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Hotmail Full Version Incompatible With Firefox 3 258

Posted by kdawson
from the smells-like-a-varmint dept.
An anonymous reader notes that Hotmail's full version doesn't work with Firefox 3. Users get the following message when they try to log in: You are temporarily on the classic version of Windows Live Hotmail due to an error encountered during login. Before trying again, please clear your cache and cookies. (Clearing cache and cookies doesn't fix it.) At least 8 other bug reports have been duped to this one. The fault apparently lies with the Hotmail site, not Mozilla — maintainer Dave Garrett assigned the bug to Tech Evangelism, explaining: "I'll... move this over to TE, as my guess is this [is] the site's fault (just bad user agent sniffing?)."
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Hotmail Full Version Incompatible With Firefox 3

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:45PM (#23887785)
    FP.
  • User agent switcher (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Perp Atuitie (919967)
    Does using to add-on to look like IE change anything? That would be pretty revealing.
    • by jeiler (1106393) <go.bugger.off@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:59PM (#23887915) Journal
      Doesn't work. (FireFox 3, User Agent Switcher).
      • by Vectronic (1221470) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:18PM (#23888097)

        Tried as well, no go... even masking as FireFox/1.5 doesn't work, even though it says in mail.live.com that FireFox 1.5 is compatible.

        As a side note, it doesn't work in Opera 9.51 either, I didn't notice since I prefer the classic version anyways...

        It does however work if you set the site preferences as Mask As Internet Explorer (in Opera) although it seems to run really poorly, masking as FireFox goes to Classic.

        • It works fine for me in Opera 9.51--I have it set to mask as Firefox. Also, it doesn't run slow for me--it seems to just work fine. Also--finally Yahoo mail works for me now! (albeit slow on that one)

  • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:50PM (#23887845) Journal
    IE comes with MSN as the default page and has links to tons of Microsoft products and services whereas Firefox leans away from most Microsoft-based sites. I'm sure these bugs will be fixed eventually... but I'm also pretty sure Microsoft wasn't too worried about launching Hotmail without Firefox support.
    • Firefox is basically funded by google. You know how the default search engine is google it is because google donates and promotes firefox. Not to mention the firefox "homepage" is google. Firefox received about 66 million dollars in 2006.

      http://blog.lizardwrangler.com/2007/10/22/beyond-sustainability/

      Which is fine because they publicly state that. Almost all of the money they make, besides the occasional donation is from google. The mozilla foundation is funded by google.

      http://www.mozilla.org/foundation/documents/mozilla-2006-financial-faq.html

      Now that microsoft is competing head to head against google in the online arena this is not surprising.

      A larger firefox market share translates into a higher market share for google as firefox users are directed towards google.
    • by onion2k (203094) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:59PM (#23888547) Homepage

      I'm sure these bugs will be fixed eventually... but I'm also pretty sure Microsoft wasn't too worried about launching Hotmail without Firefox support.

      How long they take to fix it depends on whether they feel people are more likely to change their browser to fix a problem accessing their email, or change to a different email provider. While it's a great deal easier to change to a compatible browser it's not a foregone conclusion that people will necessarily take that route, especially if they're trying Firefox because they're dissatisfied with IE - if they're already trying to defect from the MSFT camp then a problem with Hotmail on FF3 will drive them further away.
    • by astrosmash (3561)

      but I'm also pretty sure Microsoft wasn't too worried about launching Hotmail without Firefox support.

      Actually, Microsoft is worried about all of its internet properties right now. The last thing they is yet another reason for someone to consider migrating away to a competing service.

    • ...I'm also pretty sure Microsoft wasn't too worried about launching Hotmail without Firefox support.

