book burro || MAIN || firefox everywhere

June 19, 2005

microsoft blocking firefox?

Robert Accettura has been sifting through the preliminary Reporter data and is seeing lots of reports that Firefox users are being blocked by certain pages at microsoft.com (and this isn't Windows Update he's talking about.)

C'mon, Microsoft. If the pages are working in Firefox, let the browser through.

Posted by asa at June 19, 2005 09:36 AM
Comments

Opera dealt with this before, and MS wasn't very helpful. Have fun trying to convince them otherwise :(

Posted by: vcv on June 19, 2005 09:53 AM

vcv, last I heard, Opera won a multi-million dollar settlement over a compatibility issue with Microsoft properties.

Not only that, but I suspect that Firefox/Mozilla have considerably better leverage given that we've got about an order of magnitude larger user base and we're still growing at a much swifter pace than Opera.

- A

Posted by: Asa Dotzler on June 19, 2005 10:03 AM

They aren't blocking Firefox users. They are blocking (?) Deer Park and Mozilla trunk users. Firefox 1.0.4 is working fine.

This just appears to be shoddy UA sniffing from Microsoft's part. I think it's a little too premature for molehill terraforming, Asa.

Posted by: wget on June 19, 2005 10:18 AM

Wow, Mozilla 1.7.x is let through. Does this make any sense? Perhaps along the lines of "large corporate deployments" (Mozilla/Netscape) vs. "mostly home users" (Firefox). [I'm not saying this is the case, but can imagine that's MS's reasoning]

Posted by: jens.b on June 19, 2005 10:20 AM

okay, wget is right - so this could be more or less a side-effect of Deer Park Alpha not having any "Firefox" in its UA string. If they absolutely have to use UA sniffing, why don't they just sniff for "Gecko/"?

Posted by: jens.b on June 19, 2005 10:23 AM

Deerpark has the default Firefox UA String...
here Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8b2) Gecko/20050616 Firefox/1.0+

Posted by: mat on June 19, 2005 10:48 AM

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8b2) Gecko/20050616 Firefox/1.0+

How'd you add that in user agent switcher? just to give it a go go. I'm using 1.0.4

Posted by: D on June 19, 2005 11:18 AM

Try removing the "b" in "rv:1.8b2" and it'll work.

Posted by: wget on June 19, 2005 11:40 AM

Seems to be triggering on the revision...

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7b8) Gecko/20050607 Firefox/1.0+ fails, but Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.8) Gecko/20050607 Firefox/1.0+ works.

Posted by: Auz on June 19, 2005 11:41 AM

It does seem to be Deer Park Alpha and not Firefox in general. (Why? Who knows?) I was able to get at the download page with both FF 1.0.4 and Opera 8.0.1 on Linux with no problem, but Deer Park Alpha 1 got the error message.

Posted by: Kelson on June 19, 2005 11:41 AM

I believe they may be using the new HttpCapabilitiesBase.Beta property in ASP.NET 2.0 to test for beta browsers. As Microsoft says in the documentation on MSDN "Beta version browsers can exhibit unpredictable behavior.", so that may be their rationale. Doesn't explain the weird error message though.

Posted by: Guttorm on June 19, 2005 12:23 PM

If rv:1.7.8 works but rv:1.7b8 doesn’t, I would guess the MS site takes the version and try’s to convert it to a number, as it contains letters it would return version 0.

Posted by: Brian on June 19, 2005 12:28 PM

Hybrid source software is Unamerican because it devalues IP rights, and Microsoft are just doing their patriotic duty.

Posted by: tj on June 19, 2005 01:55 PM

That's funny, it seems to be working for me. This is the UA that I've used to browse it:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8b2) Gecko/20050527 Firefox/1.0+

Unless something has changed in more recent builds, it renders the same as in Firefox. I prefer to stick to Firefox because most of my extensions aren't ready for Deer Park yet.

Posted by: Frank on June 19, 2005 02:28 PM

> Hybrid source software is Unamerican because it devalues IP rights

You mean like the way Microsoft use BSD's TCP/IP stack? Get back under your bridge, nobody cares.

Posted by: ant on June 19, 2005 03:03 PM

As already reported by others, is the version number after the "rv:" that matters. I have played a bit with wget and the User-Agent string: "1.7.8" and "1.7.8b1" work, "1.7b1" returns an error but "1.7.0b1" works!

Seems like a bug rather than malice.

Posted by: Lino Mastrodomenico on June 19, 2005 03:03 PM

I would say at the end they do want to block us out, just some bugs in their code (as they're used to) let "some of the few" slipped through.

Or, Firefox/Mozilla updated so fast that they didn't have time to fix. :)

Posted by: van on June 19, 2005 06:04 PM

Yeah, several people on the MozillaZine Firefox Support forum are getting "unable to connect" errors with msn.com

One less site I have to tell adblock to block! Thanks microsoft!

Posted by: B-Cuz on June 19, 2005 07:13 PM

> microsoft blocking firefox?
Deer Park != Firefox.

Posted by: dainjah on June 20, 2005 07:26 AM

It is blocking machines using Firefox 1.1 codename Deer Park but not using Firefox in the name. I think it is reading about dialog somehow.

Posted by: David B. Haun on June 20, 2005 10:05 AM

ant:
>> You mean like the way Microsoft use BSD's TCP/IP stack? Get back under your bridge, nobody cares.

MS stopped using it long ago. Welcome to 10 years ago.

Asa: Right. MS would not listen to Opera, so Opera threatened a lawsuit. Only then did MS listen and decided to settle.

Yes, firefox may have more leverage. But this is Microsoft we are talking about. Do you think they'd consider listening to a browser that is majorly impacting their market share over a browser that isn't?

I just don't see Mozilla threatening a lawsuit against MS if they did they same thing they did to Opera, do you? So that's why I say good luck.

Posted by: vcv on June 20, 2005 11:25 AM

Shit Asa and her logic.
Shouting without any cause. Firefoxy jist workds fine.

Posted by: Doh on June 20, 2005 12:36 PM

"Opera won a multi-million dollar settlement over a compatibility issue with Microsoft properties"

You don't know that. It was never revealed who it actuall was. Probably Microsoft, but it has not been officially confirmed by anyone.

Posted by: Rick on June 20, 2005 02:40 PM

Anyway, yet another rant without proof, jumping the gun, knee-jerk, etc. etc. etc.

Posted by: Rick on June 20, 2005 02:41 PM

Oh, look, yet another troll without intelligent commentary on the post, whining in his own knee-jerk reaction about the eeeevil Asa.

*plonk*

Wait, I take that back. The fact that the source of the settlement Opera received has not been confirmed is actually useful information. From what I can tell, all of the articles naming Microsoft use a single CNet/ZDnet article as the source, though the fact that Microsoft has been known to block Opera certainly makes them a likely candidate.

Too bad it was followed up by the usual inanity.

Anyway, back to the issue of what Microsoft is/is not doing. It looks to me like they just have some buggy browser detection script that doesn't recognize the syntax for a beta version of Gecko. It looks like it shouldn't affect the majority of Firefox users, just the ones on the bleeding edge, assuming Gecko goes back to the "1.8.0"-style numbering scheme for release versions. Though it might become an issue during beta or preview releases.

Posted by: Kelson on June 20, 2005 03:31 PM

asa= troll
Don't care about his $&/ messages his called Opera liars. when ASA lied

Posted by: eee on June 21, 2005 01:09 PM

Post a comment