How to fail at website

26 January, 2010 § 2 Comments

The internet has been in heavy use for a long time now. Browser wars have come and gone. There is now two dominant browsers in North America and has been for the past 4 or so years, yet there are still companies specifically targeting their websites towards a specific browser.

Point in case: Microsoft Outlook Web Access.

In order to get the really nice version, you have to use Internet Explorer. This means that I have to stop using Chrome, and fire up another browser just to check my email if I want to send an HTML formatted mail message.

So today after sending an email through IE, I decided to see if the only thing blocking Chrome was the browser sniffing done by Microsoft.

And the verdict is: ……………… Nope, the browser sniffing isn’t the only thing stopping Chrome from replacing Internet Explorer.

The Outlook interface is completely, I mean completely, unusable in Chrome. Messages can’t be read, folders can’t be switched. The full, unsliced CSS sprites are displayed everywhere.

If you’re curious to test this out, all you have to do is run Chrome with the –user-agent command line argument like so:

chrome.exe --user-agent="Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729)"

Guess I’m stuck with either using the “Web Access Light” on Chrome or the full-feature switch to IE.

*I will continue to hope that Microsoft will start to care more about end-user experience*

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