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back to article Internet Explorer 11 BREAKS Google, Outlook Web Access

The Windows 8.1 rollout has hit more hurdles: the new version 11 of Internet Explorer that ships with the operating system does not render Google products well and is also making life difficult for users of Microsoft's own Outlook Web Access webmail product. The latter issue is well known: Microsoft popped out some advice about …

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Facepalm

"This post best viewed in Netscape Navigator..."

I'm no Microsoft fanboy... I oversee an eclectic mix of machines and OS's.

I do however feel a teensy bit sorry for the Internet Explorer devs lately. For years they got it in the neck for not following standards and now they are being crucified for following standards too closely!

I am a satisfied user of a large swathe of Googles products, but even I have to admit that their response of "Download Chrome" to reports of bad rendering smacks a little of the "best viewed in Netscape Navigator" days and the archaic times of having to maintain two or three different browsers to use with various sites.

No browser should pander to proprietary code, just because one or two of the big players say this is how it's going to be done...

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Re: "This post best viewed in Netscape Navigator..."

Considering the Google products have kept working fine not only in Chrome, but also Safari, Firefox and Opera, I'd tend to think that this is a bug in IE rather than a bug in Google products.

There was however definitely a hint of smugness in Google's way to tell Microsoft they were not allowed to create a native YouTube app for Windows devices, and that Google would not bother to write one themselves for such a small market share.

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LDS
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Re: "This post best viewed in Netscape Navigator..."

You never coded a real web page, right? Often depending on the user agent or browser detecttion the page is not the same for every browser. If Google pages have code to detect IE and act in some way, a new version which doesn't act exactly like the old one - maybe even because it is more standard compliant - may break it. The fact that it triggers "compatibility mode" may explain some of that.

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Coat

Re: "This post best viewed in Netscape Navigator..."

Actually I have been running my own design company for a number of years... although I will tip my hat to my employees for knowing far more than me and keeping me in tea and biscuits! I just "encourage" them and buy *Ferrari's

*which is in fact an 11 year old Honda with a bungee cord holding the exhaust together...

Let me pass you your coat.

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Re: "This post best viewed in Netscape Navigator..."

Your comment shows little respect for the past or the current situation. "This site best viewed in Netscape Navigator/Internet Explorer 3.0" are vestiges of the time before standards were agreed to. If the Google searches were breaking in Firefox and Safari you could accuse Google of breaking standards to break MS. But they are working perfectly fine there. MS Compatibility mode was a horrendous non-standards compliant way of dealing with Petabytes of badly coded websites from when MS was pushing non-standard coding for websites.

I'm not fond of Chrome and preferentially use FF myself. But the pathway to recommending it as a download is pretty clear: Google don't have any say over FF or Safari and little input into the design and implementation decision for either piece of software. They do control Chrome so they are better positioned to enforce standards implementations on it. (Yes, the reverse is true as well, but there is no actual proof they are breaking standards.) So legal tells them to recommend Chrome which alleviates liability issues if they recommend something else.

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LDS
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Re: "This post best viewed in Netscape Navigator..."

Design company? That's explain everything. Usually the most broken pages comes from "design companies" that think a web page needs only design - not a proper UI and application coding....

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Re: "This post best viewed in Netscape Navigator..."

I'd add that whatever Google recommends (and they try to push Chrome any way they can), they have no business in breaking their real product (search, web apps) just to piss off MS. Somehow I think that only MS would benefit from this (if only through making Google to lose some ad sales).

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Re: "This post best viewed in Netscape Navigator..."

IE has 13% browser market share, I am 100% sure MS is doing this to try and fend off google users to bing and MS solutions ... problem is, this time they are 5 years late ...

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Anonymous Coward

Why??

Why on earth do MS keep doing this stuff again and again and again? Most of the serial fuckups of the last few years aren't even down to the type of mistakes everyone makes, but to really, really bad design decisions, which makes you wonder if they even deign to commune with the world outside Redmond before designing or unleashing the latest debacle from the comfort of their Ballmerian reality distortion envelope.

