back to article Microsoft bribes Oz to ditch Firefox

Microsoft isn't just bribing people to use its search engine. It's bribing people to ditch Firefox for Internet Explorer. "We're buried $10,000 somewhere on the internet and if you're the first one to find it, you get to keep it," Microsoft's Australian arm has told the Land of Oz. "But you'll never find it using old Firefox …


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  1. rcmattyw
    IT Angle


    Meh, I'm running the Windows 7 RC so it has IE 8 already, just combine it with the IE Tab extension for Firefox and voila!

  2. Doug Thompson

    I'd rather have a social disease

    "So you'll have to endure Internet Explorer 8 and Twitter for less than $10,000. Not much of bribe, that."

    Spot [bleep]ing on!

  3. Magilla
    Gates Horns

    Dear Microsoft

    Get stuffed.

    No love,


  4. Dunhill

    smart ??

    Now we know at least a few things:

    A) ie8 is not using standards else you could use opera/ff as well

    B) ie8 is prob. crap, else it would be chosen for its quality and not for a $$$ bribe.

    C) what other "easter eggs" or "options" are hidden in ie8 ??

    So ms pays/bribe you when you search+shop with blunt/live/whatever they call it today, but if you get too smart they cry foul-play

    So what will happen if a bunch of smart guys "find" the treasure at the same time ??

    i would LMAO

    And one thing is for sure:

    the ms pricing will go up to cover all those financial games.

    i think you have a better chance in the lottery ...

    <my warped blue striped coat with pinguins and dragons on it ...>

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why install IE?

    ...when you call fool it with changing the user agent for the same result?

    It's not even like it does anything like using rendering quirks to hide the content from non-IE8 users...

  7. Bogsnot

    So, which is it

    Is it such a piece of shit of a browser that they have tp pay you to use it.

    Or is this just "advanced compensation" for when the innate vulns in IE cause you to be a victim of ID theft?

  8. garbo
    Gates Horns

    Oh, really?

    So the voucher's location has not already been leaked by one of the MS team to a pal who'll split the prize later? Forgive my scepticism about *anything* concerning MS.

  9. Lindsay Roberts


    If Micro$oft thinks it can bribe me to ditch Firefox for the latest version of the crappiest browser in the world, the are deluding themselves, as I am EARNING almost this amount in the last few weeks flat out removing IE8 from my customers computers! They got it automatically thru windows update, no notification it was going to happen, THEY'RE NOT HAPPY!!!

    Microsoft, GGF

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Poe's Law - Microsoft corollary

    Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Microsoft advertising that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Give me the $10k first,

    then I'll happily ditch Firefox and use IE8. I'll even install Windwoes!

    Ten grand should just about compensate me for a week - maybe two - of pain.

  12. askvictor
    Thumb Down

    User agent

    This is dumber than you'd expect. It just checks the user agent of the browser; install user agent switcher in FF, and an agent for IE8, and you get the clues. Not that you'd want to bother...

  13. Tom 35 Silver badge

    How long before

    Some joker sets up a fake "you won" site :)

  14. BoBeR182

    i think i b0rked it yay FF3 and useragent switcher

  15. Vigilante

    Not just Firefox

    I visited the site in Chrome and got this message instead:

    "But you'll never find it using tarnished Chrome,

    (So get rid of it, or get lost)."

    Looks like microsoft just doesn't like anyone who doesn't use IE8.

  16. Anonymous Coward


    *cough* change the UA string in Firefox *cough*

    Or is there some secret sauce that MS has included in IE8?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Found it

    It was all in loose change down the back of Gates' sofa.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Yeah right.

    Been the greedy, lazy sheep that us Austalians, sorry we are not "Australians" any more but we are "aussies" (groan) M$ are on a dead set winner here.

    But why can't the competition be followed with another browser other than IE? Is not IE8 a "standards compliant" browser these days?

  19. Steve Roper

    IE Tab?

    IE Tab is simply an IE window in Firefox, so it's not really Firefox... Use User-Agent Switcher instead, and copy the IE8 headers into the header spoof panel! Although knowing Microsoft they'll probably bury it in an ActiveX control or some crap like that.

