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Google annoys Opera users who won't switch to Chrome

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#1 BajiRav

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 04:49

zdnet

Last week Google supposedly offered an olive branch to EU antitrust authorities who are investigating the world's largest online advertising company for its anticompetitive practices.
They better cut phone lines between Norway and Brussels, because you can bet that the makers of Opera are on the phone to EU authorities over a recent move by Google.
If you use the Opera browser (proudly made in Norway) to create or edit a post on Google's Blogger service, here's what you see:
Posted Image
This is new behavior, first noted by Bob Leggitt, who says it began occurring on June 27.
I downloaded the Opera browser and dusted off my old, rarely used Blogger account to confirm that this behavior is indeed occurring.
And you cannot make those nagging messages go away. Any visit to a page in the Blogger content-editing interface results in this nag screen, and although you can dismiss the message, it will keep coming back until you finally decide that the headache isn't worth it and click the "try Google Chrome" link that Google has helpfully provided for you.
This is how monopolies work. Google's competitive position in online advertising is so impenetrable that Microsoft was forced earlier this week to take a $6.2-billion write-off as an acknowledgment that its $6-billion acquisition of Aquantive in 2007 had failed to make a dent in AdWords, DoubleClick, and other Google-owned advertising networks.
Opera has negligible market share in desktop computing, tallying only 1.6% and 1.77% in the latest numbers from Net Market Share and StatCounter, respectively.
But it's a mark of pure arrogance from a company that isn't afraid to act like Microsoft (1998) when it needs to muscle out a competitor.
The Google roadblock for Opera is crude. If you change the User-Agent string for Opera so that it identifies itself as Google Chrome, the Blogger editing and management screens work perfectly.
Consider it a shot across the bow. If Google can muscle out Opera, its next target will probably be Firefox, which signed a lucrative search deal with Google last December that gave it a three-year lease on life but ceded absolute control of Mozilla's future to Google.
It's hard to imagine that this action won't raise some eyebrows among EU antitrust authorities.






#2 +Boo Berry

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 04:56

I don't see why it's really a big deal. There's quite a few websites that don't support Opera and that 'issue' can easily be worked around by changing the user agent for the problematic webpage(s). I guess Google's only supporting the more widely used web browsers which is kinda sad since Opera's a decent web browser.

#3 Raa

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 04:57

Sites do this and people complain, but if it was Internet Explorer being given the chop, that's suddenly okay?

Hmm.

#4 OP BajiRav

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:04

I don't see why it's really a big deal. There's quite a few websites that don't support Opera and that 'issue' can easily be worked around by changing the user agent for the problematic webpage(s). I guess Google's only supporting the more widely used web browsers which is kinda sad since Opera's a decent web browser.

I only posted this article because Google has been showing me a "get a better browser (chrome link)" message on Google.com whenever I used IE9/10. I don't get it anymore but I found it annoying.

#5 Denis W.

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:06

Google's sites haven't played well with Opera for a while. This isn't new.

Google instant search wasn't supported in Opera and if you masked the user agent, the page navigation buttons didn't work properly. Google Docs also had quirks - you couldn't hold down keys repeatedly while composing a document.

I guess their incentive to make things work in Opera is next to none considering how their own browser is doing.

#6 George P

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:16

So much for standards then, as far as I know, Opera is one of the front-runners when it comes to standards support, even more than Chrome. So why is it that for some reason Opera can't use these Google services yet Chrome can? What sorta special tweaks do they need to do to support Opera anyways?

#7 The_Decryptor

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:36

Sites do this and people complain, but if it was Internet Explorer being given the chop, that's suddenly okay?

Hmm.

Because the majority of the time IE is blocked for actual technical reasons (Like IE not supporting a spec/supporting it badly/etc.), It's the same with the reverse situation (A site requiring ActiveX for example), the site simply won't work in other browsers in that case.

But in this case, it's most likely not a technical reason, Opera has very good standards support (On par with Firefox and Safari/Chrome). This reminds me of Google's "Chaos to Perfection" site, it specifically checks to see if the browser is Chrome, and if it isn't it claims the browser doesn't support WebGL and to try Chrome instead.

#8 Timan

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:44

Its a google service, they have a browser, they can support/advertise it as they see fit.

Also opera's tiny community is known for being the loudest when it comes to gripes.

#9 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:47

Standards compliance isn't the only issue. Sometimes things just don't render properly and it can be difficult and time consuming to address. For instance, I've been designing a website that is also a Metro app - it renders perfectly in IE10/Metro, Chrome and Opera yet is broken in Firefox. It's rather different from the past where it was usually IE causing the issues. My point is, Opera probably renders 99.9% of websites correctly 99.9% of the time - the trouble is that it can be a lot of work to support a browser given the complexity of modern websites and Opera simply doesn't have a lot of users.

I do think it's a questionable approach by Google but there's nothing inherently wrong with it, even considering their market position.

#10 ArialBlue

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:50

Opera breaks more websites for me than any other browser. Go figure.

#11 Ryoken

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:56

So they don't test in Opera.. Google Testing their sites in Opera would more than double the Opera userbase.. They are just being honest, unlike other sites that don't work properly but never say a thing..

Beyond that.. It's a Google service.. I don't see why it needs to work in other browsers at all if Google doesn't want it too.

#12 -Razorfold

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 06:10

It's a Google service.. I don't see why it needs to work in other browsers at all if Google doesn't want it too.


Remember when microsoft tried to make their own standards for IE? Remember the outcry? The anti-competitive lawsuits whenever Microsoft tries to bundle their own products with their own services?

Shouldn't Google be held to the same standard?

#13 ncc50446

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 06:18

They break things on purpose with Opera..Mask as Firefox, and boom, things work. It`s not just about not testing in Opera, it`s about purposely making things not work. I've been finding myself using Google services less and less...Browser sniffing should be dead. Follow the standards, and if you're not sure if a feature works in a browser, test for the support, not the browser! If a site like html5test can figure out if a browser supports something, I'm sure Google can too.

Can't stand Chrome...Only services of Google I like is email and search, ad I've been finding myself moving away from their search lately. I'm currently trying out duckduckgo and Bing..

And Google should be held to the same standards that Microsoft is.

/rant

#14 Ryoken

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 06:27

Remember when microsoft tried to make their own standards for IE? Remember the outcry? The anti-competitive lawsuits whenever Microsoft tries to bundle their own products with their own services?

Shouldn't Google be held to the same standard?

I do remember.. and I think it was stupid.

Windows is a MS Product, they should be allowed to do whatever they want with that product.. My TomTom doesn't give me options on what to install, browser to use.. nor does my iPhone, Touchpad, or anything else.. It's Theirs.. And they should be left alone..

As I always use to compare.. The Antitrust against MS is like going to Ford, asking for a F150, but with a GM Hemmie engine.. Sorry, not their problem. Don't don't need to provide it, and they don't need to do anything to make it even possible.

And hell, Google hasn't even stopped Chrome from using it, they just warn about it at the top..

But I still say, if Tomorrow Google made all their sites and products work only in Chrome, or on Android devices, or whatever, if would be up to them.. I would say it sucks.. and be annoyed, but not illegal.. It's THEIRS.. I don't see why anyone else has any other say..
This isn't contaminated Meat or something where the Gov't should have a say.. It's a product/server that you are not Forced to use.. It's all choice.. Googles choices would affect peoples choice to use their products or not, and the world would continue..

#15 deleted_acc

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 06:32

thank god i actually don't use any google services... or chrome