Even asking the office cleaners for an hours overtime and a cosy chat over coffee might have saved them the embarrassment of Windows 8. The only genuine score of recent times was the Kinect, and that only because everyone else figured out what it was for.

Gates might be unkindly remembered for predicting the interwebs as a 'fad', but Ballmer won't get that lucky by a long shot.

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Re: Why??

As far as I can tell, for a change this was a problem caused by Google, not MS.

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Re: Why??

Except for the fact that it was Microsoft that changed.

Evidenced by the fact that if you disable the "compatibility" it works.

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Re: Why??

Except that even some Microsoft sites are borked too: "and is also making life difficult for users of Microsoft's own Outlook Web Access webmail product."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why??

Read the article again, Google's site caused IE to use compatibility mode.

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Re: Why??

Kinect was a neat toy add-on for the XBox 360, but many aren't happy it's being forced upon them in the XBox One.

Nor did the best game really take advantage of Kinect on the 360. However, that could be a chicken & egg thing. I still think the Kinect needs some kind of Wii-like single hand controller to really bring it to it's fullest.

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Re: Why??

Or is it that IE interpreted some random factors as "use compatibility mode" signal. Compatibility mode is not a standard (does anyone outside of MS fully understand what it means and what it does?) and should not be implemented, ever.

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Re: Why??

"Why on earth do MS keep doing this stuff again and again and again?"

A good working definition of insanity, is repeating the same action and expecting a different outcome.

So the answer to your question, is that the organisation is so dysfunctional, that the components of the organisation can behave insanely without the processes in the organisation flagging the insanity of it. Make no mistake, Ballmer has created a dysfunctional organisation and it will take a new CEO of considerable charisma AND savvy to turn it around - I certainly would not want the job, as one would be on a "pound to a hiding" - a rather precarious starting point no matter what compensation was offered!

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appears fixed now

Rendering was broken until some point yesterday. I've not had the problem since then.

Was the problem there in the ie11preview for Win7 ?

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Sil

Would not be the first time google uses its monopoly power to make life miserable to consumers of competing platforms.

Witness the YouTube app on windows phones which they sabotaged many times.

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LDS
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I guess MS should change it TOS so that web search engines which are not Bing can only be displayed on Windows only if they are native metro apps running in a tile. And that they can't display ads, or collect user informations. Just to play the same game Google is playing with Youtube...

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Anonymous Coward

Up voted for the perversity alone!

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Funny, the Youtube app works fine on my Blackberry phone and tablet...

So is it only MS that Google is shunning?

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Works for me

Been fine since I patched Exchange 2013 last month.

Still can't download SQL Express though!

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Unhappy

Google operating like Microsoft.

Surely not.

They said they'd "Do no evil"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Google operating like Microsoft.

There is definitely no love lost between Google and Microsoft… Heck, the "don't be evil" motto was itself already a jab at Microsoft. so…

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LDS
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Re: Google operating like Microsoft.

You missed the part that says [Do no evil] "to our bank accounts"

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LDS
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Re: Google operating like Microsoft.

Do you reaaaaly believe Google works for mankind and not to buy their own 767 selling your data? LOL!

Listen to me, I've ten billions in a bank account in Nigeria, I need you to send me $10,000 to move them to your country... it looks to me you're the kind of people who can find this business interesting...

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Doesn't necessarily mean it's Microsoft's fault

Google have popularized the concept of "Javascript+HTML is a problem to work around" and consequently their code is largely a mess of opaque, obfuscated, machine generated code that targets browsers by user agent. When it gets the targetting right it leads to an optimal experience. But when it gets it wrong... well it could screw things up completely and leave the browser taking the blame.

So perhaps it's Microsoft screwing up their rendering, or perhaps it's Google making assumptions about IE that don't hold in the latest incarnation.

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Roo
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Re: Doesn't necessarily mean it's Microsoft's fault

"So perhaps it's Microsoft screwing up their rendering, or perhaps it's Google making assumptions about IE that don't hold in the latest incarnation."

