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back to article Google makes Opera bloggers an offer they can't refuse: Use Chrome

Google is warning Opera web browser users they must switch to Chrome in order to use Blogger.com, the search giant's blog-hosting service. No technical incompatibilities have been found to justify the alarm. After a reader tip-off, El Reg created a Google blog using Opera 12.0 for Mac this morning, and received this message: An …

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Trollface

Epic trolling

Hell hath no fury like an Opera bore scorned, failing to keep a straight face here..

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Re: Epic trolling

i use opera my self apart from some M$ sites (hotmail and some of there technet stuff) and some obscure ones i never use, I found it hard to hit an site that does not work unless they do something for Opera to brake it (that norm means the site has an personal issue with opera or is been payed to do it or just Crap at site coding trying to do fancy stuff that only works under IE6/8)

i still use Chrome thought as it works well and fast and secure, just I prefer all my persistent tabs under opera

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Re: Epic trolling

Just trying Opera, but can't get to bigyellow.co.uk it redirects me to yellow pages 'superpages', is this a bug, virus, or shoddy browser?

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Trollface

to avoid anti-trust issues they can just it was an employee's android phone taken over by a botnet that made the change.

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Anonymous Coward

so Blogger.com is going to go "non-standard" in terms of HTML? because all I'd want are the standard parts, supported by all standards compliant browsers. And if blogger.com did that then a simple switch to a competing blog platform would be on the cards.

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That was my thought, too.

"If you are having problems, try Google Chrome." Really? Sure you don't mean "If you are having problems, try a different blog host because this one sucks."?

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Pint

Switch away from Blogger? OMG!!!

Next thing you'll be telling me to switch away from Google's Adsense and do without the $36 *per century* of income it provides. LOL.

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Anonymous Coward

Or not

My experience is Opera's standards implementation has often been incomplete. It's not unreasonable to cut QA costs by not verifying everything works on every browser, and only verify the ones normal people actually use.

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FAIL

Google just don't get it.

Google, meet the EC (again), EC, meet Google (again). I believe you're all familiar with each other already? Funny that.

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Anonymous Coward

Dear Writer

Are you implying you already has Opera installed?

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Facepalm

What was that again, something with standards?

I once thought the whole idea of basing the web on open standards was that website builders don't have to support browsers, only standards. But it was just a dream...

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Re: What was that again, something with standards?

But, but, but ..... HTML5 is *open*

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Facepalm

Re: What was that again, something with standards?

Open if you're Google or Apple and you run the show, there's a reason some of us are steering well-clear.

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Re: What was that again, something with standards?

This all smacks of those "This site is best viewed in Netscape Navigator" messages and icons from circa 1997.

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Web standards

If this is being done deliberately, this won't end well. Users won't have it, and it'll inevitably create a load of ill will and bad press.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Web standards

One can only hope it ends bad. But corporations such as these have their ways to mitigate disasters.

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Re: Web standards

"But corporations such as these have their ways to mitigate disasters."

Until they meet the EU. Just ask MS.

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"Google is warning Opera web browser users they must switch to Chrome in order to use Blogger.com"

No it isn't, it is suggesting they try Chrome if they experience problems on Blogger with Opera, as Opera is now officially unsupported.

Or, at least, that's how I read the text of that banner.

Yes, it would be interesting to know the technical reasons why, if only to stave off the tediously predictable claims that the only possible reason for Google to do this is because they want Opera dead.

If they really wanted Opera dead they'd code this so it worked even if you changed the User-Agent string, because it's not that hard to detect Opera accurately in JavaScript (look for the browser that implements the specs correctly). It seems more likely that they just don't care about a browser with 2.4% market share.

(I look forward to my #fail response.)

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"Some parts of Blogger will not work" is not an invitation, it's a statement implying itself to be true, leading the user to infer that blogger and opera are incompatible, not that they might be, yet the evidence so far is that it's also a big fat lie.

If you can provide proof that blogger breaks in Opera then it would be a statement of truth.

However you'd still be wrong, because you're attempting to argue that it's merely a helpful tip and not a warning that things will definitely break.

I don't use Opera and I like google products, but that doesn't change the fact that they're still lying. I don't like blatant lies.

