back to article Microsoft's web Office: No love for Chrome, Opera

If your browser-of-choice is Google Chrome or Opera, don't expect much love from Microsoft's upcoming Office Web Apps, scheduled to appear along with Office 2010 next year. Last October, when Redmond announced its upcoming suite of browser-based competition to Google Docs and Spreadsheets et al., it said that Office Web Apps …

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Terminator

wait for it

Just wait for Opera to start the crying games,,,,,,,,,,

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MS losing share?

Once upon a time, about 2 years ago, I recall that Microsoft had over 80% of the installed browser market. At the time, commenters here at El Reg told the few Firefox and Opera users to quit whining and admit that IE had won the browser wars.

My what a difference a couple of years makes!

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shock horror

I'm sure both Opera users are enraged!

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Silver badge

The only question I have ...

Is why is it that large companies are so absolutely convinced that I want to store my personal or corporate data on THEIR systems, where I no longer control it.

Are computer users really that stupid in this day and age? The mind boggles ...

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Standards Compliant?

If Microsoft were to do a very strange thing and make their App Suite totally standards compliant (not a Microsoft Standard) then supporting Opera or Chrome won't be an issue.

This would transfer any operational problems back to the Browser Maker and in this time of huge cost reductions at Microsoft this would surely be a good thing.

If Microsoft would actually release something without the famous 'extend' part of their business stratedgy is another matter totally.

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Gates Horns

Ahem, WebKit...

is the engine that powers Safari for Mac, Windows and Chrome. I'd expect any web app to behave almost identically in those three browsers. There're minor differences and their JavaScript engines are different, but overall they behave pretty much the same.

Bill, because IE should have been a WebKit browser by now :)

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FAIL

as if corporations will care about office web apps!

Does the corporation you work for want you editing your internal documents over the web? In this day of encrypted memory sticks and hard drives? As if this will have any impact on corporate IE6 users...

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Happy

Re: Shock Horror

Oh we are, we are!

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FAIL

I'm an opera user...

...and I'm not bothered. I won't be using MS's web effort anyway, the same way I avoid all their other web-based banner-ad-laden crap.

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Jobs Horns

Whatever

Not my problem.

Office XP still works... In fact incredibly rapidly on modern hardware!

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Grenade

So ?

At the end of the day its a microsoft product so if you don't like it you don't have to use it. I'm more than happy with IE8 so I'll use it for sure

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Go

Sigh....

...is it to bloody hard to read between the lines...

Opera and Chrome is not offically supported. This does NOT mean they won't work, just simply that they won't test against them and say "yes they work 100%"

At the end of the day, these amount to a tiny percentage of the market, so why piss around with them.

But hey lets bash MS...it's trendy.

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Anonymous Coward

No love for open standards

would be a better heading.

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Gates Horns

Not Surprising

Given Opera's crappy support for common websites - I still can't pay for eBay purchases via PayPal in Opera, among others - this isn't surprising. Opera has a long way to go, IMO, before it can be taken seriously.

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WTF?

Why do we have to have "supported browsers"?

Wouldn't it be better if we had one set of standards to which browsers and other applications complied?

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WTF?

Comment about The Register's post

On the browser market share, The Register article says "it's more likely that the numbers simply don't justify the effort required."

I don't think this is really a valid reason not to support certain browsers, in particular IE6. As a web developer I wouldn't last two minutes if I went to my superiors and used that excuse when a site I created for a paying client didn't work in most browsers, especially when a browser like Chrome will support every feature with ease.

- Alex

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Headmaster

Web stats are difficult to determine

Always a challenge to say which browser's more popular. Depends on the content. I would lay a wager that Firefox is very popular on this website!

This isn't bad:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers

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Badgers

Familiar?

But I use LYNX. Where's my support for all these web 3.79 apps?

"be compatible with familiar web browsers"

familiar as in witches familiar

as in a cat

or as the french would say, un chat.

which sounds far too much like the english: shat

as in past tense of a steaming pile.

That's right, microsoft are only going to browsers that were a steaming pile when they came out, and only get worse over time.

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Effort ?

<quote>

However, it's more likely that the numbers simply don't justify the effort required.

</quote>

What effort is required to have the site work in Opera, or any other standards compliant browser for that matter ? Write the page to be W3C compliant, with graceful fall back to allow basic navigation if any extended features (Java, ECMAScript etc.) have been disabled for security, then any working browser will work on the page. No need for support for any particular browser at all.

Of course if you start by writing the page with cludges to get a non standards compliant browser to show it correctly or use proprietary features then it will need extra work to get a standards compliant version.

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FAIL

Good!