      That pretty much says it all about how much MS fears the law. What's one more potentially criminal antitrust abuse? The courts are so slow and punishments so weak, why would they even bother worrying about breaking the law?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dpilot (134227)

      One word: Tying

      (IANAL, but I can recognize a duck when I see it waddle and hear it quack.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:55PM (#23887885)

    If you use Safari, eventually the site saves your info to the cache - even if you ask for it not to save your username or password. Once your info is in Safari's cache, loading hotmail.com to try to log in gets you into an infinite loop bouncing between a couple of addresses. You have to stop the loading, go empty the cache of everything from live.com, and reload hotmail.com. Perhaps some of the fault is Apple's, but I've never had that problem with any other website while using Safari.

    It's probably just Microsoft being Microsoft.

    • This happens with my university's PeopleSoft and WebCT garbage.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by $random_var (919061)
        WebCT was put on earth by aliens who are set to destroy us by slowly driving us insane. What other explanation is there?
        • Sounds reasonable and probably very effective...
        • by QBasicer (781745)
          WebCT's replacement, Blackboard, is orders of magnitude worse than WebCT. If you click the logo in Blackboard, it opens a new window with a new login screen. It also won't let you open new windows in tabs because you can't be signed in more than once. It's also very unstable and quite unintuitive.

          I want WebCT *back*.
          • It also has javascript blocking *NIX file paths unless the useragent contains "mac". It worked before and might be fixed now, though. I don't see why they don't check that a file was actually received, you can enter a path to a non-existent file and it will report a successful upload. My university also has passwords sent in base64 for some reason, but that might be just an issue with them.
            Although I don't see the other issues you mention. IIRC, I've always been able to open up pages in a new tab without i
    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      If you ever manage to login (hint: get rid of those hotmail, passport, live cookies), it will suggest you to use "Internet Explorer" for full site. On OS X!
      At least in Turkish version, it happens to a friend.

    • True. That said, if you are stuck in the infinite loop, though, you don't have to go clear your cache to be able to log in. You can just go to the main MSN portal, and since that site recognizes that you're still logged in, it will show you a "sign out" link instead. Just log out, and go back to the Hotmail site, and will let you log in again. Not ideal, but better than clearing caches.

      HTH

  • Konqueror issues too (Score:4, Informative)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:56PM (#23887897) Homepage Journal

    Even the free version wont work in konqueror ( or at least hasn't for me for some time now )

  • Come on Hotmail! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drspliff (652992) <harry.roberts@NOSPAM.midnight-labs.org> on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:00PM (#23887933)

    With a large dev team, lots of server admins, lots of marketing and a massive user base - you mean they don't test at all with other browsers while their in beta?

    The only way I could see this happening is if theres an internal policy to use _only_ IE for browsing (unlikely), or if developers were not allowed to.

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      The only way I could see this happening is if theres an internal policy to use _only_ IE for browsing (unlikely), or if developers were not allowed to.
      You must be new here.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drspliff (652992)

        I was just trying to push some arguments that there was no way this could happen unless Microsoft specifically had policies in place to not test with latest browsers.

        The developers there are nice people if you ever meet them, and the incompetence is unlikely to be on their behalf.

        • by Yvan256 (722131)
          That's what I'm saying. If there's any problem, it probably comes from the management and/or marketing department(s).
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by _KiTA_ (241027)

      With a large dev team, lots of server admins, lots of marketing and a massive user base - you mean they don't test at all with other browsers while their in beta?

      Wait, you think this is accidental?

      hahahahaha

      • by Ilgaz (86384)

        People thinking it is accidental or modding you flamebait also thinks MS really wants to give .NET functionality to Linux via Mono project and Novell deal.
        Yes, everyone on earth tried how their page looks with Firefox 3 but MS didn't. Lets believe that.

