back to article Internet Explorer 11 at it again, breaks Microsoft's own CRM software

Compatibility problems continue to plague Internet Explorer 11, with some Microsoft customers once again complaining that the company's latest browser doesn't work with one of its own products. Users first raised red flags about IE11 in October, when reports surfaced that the browser was rendering a number of sites strangely, …

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Windows

Need a Popcorn icon

This guy will have to do

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Re: Need a Popcorn icon

Yes, a popcorn icon. I want that icon as well.

It's begginning to look like MS is run by the three stooges.

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Re: Need a Popcorn icon

What do you mean, beginning? The three stooges seem to have been running it for years.

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Happy

Re: Need a Popcorn icon

nah, it would be funnier and a lot less expensive.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Need a Popcorn icon

Any corporate desktop engineering team that rolls out something so impacting as a major browser version upgrade so soon after release should be shot at dawn anyway....

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A few of the websites saying to upgrade the browser are classing IE11 as IE7 or at least that's what the websites are saying I should upgrade from.

It would also help if the compatibility mode option was somewhere easy to see on the Metro version of IE11.

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"A few of the websites saying to upgrade the browser are classing IE11 as IE7 or at least that's what the websites are saying I should upgrade from."

Just a bit of wild speculation, but I wonder... would you be using Windows 8 by any chance? IIRC, Windows 7 is actually version 6.1.something - so is Windows 8 version 7.something? (I assume, without checking, that it does have a new major version number). If so, could it be that IE11 is dishing out the Windows version number instead of its own?

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Anonymous Coward

Windows 2000 and XP was Windows 5.n

Vista, 7 and 8 are Windows 6.n

"7" is Windows 6.1 and "8" is Windows 6.2.

I guess Microsoft kind of lost the plot and are possibly the first software company to name their software with a number different to its actual version number. And they wonder why the world is buying Apple and Google?

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A few of the websites saying to upgrade the browser are classing IE11 as IE7 or at least that's what the websites are saying I should upgrade from.

I've seen JavaScript code that checks versions lexically, rather than numerically. So it check for, say > "7". Which fails for 10 and 11 (the test should be > 7).

But that's an IE10 and-up issue, rather than IE11

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Facepalm

'"8" is Windows 6.2.'

"I guess Microsoft kind of lost the plot"

And then some!

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A lesson learned from SunOS/Solaris no doubt.

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"I guess Microsoft kind of lost the plot and are possibly the first software company to name their software with a number different to its actual version number. And they wonder why the world is buying Apple and Google?"

I'm assuming you're being sarcastic given that Apple misnumbers basically all of their hardware...

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IE11's User-Agent string is substantially changed from older versions of IE, *because* it is a much more compliant browser and newer websites were sending incompatible, or fallback, content. The change makes it look a lot like Chrome, which means most sites will send it their latest content version, which should be mostly compatible in IE11.

Unfortunately, this means that it is no longer detected as a 'capable' browser by much server-side detection logic shipped by Microsoft (including the original releases of ASP.NET up to version 4.5) and the server sends tag soup designed for even older browsers, typically Netscape 3.0 or even Spyglass Mosaic. It might decide that the browser doesn't support JavaScript, for example.

Microsoft Dynamics will have to come up with an update that actually detects IE11 as a 'capable' browser before it will work without selecting Compatibility Mode.

The Compatibility Mode button - which is only available on the desktop browser, it's not in the 'Metro' version - tells IE to send an IE7 User-Agent string to the server (nearly - it sends ';Trident/7.0' in the string as a tell-tale that this is really IE11, not 7). The browser then defaults to its IE7 rendering mode, unless the site sends an X-UA-Compatible HTTP header (or META tag) telling it to use a newer mode.

