Chrome masks as Safari to fool Windows Live Hotmail

According to Google's Chrome Releases blog, Chrome-users no longer need to go out of their way to make Windows Live Hotmail work.

In addition to providing important security updates, Google's most recent version of Chrome--1.0.154.46--makes it easy for followers to use Windows Live Hotmail. For some reason, Windows Live Hotmail does not work properly on Chrome, unless it thinks it is some other browser, such as Apple's Safari.

Previously, Chrome-users who had wanted to be able to use Windows Live Hotmail would have to switch the user-agent manually, but now the browser will identify itself properly as "Chrome" for most normal sites but as "Safari" for URLs ending with mail.live.com.

Besides helping those who use both Chrome and Windows Live Htomail who do not know how to switch user-agents (or even what user-agents are), such moves are essential on Google's part to increase the number of Chrome-users.

If people find that a popular site such as Windows Live Hotmail does not work on Chrome, they may not bother trying the new browser. If too many people out there switch the user-agent globally on Chrome to fix problems with sites such as Windows Live Hotmail, then the true numbers of Chrome-users will not be counted by firms that provide statistics on browser usage.

Although it seems that Microsoft is working "on a proper fix", Google feels it is not in their best business interests to wait.

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32 Comments

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awesome news for me.

all i wanted to do was check my email, and i ended up having to install live mail, because IE wasnt working for some reason (proxy settings), while i was using chrome.

Ah..i dont like it at all....i am much more "folder" management type guy rather than labels as in gmail...and also i use my hotmail since 8 years...so i cant ditch it with this "always" "beta" mail ;-)

guruparan said,
Ah..i dont like it at all....i am much more "folder" management type guy rather than labels as in gmail...and also i use my hotmail since 8 years...so i cant ditch it with this "always" "beta" mail ;-)


gmail IMAP is garbage

Ummm...so they fixed their product...and this is news???
Dont you think the guy that invented the toothpick sharpener should get a news article then as well????

atari800 said,
Ummm...so they fixed their product...and this is news???
Dont you think the guy that invented the toothpick sharpener should get a news article then as well????

They didn't "fix" their product. It wasn't broke.

Microsoft set up the site to look WRONG if it didn't like the browser. Now Chrome lies to the site and pretends it is a different browser, just to get the OTHER company's product to work.

This article is about War, not broken software. The MS - Google war. Google just won another major battle and claimed another strategic piece of Real Estate. How will Microsoft respond? Will they disable Safari browsers on their mail sites to strike back at Google? Let's wait and see.
War "is" news.

Xenomorph said,

They didn't "fix" their product. It wasn't broke.

Microsoft set up the site to look WRONG if it didn't like the browser. Now Chrome lies to the site and pretends it is a different browser, just to get the OTHER company's product to work.

If the site looked wrong in Chrome then it is Chrome that is broken end of story.

Wodin said,
This article is about War, not broken software. The MS - Google war. Google just won another major battle and claimed another strategic piece of Real Estate. How will Microsoft respond? Will they disable Safari browsers on their mail sites to strike back at Google? Let's wait and see.
War "is" news.

I hope you don't really believe what you just wrote. Microsoft is not going to alienate their customers just because they are using Chrome. They are working on a fix.

bryonhowley said,
If the site looked wrong in Chrome then it is Chrome that is broken end of story.

But it doesn't look wrong because of Chrome. Look it's working now without any changes to Chrome.
Microsoft just doesn't follow the rules and refuses to play well with others, doesn't play fair, never did.

If I was a paying customer of their services, a lawsuit would definitely come their way.

bryonhowley said,
If the site looked wrong in Chrome then it is Chrome that is broken end of story.

If the "fix" is simply to "lie" and say that it's a different browser, upon which time the page renders 100% correctly, then obviously Chrome is perfectly capable of rendering the page correctly and it is not Chrome's fault at all.

It would have been easier to just say "you're an idiot," but now you also know why.

The post is incorrect - at least in naming reference to the Windows Live email service. It's *not* Windows Live Mail. Windows Live Mail is Microsoft's *desktop* email application not their online web email service Hotmail. Hotmail is still Hotmail - or to be more technical "Windows Live Hotmail". This post makes no sense with all its references to Windows Live Mail. It should be Windows Live Hotmail.

Chaks said,
done :)

Not quite. I'm still seeing "Windows Live Mail" all through the story. Windows Live Mail is NOT affected by this, Windows Live Mail doesn't even touch Chrome. Windows Live Hotmail does.

Sorry I was stuck in a bit of a timewarp there. I still type in www.hotmail.co.uk to get to my live account. Anyway, I've updated it!

Ideally web sites would just use proper browser sniffing (that is, if they insist on doing it, ideally they wouldn't do any).

Like, instead of searching for "Firefox 3" in the string, search for "Gecko 1.9", since that would allow any browser that uses the same engine version to work, not just Firefox (And instead of searching for Safari, search for WebKit, etc.)

Microsoft should just make their services for every web browser, like every other company.

God, what am I saying...

bobbit said,
Microsoft should just make their services for every web browser, like every other company.

Yes they should.