    • Well, they also haven't been in beta since start-up. Unlike our GMAIL-forever-in-beta-friends.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:01PM (#23887941) Journal
    Same behavior in Konqueror(3.5.9). Well, actually, the default Konqueror UA isn't recognized as compatible with the full version interface; but spoofing either an IE or an FF UA changes that. With the spoof in place, the page exhibits the same behavior as described with FF3

    So, this problem isn't caused by straight discrimination based on UA string, since spoofing IE had no effect. Something about the website is clearly wonky, though I can't say whether or not KHTML is to blame.
  • by David_Bloom (578245) <slashdot@3lesson.org> on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:09PM (#23888013) Homepage
    The full version works fine in Opera 9.5...now who says Opera's not a compatible enough browser? ;-)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TheSeer2 (949925)
      Shush. Stop getting in the way of the MS bashing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ilgaz (86384)

      Well I bet there is a memo at Microsoft like "Don't mess with Opera" after the MSN scandal and rumored $millions loss after settlement.

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/02/06/msn_deliberately_breaks_operas_browser/ [theregister.co.uk]

  • by ilikepi314 (1217898) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:11PM (#23888031)

    As much as I hate anecdotal "evidence" for things, I can say that I just cleared my junk mail from a full Windows Live mail account (it was Hotmail until they forced me to move it over) just before I came to slashdot. In Firefox 3. No problems. I've never seen that message.

    That being said, I also have SUSE, and it occurred to me perhaps there is some special deal going on there to allow it to work fine. But if not, I can't see any good reason to blame Mozilla or Microsoft; the bug was filed with Firefox 3 still in beta, perhaps it was an un-updated extension or the like interfering?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by duguk (589689)
      look carefully, its in the center of the page; if the site doesn't load it redirects back to the old version with a message, in a yellow box on the main hotmail page. its easy to miss - i did too.
  • In 80's and 90's everyone was like "get a compatible" meaning get a PC with DOS or Windows. Now it seems like Microsoft is the incompatible company! Examples: Internet Explorer not standards compliant, Vista not compatible with many business applications that ran well on XP, MS Office not supporting ODF... Does this mean that Microsoft is going down the same path as Commodore and OS/2?
  • Who cares (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rduke15 (721841)

    Who cares about hotmail anyway? Isn't that the obnoxious service which adds advertisements to all the mails sent by their users? (And most users not being aware that they are sending spam at the bottom of the mails they write.)

    Well, in fact Yahoo does the same thing. Strange that the MS/Yahoo deal didn't work out. As far as treating their email service users, they seem to behave the same.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ilgaz (86384)

      Yahoo lets Safari 3, Opera 9.5, Firefox 2 (3 has documented issue) users to use their (New) Yahoo Mail and (Beta) My Yahoo. They are way complex and beyond anything those MSCE monkeys could code BTW. My Yahoo beta is essentially a full feature RSS reader masked as a webpage.

      I don't see any comparison between Yahoo and Hotmail really. It could only serve to get idea about what would happen if MS really acquired Yahoo.

  • Firefox 3 Javascript (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:49PM (#23888417)

    The fault apparently lies with the Hotmail site, not Mozilla -- maintainer Dave Garrett assigned the bug to Tech Evangelism, explaining: "I'll... move this over to TE, as my guess is this [is] the site's fault (just bad user agent sniffing?)

    1) Changing or spoofing agent string doesn't help. Even pretending to be IE, the .js files associated still fail in FF3 WITH THE SAME ERROR.

    2) If you look at the page source you can tell that Hotmail is identifying FireFox properly and loading the corresponding javascript, etc specific to FireFox.

    So why is the Firefox team assigning this to 'Agent String' or 'Tech Evangelism' again?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jimicus (737525)

      So why is the Firefox team assigning this to 'Agent String' or 'Tech Evangelism' again?

      I haven't RTFA but at a guess I'd say it's likely that Firefox is being fed broken js/HTML by Hotmail.
      • Firefox is being fed broken js/HTML by Hotmail

        Possible, but if you change the user agent, and Hotmail thinks your browser is IE7 or IE8 or FF2 it still breaks...

        If it was just bad FF .js/HTML then changing the user agent would fix the problem, and it don't.