If IE decides that the server you're connecting to is on your Intranet, it will use the Intranet Zone settings. The default for the Intranet Zone is to always pretend to be IE7. This can of course cause problems for applications developed for IE8 and up. The Intranet Zone is, by default, only enabled for domain-joined computers, and the default detection rule is basically 'if the hostname in the URL doesn't contain any dots, it's Intranet'. The Intranet Zone rules are configured on the Security tab of Internet Option - click the Local Intranet icon, then click Sites to set up the rules for what is considered Intranet. To disable compatibility for intranet sites, press Alt+T to get the old Tools menu, and select Compatibility View Settings. Then uncheck "Display intranet sites in Compatibility View". These settings can be set through Group Policy.

Microsoft's Compatibility View Lists also gives them the ability to send a custom User-Agent for specific domains. This is what went wrong with IE11 against Google's websites when it was first release: Google's code didn't work with IE11 originally, so Microsoft added their domains to the compat view list indicating IE10 (but using the Trident/7.0 token rather than Trident/6.0 as IE10 would send). Then, just around the time that IE11 was released, Google fixed their code to work with IE11's real User-Agent, IE10's real User-Agent - but it broke when IE11 sent its pseudo-IE10 string. MS then took Google domains out of the compatibility view list, but it takes a little while for the browser to download a new list.

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Windows 8

Microsoft Version numbering has zero effect on users abandoning Windows, and there is little evidence that they are doing so on the desktop. On Phones and Tablets, the biggest player is Android, but that is because MS was too slow to develop an OS for Phones. Windows 8 is their belated effort, but shows promise. I use an Android tablet and am too smart to own a smart phone (a Nokia classic is fine by me) but really like Windows 8 on my Laptop. I think Windows 8.1 was a backward step, but I'm on it anyway to keep current.

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FAIL

And the company which hoisted the idea of "capable browsers" on the world is...

The very reason web servers try to guess whether they deal with a 'capable' browser is Microsoft. Namely its long history of standard non-compliant browsers. I'm glad they now have to eat their own dog food.

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Anonymous Coward

@Mike

Very good accurate explanation of the issue, hope the original article writer reads this. It is unfortuante that despite IE Team promoting not using user agent sniffing, they apparantly didn't manage to get that message to a lot of other teams at Microsoft prior to IE11 release. Exchange OWA was also affected and only recently got patched.

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No browser, no cloud

If MS want to do the whole software as a service thing, they really need to lift their browser game.

Having to use Chrome to access MS cloud services just isn't a good way to convince the market you know what you are doing.

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft, please do the industry a favor. There is no money in a browser and all you do is slow things down. Please leave the browser market and let people that know what they're doing provide the browsers. if you want to be a part of W3C, that is fine, you don't need to supply a browser though. If you want to stay in it, please drop your engine and use one of the others.

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Trollface

"MICROSOFT PLS GO"

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Re: Please leave the browser market

I dunno. *My* reading of the article is that the problem here *is* standards compliance. IE11 is more compliant and so sites stuffed full of workarounds will break. I don't see how leaving the market to IE10 (and, if we're honest, IE8) is going to help that.

The fix is for the CRM people to fix their shit.

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Re: Please leave the browser market

I tend to agree, this is more a CRM issue IMO than an IE one. We use Dynamics in-house and we've had issues with browser compatibility for years. If you don't sacrifice a chicken and anoint yourself with deadly nightshade on the third Sunday after Whitsun before installing the Outlook addin it breaks everything.

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“Please leave the browser market and let people that know what they're doing provide the browsers“

And who know how to make a browser? Google? Just wait until they start pumping ads. Firefox? Firefox is not what we use to know long time ago, not fast, not secured, no new tricks, etc. Apple? ROFL. Opera it's ok but still not fast enough.

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Anonymous Coward

"There is no money in a browser and all you do is slow things down."

Actually IE has been the fastest browser on the market at the time of release for at least the last 4 major releases!

http://ie.microsoft.com/testDrive/Benchmarks/SunSpider/Default.html

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Anonymous Coward

Blowback

What we have here is a classic case of blowback. Microsoft wrestled to keep its users in the walled garden by producing, and encouraging the production of, browsers and software that didn't/wouldn't/couldn't conform to global standards -- taking the position that if MS published something THAT was the standard.

