Microsoft and Apple working together to fix iPad Hotmail issues

Microsoft's web-based email service Hotmail has been facing issues when users attempt to use it on Apple's recently released iPad device. Computerworld is reporting users have complained composing new messages and replying to emails causes the iPad's Safari browser to freeze and not allow users to access the message input area.  

Hotmail program manager Mike Schackwitz recognised there was a problem surrounding the ability to create messages. "We're working with Apple to understand the issues, and we'll fix them as quickly as possible."

Posts on Apple's support forum said issues for Hotmail on the iPad have existed since as early as April 6, only three days after the release of device in the U.S. Most users on the forum have said they are able to retrieve their messages using the iPads Mail app accessing the Hotmail service as a POP account. 

Schackwitz announced in a blog post that all iPad traffic to Hotmail would be redirected to the mobile Hotmail website which is designed primarily for smaller screens seen on devices such as smartphones. He also reiterated suggestions from the Apple support forum saying the iPad mail client was a viable alternative to users using POP to download their mail. 

Microsoft has not announced a patch timeline and gave no hints as to when iPad users will be able to access the web interface of Hotmail. 

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This is kind of messed up since (from what I've heard), Safari on the iPhone works fine with Hotmail. Isn't Safari on the iPad basically the same?

lordcanti86 said,
This is kind of messed up since (from what I've heard), Safari on the iPhone works fine with Hotmail. Isn't Safari on the iPad basically the same?

I'd probably say there is server side code that detects whether it is an iPhone or not, and because it isn't giving the reply that the server is expecting things go pear shaped.

If MS would just hurry up and enable Exchange support for thier Hotmail service we wouldn't have to worry about the crappy web based mail.

PsyOpWarlord said,
If MS would just hurry up and enable Exchange support for thier Hotmail service we wouldn't have to worry about the crappy web based mail.
How about NO!

POP3, or at least IMAP. They can do Exchange but they better have IMAP as an option.

If I was MS, I would of told Apple to go screw themselves. With all those inaccurate, biased, and very immature PC vs Mac ads...I would at least ask for $$$ for helping.

techbeck said,
If I was MS, I would of told Apple to go screw themselves. With all those inaccurate, biased, and very immature PC vs Mac ads...I would at least ask for $$ for helping.

Apple should pay for Microsoft's server side code not working? That sounds reasonable.

techbeck said,
If I was MS, I would of told Apple to go screw themselves. With all those inaccurate, biased, and very immature PC vs Mac ads...I would at least ask for $$$ for helping.

Then you don't know how to run a business.

This could result in millions of users switching from the service because it doesn't work for them when convienient.

SputnikGamer said,

Apple should pay for Microsoft's server side code not working? That sounds reasonable.

Wait wut? The site works fine on all modern browsers but not on Safari for the IPad and you think that Microsofts code isn't working? Nice logic there buddy...

SputnikGamer said,

Apple should pay for Microsoft's server side code not working? That sounds reasonable.


Sounds like it's more likely a bug in Safari for iPad to me, as Hotmail works fine in Safari for Windows and Mac OS.

Regardless of who's fault it is, I don't think there should be any money paid either way - they just need to find the problem and fix it...

M4x1mus said,
Wait wut? The site works fine on all modern browsers but not on Safari for the IPad and you think that Microsofts code isn't working? Nice logic there buddy...

You apparently know thing about web development. Browsers aren't made to run specific websites. If Neowin doesn't work on an iPad, whos responsibility is it to make it work? On top of that, if it was truly a problem with the browser alone and not the code on the website, Microsoft would not be working WITH Apple as much as complaining to them to fix it because Apple would never let Microsoft see its browser code. So if Microsoft is WORKING on anything, it is their own code which means they themselves see something wrong with it.

JonathanMarston said,

Sounds like it's more likely a bug in Safari for iPad to me, as Hotmail works fine in Safari for Windows and Mac OS.

Regardless of who's fault it is, I don't think there should be any money paid either way - they just need to find the problem and fix it...