        (Also remember IE8 runs in standards default mode, breaking with IE legacy, so code for it would be pretty pure and shouldn't break on FF3.)

        • by duguk (589689)

          If it was just bad FF .js/HTML then changing the user agent would fix the problem, and it don't.

          Um, not if IE is using non-standard js, that isn't supported in Firefox. I think that's kinda the problem. Hotmail's code for Firefox doesn't work because MS broke it, and the IE js isn't compliant.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Blakey Rat (99501)

            Um, not if IE is using non-standard js, that isn't supported in Firefox. I think that's kinda the problem. Hotmail's code for Firefox doesn't work because MS broke it, and the IE js isn't compliant.

            What are you suggesting here? That Microsoft went out of their way to find some exact combination of Javascript functions that:
            1) Works in IE
            2) Works in FF2
            3) But doesn't work in FF3
            4) Was installed before any FF3 betas were around (since this has been reported for every version of FF3.)

            Seriously? Do you think th

    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      Because they can't dare to mess with Microsoft giant like a little Norwegian company did?

      Opera sued them big time for messing around with their application along with releasing a dedicated "Bork edition" release which is a legend already.

      • by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @07:10PM (#23889607)

        Because they can't dare to mess with Microsoft giant like a little Norwegian company did?

        Opera sued them big time for messing around with their application along with releasing a dedicated "Bork edition" release which is a legend already

        1) Stuff like this is why you look at the served HTML.

        2) You do realize that the 'margin' setting on the MSN style sheets that caused the problem with Opera was either a stupid MSN programmer doing something NOT MSN, or was a very simple accident, since the margin number it received was from a 'calculation'.

        MSN is NOT Microsoft, you would be surprised how separate the businesses operate, and isolating Opera users with a messed up page would NOT benefit MSN.

        Some interesting MSN info:
        The MSN datacenter managers and site programmers are borderline retarded having worked with them directly, I would bet on it being an accident and wouldn't be surprised if there aren't tons of coding errors that hit all browsers independantly.

        The MSN managers and programmers are the reason Microsoft 'Live' exists, and why MSN groups and other MSN features are all in competition with Live and being replaced by Live services from Microsoft's other divisions OUTSIDE of MSN. MSN is a held over tie to a time when MSN was a folder based compuserve type service and tried to adopt to being a portal site.

        Notice that everything from Windows Messenger to even search moved from the MSN teams and was replaced. All Microsoft products shove live.com as the default home page, not MSN.com.

        If you ever want to see a day in insanity, go hang out with the MSN datacenter people. I feel sorry for sites like Slate.com, etc that have to work through their operations.

        I worked with another 'partner' like Slate and dealing with the MSN people scared the fek out of myself and my team. We even had to fix programming for them and send them instructions for their servers because an 'ok' manager at MSN said his people didn't know how to do something really simple and asked if we would do it for him on the side. Scary...

  • Secureserver.com (Godaddy's email service) has started rejecting logins if you're using Opera.

    I don't mind a warning, but for God's sake let me just take my chances, would you? Now I have to switch to Firefox to check mail--fucking retarded.

    Hey, I've got an idea--instead of serving custom pages by sniffing user agents, why not make a single set of code that works everywhere? I mean, I know it's horrible to contemplate--but I'm really not interested in your fancy Ajax interface or toys that try t
  • The account management page [live.com] doesn't work either, the sections just sit on loading forever (why do they use scripting for this anyway?). Thus giving no way to, say, change your password.
    Billing [microsoft.com] still works. Still no way to remove a credit card without adding another, though.
  • My iGoogle layout broke the day I upgraded to FF3 also, so I assume it's the culprit. It's still usable so I haven't dug too deep for a solution, being lazy and all.
  • What's this Hotmail thing, a gay male "connecting service"?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DamonHD (794830)

      No, you'll be thinking of hotmale.com.

      Boy, I wish I'd registered that way back when, to make my megabucks!

      Rgds

      Damon

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