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MSN.com shuts out non-Microsoft browsers

     
5:10 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Users trying to access Microsoft's MSN.com with a non-Microsoft browser [news.cnet.com] are finding themselves locked out.
8:50 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I don't know about anyone else and I don't claim my site accurately reflects the net as a whole. I have, however, noticed that IE usage among my visitors peaked in June, and Mozilla and Opera have begun to gradually take marketshare away from IE. If MS wants to stop that trend, now is the time to do it.

I just finished reading C¦Net's article on the subject... I must say I'm amused to see them say they're blocking Mozilla and Opera because of a lack of standard compliance, while allowing Netscape 4.x users in.

9:03 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

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>gradually take marketshare away from IE

And the next version of Opera has Unicode. That means Opera's target audience just grew by half the planet.

(the next version of Opera is awesome - best version since 3.21 - 3 years ago). It puts Opera feature-for-feature ahead of ms and moz in every department.

Caine, you'll have to run a proxy like Proxomitron to fool msn.

1:21 am on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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1:20 am on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Continued from part 1: [webmasterworld.com...]
1:32 am on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Did somebody put something in the water up there in Redmond?
1:51 am on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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NN 2.01 still getting the invitation to "upgrade".
1:54 am on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Honestly, I've never seen a company act so schizophrenic.

Xoc

6:19 am on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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One other thing: until the latest build of hotmail, you could navigate without JavaScript. Now you can't.
8:25 am on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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works OK with ME and Netscape 6. However, netscape 6 only ever works after a reboot. If the Pea Sea has been running for long, netscape immediately crashes it anyway.

George

10:29 am on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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> technology was watching for Opera strings--but only because the company wanted to encourage people to use standard-compliant browsers

suits me fine, i even write pages for opera, as i think it is brillant, msn is the last place i would go for news, serps or anything to be honest, i just optimize for its listings, dose'nt mean i use it, and if you were too ask me what i now think of MS for this little stunt - well they can go and .... themselves.

hopefully they will get a real earbashing of the press, and wake up a few more people to the potential of ms global domination.

11:24 am on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Opera Responds:
[opera.com...]

The irony of Microsoft's claim to standards-support is complete when you check the MSN.com site for compliance with the XHTML standard. Anyone can go to the W3C's standards validation service at [validator.w3.org...] and type in www.msn.com. The document returned demonstrates clearly that not a single document on their site adheres to W3C specifications, and many of their documents do not use XHTML at all, e.g. [careers.msn.com...]
5:26 pm on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Yesterday at news.com this article was at the very top of the page. It overshadowed the relieve of XP. I think we have some allies over there and just wanted to say thanks to the folks at c¦net for helping to keep MS on it's toes.

Air

5:42 pm on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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BTW Lynx is also shut out.
5:50 pm on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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As some third-party browsers remain unable to access Microsoft's popular MSN.com Web site for a second day [news.cnet.com], the lockout has stirred up further anti-competitive concerns about the giant software maker.
7:06 pm on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Check it out:

"glitch"

http://www.computerworld.com/storyba/0,4125,NAV47_STO65091,00.html

7:12 pm on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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because the company hadn't provided support for a variety of competing browsers

riiiiiight...

they will continue to have a "degraded experience" because the browsers don't support XHTML. Users may see different colors or page rendering when they go to MSN.com.

sounds to me like they are going to be presenting two different websites - the right one if UA is MSIE and a 'degraded' version for all other UAs.

7:27 pm on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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That computer world article is horrible.... It's so skewed towards M$ that I wouldn't be suprised if one of their reps wrote it...
7:42 pm on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I just wonder how many downloads they got during this PR job.
1:08 am on Oct 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

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As of 9pm eastern time, Microsoft is still denying access to "not ie 6" browsers including some versions of IE 5.5.

Woz

4:28 am on Oct 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I just "got in" with IE 5.00

Onya
Woz

5:38 pm on Oct 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I just got in with Mozilla 0.9.5 and Opera 5.12, imagine that!

The embargo is over!

5:44 pm on Oct 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Mozilla and Konqueror could get in now.
5:50 pm on Oct 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Lynx too...

Xoc

4:12 pm on Oct 29, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Actually, their response is smoke and mirrors. I have XHTML on every one of my pages and they are readable in Lynx, Opera, Mozilla, Netscape version 1.1, etc. The version of HTML has no impact on what browser can read the pages. The issue was that they are doing either client-side or server-side sniffing of the user-agent string and delivering different content. [Gosh, doesn't that sound like cloaking??? Google should ban them...maybe they did :).]

Anyway, their thing about requiring "standards-compliant" browsers to read XHTML is horsepucky.

5:50 pm on Oct 29, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I find this astounding!

In the last upgrade, we had to keep re-installing the new IE version because of bugs!

Its a shame really that they have taken such a silly stance excluding visitors from their portal seeing that the site has improved dramatically I.M.H.O.

I wouldnt like to be a marketing manager for msn.com right now!

6:10 am on Mar 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Could a couple of you who have Netscape 4.xx on Win2k, or XP try to log into hotmail.com and see if it crashes your browsers or causes any other odd problem?

I shy away from everything made in Redmond so I can't do the test, but I got an email from a person who believes MS is passive aggressively forcing people out of Netscape with some browser crashing (javascript?) technique.

6:23 am on Mar 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

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OK.. I've got Netscape 4.7 with JS disabled. Will now try it.

Added:
OK until after login, then got this message:

"If your browser does not support JavaScript, you can upgrade to a newer browser, such as Internet Explorer 5."

6:33 am on Mar 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I am looking for win2k, or XP specifically with JS turned on.

(edited by: littleman at 6:49 am (utc) on Mar. 2, 2002)

6:35 am on Mar 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Turned JS and CSS on, got in with no problem. Could not with it turned off. 121 spam messages since yesterday.
6:43 am on Mar 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

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And what version of windows are you running?
This 67 message thread spans 3 pages: 67