    I won't be bothering though, myself. Suxplorer 8 is still Suxplorer.

  20. frank ly Silver badge

    A Possible Reply

    I suggest that the Mozilla people run their own advert, where they place one very simple clue that leads to a web page that only IE users can access. This web page will have a download that will wipe IE from your computer and replace it with Firefox.

    The selling point can be that with Firefox on their PC instead of IE, the time and aggravation that Australian citizens will save over the next year will be worth over $100,000 as a nationwide total. Go worldwide and make the advertised savings as $millions.

  21. BoBeR182
    Gates Horns

    Lets do it

    get the money using firefox or anyother non IE browser

    then we donate all the money to mozilla org or opera idk

    and what will MS say after

    "Ummm we got out smarted by opensource ppl that took our money and donated it to their devil appz" - billy gates

    i declare this win

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phishing scam

    Yeh, come here, there's ten grand, just click this link and accept the Active X control it downloads....

    And if it doesn't work, keep doing that whenever you see anyone offer you 10 grand to just make sure it's not us, we'll offer lots of consolation prizes in the form of addons for your browser along the way.


  23. Tommy Pock

    I really hope

    I really, really hope they try this in Europe. Not even Microsoft will be able to afford the fine

  24. Fihart

    Can't give it away.

    Tom's Hardware had a similar IE8 competition for US users.

    MS can't give away their browser. In fact, now they'll pay you to take it away.

  25. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Unsure what you're getting at?

    You story is very vague, "If you're the first Microsoft whore to find the dough, you get to keep it.", just a tad too subtle for me. I've not idea what your'e getting at!

  26. Keith T
    Thumb Up

    I could use the money. Mozilla, Apple and Opera should run their own contests.

    Mozilla, Apple and Opera should run their own contests.

    Competition is what freedom of choice is all about.

  27. Mr Templedene

    They don't bother with Opera

    Yes they know it's not IE but they just say

    **But you'll never find it using that browser.

    "(So get rid of it, or get lost)."**

  28. Time for a career change

    Never mind the quality....

    So now we know, IE8 doesn't comply with standards, and is bloated with MS-unique features. What other malware does it contain?

    Are MS going to pay for web devs to be trained to deploy these "features" on sites? No, thought not.

    Are we going to see a rise in the number of IE-only sites, just when web devs are abiding to W3 standards, and the number of browser-specific sites is diminishing?

    I'll stick with my Linux/Firefox desktop, thankyou. MS can stick their cash where the sun don't shine.

    The Penguin, the answer.

  29. Robin 2

    Extra bonus for finding in Firefox???

    Do you get an extra bonus for finding the bounty in Firefox, Opera or even Lynx?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Congratulations you have won Microsoft's $10,000 treasure hunt. Click here to download the winner's voucher, winners_voucher.exe, to claim your prize.

  31. Greg J Preece

    User Agent switching won't work?

    Won't they just use ActiveX or something, so FF UA switching won't work?

  32. Dave 30

    Search genius

    So.... The top Google result for '3000 upside down microsoft'?

    It's an article about Microsoft laying off 3000 people.

  33. Golodh
    Thumb Up

    Brilliant marketing from Microsoft

    This must be the best value for money in the history of marketing. In return for an investment of a paltry 10k dollars they got themselves (free !) wall-to-wall coverage in just about every computer magazine on the planet.

    That kind of money won't even buy you a decent editorial or a cover photograph anymore. Perhaps you'd get a half page full-colour on page two, but that's it.

    Learn from Microsoft people!

  34. Joseph Haig

    @Tom 35

    More likely, a slew of "Congratulations! You've won $10,000 from Microsoft!" emails.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about you just go...

    Using everyone's favourite browser lynx, for example:

    I wonder what magic they'll be using to conceal the actual "loot".

  36. Gwilym
    Gates Horns


    my guess it's using microsoft conditionals, so changing the user agent probably won't help.