... Or perhaps Microsoft isn't testing their browsers against some of the most popular websites before releasing them. It's not a stretch to imagine some dyed in the wool project manager at MS canning tests against competitors websites.

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Re: Doesn't necessarily mean it's Microsoft's fault

"... Or perhaps Microsoft isn't testing their browsers against some of the most popular websites before releasing them. It's not a stretch to imagine some dyed in the wool project manager at MS canning tests against competitors websites."

Perhaps it is. But as likely it's Google's existing code making bad assumptions that don't apply to the latest version of IE and Microsoft striving for standards compliance over backwards compatibility and inadvertently breaking sites that rely on the bad behaviour.

It's something which most likely can be resolved quite simply wherever the problem lies.

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Re: Doesn't necessarily mean it's Microsoft's fault

Apparently, Microsoft does indeed test their browser, at least on their own web sites. None the less, they still ship it despite "also making life difficult for users of Microsoft's own Outlook Web Access webmail product."

Left hand, meet right hand.

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Re: Doesn't necessarily mean it's Microsoft's fault

I believe it was a combination of the two:

- Google's code in March didn't detect the new IE User-Agent string properly...

- ...so Microsoft added google.com (etc) to the IE compatibility view list, telling IE11 to pretend to be IE10...

- ...then Google changed their code last week to work properly with IE11's correct User-Agent string, but break with the IE10 string (only when the IE11-specific 'Trident/7.0' appears, and therefore doesn't break in actual IE10)...

- ...now Microsoft have removed the CV-list entry so IE11 reports as itself

The current 'ttl' element in the CV-list is set to 1, presumably cache for one day before trying again.

Information on IE's User-Agent string and Compatibility View list can be found at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ieinternals/archive/2013/09/21/internet-explorer-11-user-agent-string-ua-string-sniffing-compatibility-with-gecko-webkit.aspx

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Roo
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Re: Doesn't necessarily mean it's Microsoft's fault

Not entirely sure why you got so heavily downvoted for that post Xym, seemed a perfectly reasonable guess to me.

That said, if MS had tested what they released against some common websites they may have caught those problems in any case. Maybe they did test and just released anyway... :)

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Re: Doesn't necessarily mean it's Microsoft's fault

I'm not sure why I was downvoted either. I guess some people just see relatively minor and resolvable technical issues on a website as evidence of some vast conspiracy by either one tech titan or another.

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Anonymous Coward

Google have way too much unaccountable power these days. The way they manipulate everything from search results to software scares the crap out of me. I use their paid services on a daily basis and their arrogance astounds me, IBM used to similar and MS was going the same way - they are in need of a counterbalance much as IBM had with Ahmdal and the other late coming clones.

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Re: Google have way too much unaccountable power these days.

This is true but does not mean Google broke the code base. The intention of standards is write once/run everywhere. That turning off the bit that tells IE to use the non-standards implementation makes the browser work put the fault squarely in the MS court. Even if somebody at Google went out of their way to code a page to break IE11 in compatibility mode only, which seems doubtful.

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Re: Google have way too much unaccountable power these days.

"Even if somebody at Google went out of their way to code a page to break IE11 in compatibility mode only, which seems doubtful."

You are saying this about a company that "went out of its way" to exploit a bug in Safari without telling anyone, in order to increase their advertising revenue.

You ascribe a "morality" to the organisation that palpably does not exist!

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Anonymous Coward

Can't Microsoft do something right?

Seems that they are tarnishing themselves with a reputation of failure all across the place. My office is being hit by the bad Windows patches breaking Exchange. They break their own compatibility with IE. They release W8.1 and have to withdraw some versions, and make a pain to download it. They are struggling to get anyone to use WP (and no, carving a 10% niche in the low cost segment is not anything close to significant, see what happened with RIM when they went cheap and everyone in the school got a BB because of BBM)

Now, seriously, these guys need something that can be called a success, otherwise morale at MS is going to go down the drain.

