MSN “Kahuna” Beta doesn’t work with Firefox

According to CNet:

Downside: Getting used to the new layout may be hard for die-hard fans of Hotmail. Kahuna works with Internet Explorer 5.5 and up, but not with Firefox….

I’m a bit concerned about that, and wonder what Microsoft’s plans are regarding Firefox and other non-IE browsers. Will they be stuck with the old interface and begged to upgrade? Will future beta’s of the new layout be fixed so they work with other browsers? It’s clearly possible as Google has done it.

If anyone at Microsoft wants to clarify the plans for other browsers, I’d of course welcome that dialog.

Internet Mozilla Web Development

Eolas 2.0

It’s back. As if it wasn’t ridiculous the first time, we get to go through this again.

  1. Create something.
  2. Don’t enforce for years, silently awaiting wide deployment, then magically appear and start collecting $$$. (can you say GIF)?
  3. Profit.

Oh boy is stuff like this just insane at this point. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens from here. Hint: root for Microsoft (yes, I said it).

In The News Internet Personal

Katrina Relief Online

I’ve been compiling a little list of some ways you can help online. There is a lot going on, so if you find one I haven’t mentioned, leave a comment so I can add it.

  • Flickr Auction – the popular photo sharing site is holding an auction for prints of some donated photo’s. There’s quite a few reflecting some very talented people. If you’ve got some space for a photo and want to help out, this is a great way.
  • eBay is using PayPals to collect money for United Way.
  • Amazon is collecting through it’s “Honor System” making it easy to donate to the Red Cross through your account. Google is pointing to this.
  • Yahoo is also collecting for the Red Cross through it’s website.
  • MSN (Microsoft) is collecting money for the Red Cross.
  • Apple made it easy to donate through it’s iTunes service (link opens in iTunes).
  • Comcast notes a dozen charities which you can donate to (some accept online, some don’t).
  • has been pushed rather extensively by
  • Major League Baseball (MLB) will be holding collections on September 7th (or a day of a teams choosing for teams away on that day).
  • AOL is linking to a bunch of charities through

Feel free to add.

In The News Software

Windows 2000 collectively crashes

From CNN 6:11 PM EST:

— A worm shut down computers running Windows 2000 software across the United States.

A preliminary article is here. Read this for starters:

A computer worm shut down computer systems running the Windows 2000 operating system across the United States on Tuesday, hitting computers at CNN, ABC and The New York Times.

Around 5 p.m. computers began crashing at CNN facilities in New York and Atlanta. ABC said its problems began in New York about 1:30 p.m.

The Caterpillar Co. in Peoria, Illinois also was reportedly affected.

The Windows world is going to feel a world of hurt. And guess what? Soon Microsoft won’t even be releasing patches! This could get pretty ugly. Just shows how vulnerable so many systems are.

Update: CNet on the case


Microsoft testing with Firefox

Several weeks ago I reported that Microsoft was sniffing user agents, and giving misleading errors based on it’s findings. They resolved that rather promptly. Interestingly enough, looking at the blog for Microsofts, there are two blog posts [one | two] that mention Firefox compatibility. It’s great to see them acknowledging browser choice. Thanks Microsoft!

In The News Internet Open Source

Microsoft pushing Sender ID?

Ok, just when I was starting to think that Microsoft may be changing their ways and trying to act in good faith after them fixing their website the other day. Microsoft starts talking about pushing their sender ID stuff on us. Sender ID is Microsoft’s alternative to the other spam prevention techniques such as Yahoo’s DomainKeys. One problem with Sender ID is the licensing, which has caused organizations like Apache Foundation (who oversee the SpamAssassin project), to nix support for Sender ID. AOL has also also dropped support, and looked towards SPF.

I agree one one of these standards is needed to help prevent spam. Personally I think DomainKeys is the most promising of them all. It’s licensing looks like it will be adequate, and it has a fair amount of backing. Google’s Gmail has apparantly implemented SPF and DomainKeys at this time. I think it’s time for everyone to start looking at following their lead. These two technologies look to be the best. And by implementing them, your mail is more likely to get past spam filters. Microsoft is right, it’s time to start acting. But not with their own proprietary stuff.


Microsoft Blocking Firefox: Resolved

As an update to the issue I reported the other day, Microsoft has now fixed the problem on their server. They saw the buzz from Firefox supporters and corrected it in under 2 days. I’d like to personally thank Microsoft for the quick resolution. No word on that cryptic error message though.

The gradient on the top of some pages is still broken (while in other places they replace it with an image). But that doesn’t hamper use of the site. Just appearance.

So thanks to everyone at Microsoft who resolved it, and those around the blogosphere for getting their attention.

Internet Mozilla

Microsoft Blocking Firefox

It appears Microsoft is blocking Firefox from a number of it’s webpages. I’ve heard of this before, but now thanks to the new reporter tool, we have hard data to back it up. At the time I’m writing this there are 39 reports in the database. I should note that we have a little over 1000 users in the system at this point, so 39 reports is rather significant.

Most of the reports are about Firefox are that they are being told:

Sorry, we are unable to show you the page you requested. Please try again later.

In IE obviously the links work. Spoofing the user agent to that of Internet Explorer also has success. The area being reported is the downloads section of their site. Yes downloads worked. I tried several and had no problems.

Besides for illegitimately blocking Firefox, Microsoft has mislabeled their error message to encourage the user to “Please try again later?, as if it’s a server issue and will likely be resolved shortly. At least on Windows Update they say right away that it requires Internet Explorer, which is an honest dialog as Firefox does not support ActiveX which is used by AutoUpdate.

The only issue I can see with those pages is that the gradient on the top of the Microsoft site doesn’t render correctly. As I recall (and Asa blogged a while back) the css for it isn’t in the specs, hence unsupported in Gecko, though I haven’t verified that as I’m not a css guru. The same problem appears on the Microsoft homepage, but they don’t block that (presumably because the point of the page is to get people to buy things).

Come on Microsoft. You did move a bit towards standards. Save the browser sniffing for when it’s necessary (such as Windows Update). Let your customers use the browser that they feel comfortable using. Here’s a hint. We’re closing in on 65 million downloads in the next few hours. That’s 65 million people who believe in choice. Isn’t it time to respect computer users choices?

I hope to see Microsoft address and correct this issue.

Update: some report Firefox 1.0.4 working. Safari and OmniWeb seem to be blocked as well with that cryptic error message.

Update 2: It appears to be fixed now! Thanks to Microsoft for addressing it rather quickly (less than 2 full business days).


IE 7 coming soon

Thanks to Asa for the heads up.

Apparantly IE 7 is in the works, with beta’s due this summer.

Should be interesting.

In other news, Firefox 1.1 due early summer. Browser Wars 2.0 round 2!


Microsoft removes IE

Via Fark, Microsoft’s Anti-Spyware beta (mentioned earlier) removes Internet Explorer.

Now if only they patch it to install Firefox.