Either way the point is that its not a browsers responsibility to make sure it works with 100% of websites. It's the websites job to make sure it works on the most browsers possible. The fact that they are working together implies something about the iPad's unique browser is causing unexpected results for the Microsoft code. Chances are both sides have some underlying issue since neither would be allowed to see each others code anyway. They are both working on their own code.

techbeck said,
If I was MS, I would of told Apple to go screw themselves. With all those inaccurate, biased, and very immature PC vs Mac ads...I would at least ask for $$ for helping.

it is in microsoft's own interests to keep their email service working for as many people as possible... they might be effectively adding another feature to the ipad by making hotmail work on it, but at least they still have a presence with hotmail at all...

speedstr3789 said,
Well it's pretty obvious it's an Apple problem and not a Microsoft problem. Of course, that's no surprise.
Not necessarily. As carmatic said above, this could be evidence of the divide between the two companies' working practices, making it a fault on both sides. However, hotmail has been around long enough that Apple could have product tested this themselves and made corrections to their browser.

speedstr3789 said,
Well it's pretty obvious it's an Apple problem and not a Microsoft problem. Of course, that's no surprise.
How in the dickens did you get that from the information?

Schackwitz announced in a blog post that all iPad traffic to Hotmail would be redirected to the mobile Hotmail website
You do realize that recognition of the client and proper re-direction is a server side function, don't you? They have a problem and are working around it.

The nice part is, that after all the animosity, these two companies are working to resolve the issue quickly.

Edited by markjensen, May 18 2010, 11:21am :

markjensen said,
The nice part is, that after all the animosity, these two companies are working to resolve the issue quickly.

That's because Google is now the common enemy. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

markjensen said,
The nice part is, that after all the animosity, these two companies are working to resolve the issue quickly.
While to most people it looks like they hate each other, MS and Apple do help each other out from time to time

markjensen said,
How in the dickens did you get that from the information?

May be using the scientific method (or simply logic) :
If Hotmail works fine for the most popular browser (including Safari for Windows and OSX) but for Safari for Ipad then, then problem is caused by the browser.

Edited by Brony, May 18 2010, 1:53pm :

markjensen said,
How in the dickens did you get that from the information?

You do realize that recognition of the client and proper re-direction is a server side function, don't you? They have a problem and are working around it.

The nice part is, that after all the animosity, these two companies are working to resolve the issue quickly.

"We're working with Apple to understand the issues, and we'll fix them as quickly as possible."

People just don't know how to read. If it was a problem with only Apples software, Microsoft wouldn't have to work on anything to fix it. Even if it(Microsoft) wanted to, Apple would never let it into a position where it can do ANY work on its(Apples) software let alone see anything besides the compiled code. Doesn't take much sense to figure that out. Just another troll trying to prove a nonexistent point to make himself feel like he knows something.

Rudy said,
While to most people it looks like they hate each other, MS and Apple do help each other out from time to time

Yeah, until Apple turns around and back stab Microsoft.

Magallanes said,

May be using the scientific method (or simply logic) :
If Hotmail works fine for the most popular browser (including Safari for Windows and OSX) but for Safari for Ipad then, then problem is caused by the browser.

+1

markjensen said,
You do realize that recognition of the client and proper re-direction is a server side function, don't you? They have a problem and are working around it.
I think the idea is that Microsoft doesn't want to do the server-side redirect. They are only doing this to work around the fact that iPad user's cannot use the normal, non-mobile friendly version.

This does suggest that the iPad is at fault. Especially considering that it must work on regular Safari. It would be curious to see if it works on the iPhone, but my guess is that they are always redirected to the mobile friendly version.

markjensen said,
How in the dickens did you get that from the information?

You do realize that recognition of the client and proper re-direction is a server side function, don't you? They have a problem and are working around it.

The nice part is, that after all the animosity, these two companies are working to resolve the issue quickly.

Server-side function? I'm guessing you are unfamiliar with the User Agent ID string function, and how the CLIENT sets this via the User Agent header..etc etc..

if the CLIENT browser that tells the web SERVER what type/mode/version browser it is, then the server MAY provide optimized content based on the UAID response from the client browser - it may also do nothing other than serve up the pages as it otherwise does.

This leads to such issues as "User Agent ID Spoofing" and browser-specific content/optimizatons, all of which is generally frowned upon by the W3C.

The focus should be on whether or not the Ipads Safari implementation is sending a User Agent ID string, and, if so, what is it?

If it isnt sending ANY User Agent ID string info, one has to then ask why other third-party browsers work fine for these specific "bugged" functions of hotmail (like sending), yet iPad Safari doesnt....