It's a good sign that Microsoft is shitting itself over Google apps, and with good reason.

Maybe now they will try to take a leaf out of Google's book and try to do something that's actually good rather than spewing forth more underhanded tactics that try to manipulate the end user into a situation where they have no choice but to use the Microsoft option....oh wait...

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Go

:O

Even MS have stopped supporting IE 6? Please, for the love of <insert deity of choice here> and all that is holy LET IT FINALLY BE DEAD!

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IE6

The lack of IE6 might make companies shift upwards, but then again most companies won't be allowing everyone to use web based systems for their office needs. (Some companies I have worked for don't let staff use the internet at all.)

If companies were keen on the internet app, then google apps would be the norm.

The UK's internet just ain't upto the capability of having companies en mass using the web for the day to day office tasks. Imagine en mass take up of MS office online, we would then have throttling during the day and some companies can't take that risk.

Silly idea that will not take on for a while, not until BT pull it's thumb out and give us all fibre.

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Gates Horns

W3C

If only standards were enforced by a proper watchdog/authority, there would be no such malarky going on...

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As one of the two Opera users

I wish we could just get away from the whole "we support Browser X" argument. Really it should be "we've tested that it works properly in these browsers, but we won't stop you trying it in yours if it's not on the list".

So long as MS don't actively prevent users from using whatever browser then there isn't really a problem. One can only hope they're now sufficiently grownup to take that attitude. Gareth Howell's response seems to indicate that they're at least past the sullen teen phase.

(Although it would be quite wonderful if attempts at access using IE6 were greeted with something appropriately disparaging)

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Lies, damn lies and statistics

Worldwide browser stats are irrelevant. Major markets for MS webapps are Europe, Australia and North America. And in those markets Firefox has bigger share that worldwide claims. So if we look at only those markets all statistics will be skewed more towards IE alternatives. In some countries in Europe (quite a few already) FF has bigger market share than IE. Also IE 6, 7 and 8 are totally different browsers and cannot be taken as one anymore (ask anybody who makes webpages!).

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What a shame

If only computers were designed so that you could install more than one browser.

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Gates Horns

Payback is a ?

Possibly underhand punishment for unnecessary grief created in the EU?

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re: shock horror

LOL, what an idiot...

Clearly nobody had told Vahokif that Opera has more marketshare than Safari and Chrome combined in Europe, and has the biggest mobile browser marketshare by a mile, bigger than iPhone, Nokias and Blackberry browsers...

http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-eu-daily-20080701-20090811

http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_browser-ww-daily-20080701-20090811

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hats off to MS

Although i normally dont like MS, they have taken a good decision here... firefox was ignored by them for all the time it was in the low percentages, now they have to take it seriously.

Chrome may be new and shiny, but give it time to make market share and it will be supported.

Opera, i like opera, but firefox has really displaced it, not IE.

Also this may be a useful tool to bash our IT dept with for still refusing to allow IE 7 & 8.

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Jobs Horns

My, my

So Microsoft doesn't love Opera, now that comes as a surprise.

- Evil Steve, all the same.

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Megaphone

re: Brett

Which El Reg have you been reading? For the past 7 years that I've been reading it excessively vocal die hard Firefox users have been commenting that Firefox was used by everyone anyway, and it was just a few idiots that still used IE.

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Except Opera can't complain

Opera does not allow right-click interception, so you can't make any RIA for that otherwise brilliant piece of browser, since you can't make context menus pop up. Older versions of Opera allowed users to manually turn this feature back on, but modern versions don't even let you do that. "Opera knows best, intercepting the right mouse click is terrible, terrible javascript"... so... no, Opera will not be supported until Opera supports the internet again.

Makes sense to me.

And Chrome's still not actually done. It turns over version numbers so fast it's better to say "web apps work if you have ccs2.1+, and javascript 1.2+"... although that might still be lying to the public =)

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Gates Horns

Love tokens not accepted here.

As a longtime Opera user it is no surprise to me that M$ has done their best to hamper Opera users browsing experience of a Microsoft site/service.

The whole web app supported by specific browsers concept is rediculious. If all browsers followed the same standard and had to pass an offical test then developers could write apps to that standard and not have to worry about browser compatability at the user end.

It would be much better if M$ had come out and said if your browser supports HTML5, then this app will work and we'll back it.

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MS market share

@Brett: Now down to about 2/3: 67.6% over all versions of IE. 22.5% for all versions of Firefox. Poor Opera, over all versions, has only just a few more users (2.18%) than IE8 running in compatibility mode (2.14%). So yes, what a difference a couple of years makes. And what a difference a bit of competition makes.

