and no matter what i did, even changing the browser identification to IE, it was spotted and invited me to upgrade to IE.


 8:28 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

An invitation is a really nice way to put it.....I would say they were attempting to force you!


 8:36 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

They are letting in Netscape, including Netscape for Linux "Mozilla/4.76 [en] (X11; U; Linux 2.2.17-21mdk i686)". So they are only going after the *new* competition, which is smart. They are not going to piss off the guy who is stuck in his ways using an old Netscape browser on win95.

In effect they are only going after the current competition.


 8:38 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

At this time, no one else has the story, reuters, ap, no one. Once the technology writers get back to their offices after following B around for two days and figure this backhanded trick out, I think they will come down very hard on this maneuver. The timing of this, with the world situation we face, well, even I could have a field day with this.


 8:40 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Not surpisingly, all my position reporting tools are not working on MSN.

All the incompatible browser folks will simply switch to Google - assuming there were any still using MSN for searching


 8:48 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

search.msn.com and msnbc.com are still accessible..

This 67 message thread spans 3 pages: 67 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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