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The only fail is on Google's behalf. Granted, I haven't used Opera on the desktop since V8 but if changing user agent string magically makes the website function as it should then this is just a Google scam. Your typical non-IE user is above average technically and won't fall for this sham so I'm wondering who they are targetting since the message doesn't seem to appear in IE8 (I just tried).

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Devil

@Graham...

Shucks, Graham, you've got it all wrong.

They didn't mean to imply with a nasty threat that you shouldn't use Opera.

Oh no, it was some poorly worded error/warning message to indicate that they were no longer going to ensure support for Opera.

This means that when they supposedly run their user acceptance tests, they won't run the tests against Opera.

It was all a misunderstanding. That rogue programmer who made that mistake and captured all of that unencrypted data... He was assigned to this project.... (yeah, that's the ticket...)

To accuse Google of doing anything that underhanded is just plain ignorance on the part of the accuser....

Now I wonder how many down votes I get before people catch two references... One to any old SNL series of sketches where Jon Lovitz ?sp? Uses the catch phase.., 'yeah that's the ticket' or the second reference to South Park's Michael Jackson reference...

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WTF?

Boooo!

It might not be Evil with a capital E but it is a little bit evil, trying to increase market share like this.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Boooo!

Or like exclusively advertising your product on your homepage.

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Coat

Re: Boooo!

The diet coke of evil?

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Re: Boooo!

That's what was going through my mind as I read this... "don't be evil..."

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Opera, boringly efficient

How can one have a life so barren that internet browsers are a topic for debate. I've heard people being rude about Opera (fair enough, but really ! ). To go to the trouble to accuse users of Opera of being boring is just a get-a -life scenario.

It's a browser, it seems to work quite well for me and it seems to run faster than others I have tried.

I don't appreciate being bullied by the likes of Google or Yahoo -- the latter's recentish email version actually doesn't work very well with Opera so I've stuck with the old Yahoo.

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Re: Opera, boringly efficient

I use Opera because I flip between Windows and Mac a lot. Of the cross-platform offerings, Safari stinks on Windows (and isn't exactly fast on Mac, either); I don't trust Google enough to use Chrome; and Firefox's UI on Mac still feels like using a browser over a VNC session.

Opera, on the other hand, works pretty well on both platforms, and it has a decent mail client built in to it (which I use as my primary mail client on Windows).

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Anonymous Coward

Another example of a big corporate abusing the market to the detriment of individual choice.

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Flame

Google had not responded to our request for comment

Do they ever? Companies that hold us in contempt with their silence are not doing themselves any favours.

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Re: Google had not responded to our request for comment

We don't know how long they had?

Or what else is going on?

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Alert

Google -- incompetent, or just a cowboy?

If google cannot design a web page that works with any W3C-compliant browser, then that is incompetence and its webmaster should be instantly dismissed.

If google is deliberately creating web pages that don't work, or is deliberately using scaremongering tactics to pretend that other browsers will not work, then that is deliberate cowboy behaviour and the top men in google need to be sent instantly to jail, without passing go, and instructed to stay there for a very long time.

Google's new motto: we ONLY do evil.

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Thumb Down

Re: Google -- incompetent, or just a cowboy?

This isn't about Google supporting other browsers, it's about them using sneaky backdoors to increase usage of their own: 'warnings' of incompatibilities, default also-install-Chrome options on freeware, for two...

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Re: Google -- incompetent, or just a cowboy?

I use Blogspot, and I also use the latest build of Opera.

Everything works perfectly, the recurrent warning is bullshit, pure and simple.

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Anonymous Coward

Important

Yes it's important that google support Opera or both people who use it might complain!

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Re: Important

Hi there AC

I'm one of the two users you speak of, I'm probably one of the two users of Linux too. If you don't like Opera, don't use it and stop trolling. I use opera every day as Firefox is just too heavy for my wee rig, I don't find anything wrong with it. I don't like Chrome, it's too bland and has started asking for a log in (which can be ignored) and since I'm one of the two users of Linux, I can't use Internet Explorer to see what it's like.

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Thumb Up

Fortunately, Opera has a very nice site patching feature.