Network effects are all well and good, but if proper open standards are being followed, then many different applications from different vendors should be able to work on the same files. Mind you, it took Apple and their oh-so-trendy mobile web browser to bring home widely what many people have said for years about the web: that well-designed websites needs to be work on any browser and on any screensize.

OK, excuse to play around in Excel over, back to work. What was the article about again?

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har har

Never give opera Support !!!!!

blody idiots deserve it !

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Gates Horns

Freedom

As the other Opera user, I couldn't care less. It's not like Web Office is going to be free, is it?

As for, "replace that legacy laggard with the much more secure IE 7 or 8", there's always Mozilla...

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Define 'Not Supported'

Not supported, or not tested on?

They're two quite different things.

Still, I have no intention of using Office Online, so I don't really care either way.

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Go

Not supporting IE6 is a good move

I think that really is on purpose - it is to force upgrades.

At least they support Linux firefox! - but not having cross browser is just another win for google apps.

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Grenade

To users of unfamiliar web browsers

Using IE6 - upgrade already!

Using Chrome - more likely to go for Chocolate Factory apps

Using Opera - Why?

Using Safari on Windows - WTF? Even the Fanboys know its shit!

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Anonymous Coward

Slightly more reliable stats

Last seven days usage in Europe.

http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version-eu-daily-20090804-20090810-bar

Rather depressingly, worldwide IE6 comes in third

http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version-ww-daily-20090804-20090810-bar

One of the advantages of Opera is that they have sod all clout and so can't invent syntax off their own bat, as a result anything coded to web standards *should* work.

Of course MSFT have issues with coding to standards.

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Grenade

@ the Opera knockers

Why don't you just go and reproduce with your mothers. The reason I use Opera is because it is not M$, the same reason I will not lose any sleep over not being able to use a web version of M$ Orafice. Why are you so concerned about what FREE software other people use? I don't want my documents to be converted to some locked in file format becasue I use multiple OSes and various different applications and it hasn't cost me a penny. I still use IE6 at work and there is nothing I can do about it.

Grow up.

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But why?

Do they provide any information on what 'effort' is required to develop for one of the most standards compliant browsers available? I doubt it...

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In my humble opinion

as a long time Opera user, most sites work fine in Opera unless the web designer specifically blocks me using java-script, in which case browser masking usually beats their check, and proves that their site does work fine in Opera.

There are exceptions, but more often than not the reason a site says it won't work in Opera is down to lazy testing.

I design websites for a living, personally I find it easier to design a site testing using Opera then once that is correct applying tweaks for other browsers, rather than designing for IE or firefox then doing the same.

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FAIL

somthing else I cant use

I'll continue to use Opera and just add this to another site I cant use

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I demand an anti-trust trial!

What a disgrace! We must fight for the tens of dozens of Chrome and Opera users.

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Meh

The key bit is they're saying:

We actively test against IE, Firefox, and Safari.

as opposed to:

We actively block everything but IE, Firefox and Safari.

This seems a a fairly pragmatic approach - IE does it's own thing, but if you get Firefox and Safari versions working, then most other modern browsers are close enough to standards compliant that they will be able to handle it, minor look and feel issues aside.

I'm willing to bet most professional web developers in the real world (As opposed to the black-and-white militant ones who would rather break a website then break a standard) would do the same if they had finate time to do the most work - the few I work with often normally take the approach:

- Get the IE 7+ / Firefox version working (Exact order depends on amount of open source love)

- Grumble, and get the IE 6 version to just about work.

- Get the Safari Version to work.

- Wait for someone to complain about any other versions not working right, and fix them ad-hoc.

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Seems fair

As one of the opera users I'm not particularly enraged, you have to drawer the line somewhere at which browsers to test with otherwise they'd never finish the test cycle. As long as they have written it in a standards compliant manner and don't target the code at any one particular browser I'm sure that the browser with some of the best standards compliance will cope just fine...

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I tried IE8 last night

It's ghastly. IE7 had an option when closing the browser to "reopen these tabs" next time it starts. IE8 gives the option to "close this tab" or "close all tabs". It doesn't reopen them.

Thanks Bill. That was enough for me to go back to IE7 (when I need it).

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Anonymous Coward

IE6

One reason why so many still use IE6 is that I bet there are a lot of people still using Windows 2000 & MS never released IE7 for 2k.

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@Tsvetomir Tsonev

Although Webkit does indeed power all of the HTML rendering in those browsers the same HTML doesn't always elicit the same appearance in them all. Also they all use completely different javascript engines, which is more important than their HTML standards compliance in an application like web based productivity.

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