Now that they've finally come around to realize that being competitive requires that they adhere to standards agreed to by the community, they're bit by the pit bull they themselves raised to fight all comers.

Welcome to the hell the rest of us have been in all these years, Microsoft. Morons.

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Facepalm

you're kidding me

their own browser breaks on their own software ? Software and regression testing has been stopped to save money maybe ? Whats the new CEO going to cut to get its/her/his $BigBonus ? Then again, the users always have been very forgiving towards M$. Just like $BIGCORPs usually forgave the previous ruling IT megacorp.

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Re: you're kidding me

Toyota car parts, when fitted to toyotas, cause millions of toyotas to be recalled!!

Nissan parts, when fitted to nissans, cause millions of em to be recalled.

Old HP writers when fitted to old VIA motherboards caused the writers to fail but they were all standard.

The point is things break and the possible combination of parts used in PC design/manufacturer is staggering. Its a wonder these issues arent a lot more common. Software and hardware.

Get some perspective. They issued a workaround, they are working on it.

Go bitch about something else. The vast majority on here dont use/care about CRM.

In a weeks time this will be resolved and forgotten, so wipe the foam from your mouths.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: you're kidding me

Why don't you go and shove your Microsoft MVP Gold Partner CSE up your garage

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Microsoft

The only software you can use for Serious Work. It works for work.

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Re: Microsoft

That's right.

I'm being forced to run Win8.1 + Office stack it in VirtualBox just to generate interchangeable PowerPoint presentations with the useless marketing glitz $MUHCOMPANY demands.

I'm trying not to be saddened about the money splurge for an otherwise useless license key that might have been better spent supporting Open Software of dying children in Somalia, but one has to say MS does have a winner in the Open Document Format shenanigan.

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Re: Microsoft

Works for work....

Not if you need to use Citrix for remote access it doesn't.

Pile of poo. Renders a very nice white screen without any error messages though.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft

"Not if you need to use Citrix for remote access it doesn't."

That's a Citrix issue then....works just fine with Remote Desktop Services...

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Re: Microsoft

"The only software you can use for Serious Work. It works for work."

No, it really, really doesn't. As a grade one example, I've been working on a project that uses Bluetooth SPP (serial port profile) to talk to the embedded product I've been developing. A mobile phone talks to my product, so I knocked up a program on Qt under Linux [on my personal laptop] to emulate the phone and send the appropriate messages to my embedded product - because I was waiting for Android iOS teams.

I'm off on holiday so we spent TWO DAYS trying to get Windows to send Bluetooth serial messages after the five minute job of porting the Qt app to Windows so that other people could run the app in my absence.. In the end, we gave up and installed Mageia Linux on two old laptops. This took about an hour to install Linux, install Qt and leave them with a laptop that runs muy Qt app perfectly and sends the Bluetooth messages send over an SPP.

At one point a colleague who works abroad and was over here working for a few days offered to ring anyone he might know to help us out. When I said yes, please do, we need somoene who knows how to get Windows to send SPP messages he just laughed at us and told us to forget it because this doesn't work even on commercially released products.

Windows just works? Don't make me ****ing laugh.

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Re: Microsoft

I really need to start including that /s. Poe's law and all that.

"Works for work" is the new tagline for Surface, which only comes with the affected browser. Le sigh.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft

"Windows just works? Don't make me ****ing laugh."

It doesn't fix incompetent developers and broken applications that is true. I think the reference was to the OS itself...

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Wrong way around

If a recommend fix is to use IE compatibility mode, then actually it's almost certainly Dynamics that is broken not IE. I suspect workaround code for the IE10 was in place, and now that needs removal for IE11.

No pain no gain..

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I'm sure you're right

But when it's breaking things like Outlook.com, that's pure idiocy.

How about holding back on the IE update until the "cloud" services that MS have complete and total control over are compatible with it?