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Re: Can't Microsoft do something right?

"Now, seriously, these guys need something that can be called a success, otherwise morale at MS is going to go down the drain."

The implicit assumption being that is not already in "the drain".

An equally plausible explanation is that this and many other really egregious fuck-ups* are the RESULT of morality being in the drain. A scenario I find considerably more plausible.

* Check Trevor Potts tirade against the new licensing somewhere else here on the Reg. A situation that beggars belief, but might be explained by employees of MS basically not giving a fuck - at least in the big picture.

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Re: Can't Microsoft do something right?

Morale can't go down the drain, there are no drains at Microsoft.

You don't need drains if you never produce any crap...

</sarcasm>

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Anonymous Coward

In the meantime, the view from the Linux hill has not changed

Maybe there should be a section on high visibility failures from major Linux distributions to compensate. Otherwise some uninformed observer may conclude that Linux users have an easier time living with their pieces of computing gear. Not so, until the latest versions, OWA was "basic view" for Linux clients since day one. Nothing lost for us.

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LDS
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Re: In the meantime, the view from the Linux hill has not changed

Oh well, when I installed the latest Debian 7 in a VMWare VM I couldn't get proper video acceleration because the VMWare video driver package which comes with that distribution has a dependency bug - which is know since last year, and was never fixed before release, because the release was "frozen" - and to get it working I had to download the source, fix it, and compile it. It's really a pity we don't have IE11 sources so we could fix it ourselves... like we have to do in Linux....

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LDS
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Re: In the meantime, the view from the Linux hill has not changed

For the downvoters:

http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=675977

It took 15 months to close such a silly bug.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In the meantime, the view from the Linux hill has not changed

>OWA was "basic view" for Linux

My company's OWA sucks big steaminng turds on Win 7, OS X and Linux. All 3, far as I am aware.

Take the previous/next and all the buttons. Ridiculously small so you have to zoom in just to have a chance at clicking them, if you're on a mobile.

How difficult would it be to have an OWA which, out of the box, wonder of wonders, uses CSS to style its buttons differently when it is is on a smaller screen?

Oh, but wait, that is Outlook 2007. Of course, my bad, CSS theming and anything dynamic probably needs a full upgrade of everything in the stack to Office 2013. Couldn't possibly adjust HTML/JS generation on an existing release. This is exactly where Open Source beats proprietary crap.

And the contrast between me finding 3 yr old personal emails, on my free gmail, with basic query strings. 5 minutes, if it's there at all.

Vs laboriously searching in Outlook client, or OWA, for emails more than a month old on our corporate Outlook? Slow. Huge, or empty, result sets.

Priceless.

Look, Linux isn't necessarily the end-all and be-all of computing, but blaming it for OWA's stupidity is about as retarded as you get.

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LDS
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Re: In the meantime, the view from the Linux hill has not changed

Guess the thumbs down are for the Debian project that doesn't fix such bugs in a timely manner.... LOL|

BTW: I got two Dell servers with PCIe SSD disks - guess what? Debian 7 doesn't support them. Ubuntu does, Debian doesn't. I understand they may not want to support the latest applications release, but not supporting newer, powerful hardware? Looks very stupid to me.

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This post has been deleted by its author

I dont think i can remember a time when a windows explorer release did not feel like it was still in beta.

heck, do they ever fix all issues before rolling another broken version out?!

Im shocked to hear 11 is in 8.1

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WOW, IE won't render a competitors search engine correctly !!!!

On a completely unrelated note, not in the slightest way linked to the above, guess we will have to use Bing instead.

Wasn't this from the same company that wanted standards for browsers then blew it off when it actually happened?

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Anonymous Coward

Ah, IE Compatibility lists

The code that sends a list of all sites you visit to marketing and the NSA to check if you're compatible with their rules.

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Anonymous Coward

"leaving IE11 to make Google look bad"

I think Google can do that to themselves often enough that they don't need MS help....

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