So it doesn't really matter what Google do, Opera can make our browsers APPEAR to be anything that works, or tweak the javascript, layout or CSS to work around website bugs (and sometimes Opera bugs).

http://my.opera.com/core/blog/show.dml/3130540

Obviously, the downside would be that it falsely deflates Opera's marketshare and inflates Chromes on web stats counters sites...

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Alert

Re: Fortunately, Opera has a very nice site patching feature.

Obviously, the downside would be that it falsely deflates Opera's marketshare and inflates Chromes on web stats counters sites...

And by sheer coincidence, Chrome is now the most popular browser. I wonder how many "Chromes" are actually Operas in a shabby coat?

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WTF?

Never got this...

"Google is the subject of an antitrust investigation into alleged abuses of the advertising market: one complaint is that it favours its own websites and services higher in the rankings than they should be."

If they own the website then surely they can organise it how they want?! Or am I missing something?

I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if I made a website same as an existing Google product and came second.

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

What's happening when MS are championing standards and Google are trying to make everyone use their own browser, while making an Operating System where "the browser is the operating system."

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Anonymous Coward

False negative through outdated over-restrictive regex perhaps.

My guess is they're checking for supported versions of Opera with a regex that looks something like:

^User-Agent:.*Opera.*Version/([4-9]|1[0-1])

(assuming for example they support opera from v4 up), and they haven't updated it for v12 yet so their server ends up thinking it's a less-than-earliest-supported version. I've seen similar happen before.

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Re: False negative through outdated over-restrictive regex perhaps.

If that where true, that could be tested.

On the other hand, if the regex against Opera 12 turns out false, it should lead to a default "unrecognized User Agent, but we'll do our best"-scenario, not a warning.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: False negative through outdated over-restrictive regex perhaps.

Whis is why Opera reports it's UserAgent as 9.80 forevermore....

http://my.opera.com/community/openweb/idopera/

Because so many high profile websites are written by kids in exchange for pocketmoney...

Even Amazon UK can't sort out their Seller section of their website to work with Opera. (they don't even need to do ANYTHING other than just send the same code they send Firefox, but the useless cretins send Opera broken code for reasons only known to Amazon).

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Re: False negative through outdated over-restrictive regex perhaps.

No, it doesn't work with Opera 11 either.

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Re: False negative through outdated over-restrictive regex perhaps.

Very possible, but it hardly matters what the actual reason is. Anyone making the effort to identify the browser is basically admitting guilt. Bad Google! Back to web programming 101 for you!

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Anonymous Coward

How Opera reports its user agent.

Thanks for the link. If you had read it yourself, you would have seen that it says:

The generic user agent string for Opera on desktop is given below:

Opera/9.80 ($OS; U; $LANGUAGE) Presto/$PRESTO_VERSION Version/$VERSION

where VERSION is the version of Opera

and if you knew how to read regexes, you would have seen that that was what I was suggesting that Google were checking for.

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Why the Opera hatered?

I want to know - why all the Opera hate? It's a stable, fast browser, and it isn't built by Google, Microsoft, or Apple. It does what I want it to do, right out of the box. It has regular updates. It doesn't have any current major security flaws. And yet, Google keeps pulling this crap, as does Microsoft - even commenters here and in other forums. What has Opera done - besides not being Firefox - to deserve all that?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why the Opera hatered?

I think the reason for the hatred is mainly down to the whining from Opera every time they feel wronged. Google projects used to pull the same "browser incompatible" malarkey on IE users, but everyone I know just carried on, ignored the message, and everything apparently worked. If Opera just STFU and relied purely on merit to build up a userbase, I suspect it would be doing a lot better than it is.

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Stop

Re: Why the Opera hatered?

Of course they feel wronged.

Easilly the best browser on the market, but with a tiny marketshare, because it's not got Google, Apple or Microsoft's money or inflience pushing it.

Anyone that works in technology should feel aggrieved that money trumps technology.

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WTF?

The moment that stupid Fingleton of OFT made that comment...

...he should have lost his effin' job, for good.

I cannot think of any situation when such an idiot would be allowed to head *any* watchdog company (forget the one that actually oversees the company he was praising, that's beyond crazy.) What a joke.

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