Walmart Blocks Other Browsers/Platforms

Walmart Video Downloads blocks all browsers but IE on Windows. I tried it from Safari on Mac OS X 10.4 and still wasn’t able to get in (they wanted me to still download IE 6). As noted by TechCrunch, initially it looked like someone didn’t include the stylesheet correctly. Now it’s blocked with a formal error page. Initially it worked with a reload, now not at all. Spoofing the UserAgent let me in, and revealed only a small CSS goof with the header. Didn’t try a purchase since there’s nothing there I would really want. I guess this could be considered a feature: My browser prevents me from downloading You, Me, and Dupree.

Apparently they use Windows Media Player for the DRM. I’d be surprised if it didn’t function properly in WMP when downloaded with Firefox. Thus far I haven’t seen any real difference between Windows Media Player 11 on IE and Firefox. It’s a great thing that Microsoft has drastically improved support.

I’m surprised they didn’t just redirect to a more compatible store.

There has been a fair amount of improvement in website compatibility with Firefox and Safari over the past 18 months. Unfortunately this isn’t an example of that.

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7 Responses to “Walmart Blocks Other Browsers/Platforms”

  1. Fred says:

    Frankly, I don’t even know why any website shouldn’t be compatible with all major, modern browsers. If there are problems (besides the usual little CSS quirks), the programmer was clearly doing something wrong. Blocking other browsers than the one they were using to make the site is an embarrassing sign of them being bad at their job.

  2. lrd says:

    Don’t worry in another six months Walmart will be #2 to Apple in selling music and heading the way Gateway and Dell.

  3. William says:

    Using “User Agent” as Windows MSIE 6.0 I got as far as Credit Card information. I stopped there of course but me thinks I could have finished the transaction. but then again………….

  4. so screw walmart and take you business elsewhere. Leave walmart an e-mail telling them why.

  5. The reason the stylesheet doesn’t load in Firefox is the CSS file is sent to the browser with “text/plain” for the Content-type HTTP header, instead of the proper “text/css”. Firefox is doing as it’s told and handling the file as a plain text document, not a CSS stylesheet. All Wal-Mart needs to do is send the correct Content-type header. But I guess it’s easier to just give everyone the finger.

  6. I’ve just blogged (in french) about VirginMega.fr which also blocks its whole site to most browsers since at least 2004.
    VirginMega.fr also uses DRM from Microsoft.

  7. Robert says:

    Bradley: I think many may end up doing that, if not by choice, but because Walmart asked them to.

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