[thelist] MSN locks out non IE browsers

James Aylard webmaster at equilon-mrc.com
Thu Oct 25 13:53:59 CDT 2001

Mike, et al,

> Netscape 6 can get in without a problem.  Interesting, though, how they
> to be blocking Opera.  Are there any technical issues that would keep the
> latest version of Opera from rendering the page the same as IE and NS6 or
> could Opera (since it's now free and, therefore, possibly seen as a threat
> by MS) be the next target of a MS takedown?

    Netscape 6 (and Netscape 4.x, btw) can get in, while Mozilla 0.9.5
cannot. Clearly Microsoft is winnowing browsers based on UA string, rather
than object support, and it is apparently working from a fairly restricted
list of "okay" UA strings. Pre-release and small, third-party browsers
apparently aren't on the list.
    Frankly, Opera is such a small blip on the radar that I can't imagine
Microsoft expending much energy to actively stamp it out. Likely, anyone
using Opera already has some level of animus toward Microsoft, and isn't
likely to switch browsers because msn.com says to do so -- if that person is
even actively using msn.com to begin with. Instead, Microsoft probably just
doesn't want to expend the energy and money to ensure that pre-release and
small, third-party browsers work with msn.com's new features, and has chosen
not to create a secondary version of the site to support them.

James Aylard

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