  37. Peter Murphy
    Thumb Up

    Yep, User-Agent does the trick from Firefox.

    Just use the magic string "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.0)". You'll be in like Flint.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a browser

    Firstly $10,000 is worth about as much to Microsoft as the pus out of a pimple on my bum is to me. It probably cost MS more in lunches for the marketing bods to come up with the idea.

    Secondly, this IE8 is obviously not compatible with any standards so why don't Microsoft stop calling it a browser and give it some other name thereby also avoiding all the ant-competition stuff.

  39. Happy Skeptic

    Another reason this is stupid

    Cue the flood of people forwarding those stupid 'If you forward this email to X people Microsoft/Bill Gates will give you $10,000"

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Ten grand, eh?

    I will save that much over a few years just by using Linux instead of Microsoft's (and partner's) offerings.

  41. fink

    ie is the only browser with this, this, this...

    Almost as good as this:

    Get a look at it before someone sues them.

  42. Ian Ferguson
    Paris Hilton

    Is this real?

    Or a phishing scam? Or a joke? I can't actually tell :-(

  43. Gerard Krupa


    They must have bowed to the pressure of complaints, as it now says (so get rid of it or get lost...) and when you mouse over it changes to 'get lost in the hunt'.

  44. JohnG Silver badge

    Shot in the foot?

    As a marketing strategy, this looks a bit dodgy. Users who are using early versions of IE may wonder why MS is so keen to bribe them to use IE8 and assume that it must be a pile of crap. Also, whilst many of them may not have known or bothered about Firefox before, the very fact that MS is prepared to bribe them to steer clear of Firefox may pique their curiosity enough to try it.

  45. RichyS
    Gates Horns


    So, I'm guessing that if you can't find the 10 grand using Firefox, then that 10 gee doesn't adhere to web standards...

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Castlemaine, Shelia's Wheels, Fosters

    All Australians are lacking in education, prefer to be drunk, and are proud of 'not taking themselves too seriously'. That's according to every advert for Australian products I have ever seen on British TV anyway. They should think themselves lucky that Microsoft have tried to suss out their parlance, they'd never dare use a phrase like 'get lost' in their British advertising because like most yanks they think we all prance around wearing bowler hats and having tea with the queen.

    By the way Cade, Windows Explorer isn't a web browser, it's the file browser in Windows. As an Apple whore you are excused from knowing that but maybe the editor on an 'ITsite' should have spotted it.

    To all other pppppp-posters, I'm not a Microsoft whore, or an OSS whore, just a human being who is glad not to need to define myself by saying things like...

    "I am so clever that I can see the marketing tricks Micro$oft uses, and the flaws in the software they produce. That's not enough though, I also need to constantly point out how superior that makes me and how stupid everyone else must be if they don't make the same decisions as me regarding what software to install on their hardware"

    Love you all really though (you bunch of twats)


  47. alistair millington Silver badge
    Gates Horns


    That's Ozzy dollars, which are about 3 to the pound. So you have to endure IE8 for about 3500 quid. (give or take the exchange rate)

    It isn't worth having.

    And you have to endure a social networking site for more than ten minutes at a time. Yes twitter might be okay, now and then in small doses, but some of us actually have lives, and jobs and the need to talk to a live person.

  48. bex

    the word

    The word ill-advised springs to mind

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As others have pointed out, just change your user agent using a plug-in switcher. An IE8 one is:

    Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; Media Center PC 6.0; InfoPath.2; MS-RTC LM 8)

    With that in place I am now able to get some MS love on Linux. Mmmm, don't I feel all cosseted.

    I like the idea of OpenSauces getting the money and then donating it. But it really would not surprise me to find out that MS is using some non-standards trick to make sure only IE8 can access.

    Either way...OpenSauces claiming the prize is a PR disaster for MS:

    1) THey got taken by the OpenSauces; or

    2) They have to admit to non-standards in IE8.

  50. Enrico Vanni

    Hunting on Safari?

    Are the Mac fanbois prepared to mount a legal challenge to this, seeing as there's no IE8 for MacOS and there never will be....?!


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