Ill give you a hint: Safari shows the exact same type of issue on regular Mac OS X/etc - using "send" buttons or sending form data results in an error/crash of Safari - with MANY different sites - not just hotmail.

java2beans said,
Yeah, until Apple turns around and back stab Microsoft.

They'd only be returning the favor from the 80s.

Isn't this one of the signs of the apocalypse along with cats and dogs living together, and rivers running red with blood?

aww thats so sweet


actually, maybe this shows that there is such a big divide in the working cultures and practices between the two companies, that problems like this are inevitable...

carmatic said,
aww thats so sweet


actually, maybe this shows that there is such a big divide in the working cultures and practices between the two companies, that problems like this are inevitable...

It benefits both companies to help each other in this case (and they do in many other areas too but I'll stick to the article). For Apple, they want their browser to "just work" and MS wants people using the iPad to be able to use their service

carmatic said,
aww thats so sweet


actually, maybe this shows that there is such a big divide in the working cultures and practices between the two companies, that problems like this are inevitable...

Well Hotmail is an EXISTING website. It should be Apple's job to make sure their crap works with everyone else, not the other way around. Funny when I use FireFox, Opera and even Chrome they all work with Hotmail AS IS. Only Apple's POS Safari browser doesn't work. What it actually proves is the iPad isn't capable of viewing the web as it is. and that it is not the best device for web consumption at all.

TechieXP said,

Well Hotmail is an EXISTING website. It should be Apple's job to make sure their crap works with everyone else, not the other way around. Funny when I use FireFox, Opera and even Chrome they all work with Hotmail AS IS. Only Apple's POS Safari browser doesn't work. What it actually proves is the iPad isn't capable of viewing the web as it is. and that it is not the best device for web consumption at all.


No. No. No. No. No.

Imagine if the world worked that way! "I have a program for Windows 3.11. It doesn't work on XP. It's an EXISTING piece of software. It's Microsoft's job to make sure their OS works with everyone else, not the other way around!" -- That sounds RIDICULOUS!

Apple designs a browser (Safari) to conform to a set of clearly defined, long-established STANDARDS. If your website doesn't conform to that standard, tough luck.
If you want customers who use the browser to come to your website, you fix your own goddamn website.

Edited by cyberdrone2000, May 18 2010, 4:30pm :

cyberdrone2000 said,

No. No. No. No. No.

Imagine if the world worked that way! "I have a program for Windows 3.11. It doesn't work on XP. It's an EXISTING piece of software. It's Microsoft's job to make sure their OS works with everyone else, not the other way around!" -- That sounds RIDICULOUS!

Apple designs a browser (Safari) to conform to a set of clearly defined, long-established STANDARDS. If your website doesn't conform to that standard, tough luck.
If you want customers who use the browser to come to your website, you fix your own goddamn website.

Considering Hotmail works in every other browser (non-iPad), then the problem appears to lie within the iPad Safari.

Funnily enough, you're both wrong. It's mutually beneficial to have Hotmail working on the iPad. When it comes to browsers, websites should work in as many of them as possible - it falls to the developers of the web service to make it work everywhere, and to the maker of the browser to conform to existing standards - as well as quirks developers have taken advantage of.

So Apple will likely change the way Safari works with Microsoft's code - after all, something in Hotmail made safari freeze - while Microsoft changes Hotmail to make it work better on Webkit, since somewhere in their code, something is wrong too.

carmatic said,
aww thats so sweet


actually, maybe this shows that there is such a big divide in the working cultures and practices between the two companies, that problems like this are inevitable...


You know, MS and Apple (and Google for that matter) aren't each others' mortal enemies the tech press portrays them to be

geeman89 said,
Considering Hotmail works in every other browser (non-iPad), then the problem appears to lie within the iPad Safari.
Throw around some magical powers of deduction, while you're at it.

Why can't it both Microsoft's and Apple's fault?
Example:
Hotmail uses browser sniffing to detect a specific version of Safari and apply proper Safari-specific code. The iPad Safari uses or requires a different browser sniffing mechanism.

BOOM! Microsoft is guilty of not writing its browser sniffing rules completely and not writing good webpage code, and Apple is guilty of ...

Edited by XP1, May 19 2010, 9:15pm :