Not to mention waiting until they have a patch for their currently-supported software.

It's not actually necessary to release IE11 to any specific timetable, it's just a browser, right? Firefox and Chrome updates happen "whenever".

Or did MS continue to pointlessly embed large amounts of IE inside the kernel to make it impossible to release Win8.1 without IE11?

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Re: I'm sure you're right

"But when it's breaking things like Outlook.com, that's pure idiocy."

Nah - the IE team's just not ready yet to give up their GMail accounts.

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Re: Wrong way around

Yup three thumbs down from idiots who think issue should be solved by opinion poll rather than what is the reality. Go ahead I'm after your down thumbs...

"Yes the sun is going to crash into the earth"

I disagree

"But it is coming towards us, straight towards us"

that is your perception....

"We could die!"

Facebook says no...

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft CRM Online ..

Not a good place to run an advert for 'Microsoft CRM Online`, at the bottom of this article ...

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Re: Microsoft CRM Online ..

Are there adverts on this site? Not seen any since 2000

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Sharepoint too.

I hear that IE11 breaks Sharepoint too.

Way to go Microsoft!

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FAIL

Re: Sharepoint too.

That really is quite a spectacular failure. Sharepoint is the only thing I use IE for at work! It is pretty widespread these days too. I'm doing development on a Dynamics online setup right now but I imagine that us a much less common product in the wild.

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Trollface

Flashing news!

IE development team renamed as the "Woops! department"

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Flashing news!

Dynamics CRM and Sharepoint development teams are the ones who deserve that moniker if the issue truly is that their web pages are crap and IE11 isn't forgiving enough to render them properly.

It's great that MS are finally trying to be standards compliant but for $deity's sake, make sure your own web apps are standards compliant first!

One scary thought emerges. IF these applications work fine in Chrome/Firefox, then does that mean that IE11 is now more standards compliant than Chrome and Firefox? Scary thought!

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Re: Flashing news!

One scary thought emerges. IF these applications work fine in Chrome/Firefox, then does that mean that IE11 is now more standards compliant than Chrome and Firefox? Scary thought!

I suspect they're sniffing the browser agent string and sending different content to different browsers.

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Re: Flashing news!

I suspect they're sniffing the browser agent string and sending different content to different browsers.

Indeed - and IE11 is no longer detected as IE-family, the sniffer doesn't know what the heck it is, so it gets dumped in 'must be some previously unknown variant of Netscape 2.0'. Which is exactly what ASP.NET's default browser caps do up to .NET 4.5. There are jhotfixes available for .NET 4.0 and 2.0-3.5, but I'm not entirely sure whether they just fixed the detection files, removed the detection feature, or defaulted to assuming max capabilities rather than fewest.

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FAIL

Layer on Layer

As usual an ironic Microsoft failure to add to their recent retreats on Windows 8 and the Xbox and their several cloud outages due to forgetting to renew their own security certificate!

Bigger isn't always better and in Microsoft's case it seems to leave an increasing number of gaffs to add to their continued record of Patch Tuesdays to fix problems they didn't spot in the 1st place.

Ian Moyse

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El Reg the home of anti-Microsoft bile and hatret another day at the office

Another day, another anti-Microsoft article full of the usual bile and hatred; yesterday it was the PS4 is outselling and trouncing the xBox one and all the minor bugs with the device. This on top of the sniping of the Surface tablet, Windows phone, NSA friendly access, the crap CEO and general state of the company and its imminent demise. I am only assuming El Reg hire ex Novell or Netscape staff.

While Google remains largely unscathed, and praised where possible read yesterday’s review of the Moto G; Android can do no wrong. I waiting about a month after Christmas and when all those cheap useless Android tablets are generating resentment will we have a bit of critique?

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Of course it's Dynamics that is the problem

but why let that get in the way of a good old anti-MS whinefest.

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It breaks RD Web Access too. Yay for the clowns at Microsoft!

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