A note to MSN

After being told for the umpteenth time that I needed to download Internet Explorer 6 in order to view this video yada…yada…yada when attempting to view an MSN news video from the MSN.com front page I finally banged into MSN Video support and wrote them a (mostly) polite blue blazer on the fact they need to stop telling users they have to do something when they actually don’t. MSN puts that default “download” page there on purpose so it will be triggered by any user agent string that doesn’t specifically state it’s IE XX knocking at their door.

Anyway, seeing that I was as long winded like I usually am, I thought I’d turn that note to MSN Video support into a post. So…just for fun….

To whom it may concern and all that, (ok, I really didn’t put that part in) 

I use Firefox as my primary browser. I use it as my primary browser because I need a browser that has the capability of being tailored to my specific needs and frankly, I just prefer the present day Firefox over IE 7.0 (which I have been beta testing since the first preview release). IE 7.0 is an excellent browser and good work done by all so far but firefox suits me better, plain and simple.

I have been a user of MS products since the early days of DOS and through all the Windows products up to XP PRO SP2 and my respect for the company increased a notch or two when they made Windows Live Mail fully compatible with Firefox in fact I believe all of the Live services are now compatible as well. I understand that I have to use IE 7.0 to use MS update and that’s fine but there is absolutely no reason that I or any other user that prefers Firefox or Opera should be forced to use IE just in order to watch an MSN news Video (not mad, just making a simple statement) and suggesting a user download an obsolete browser (IE 6.0 SP1) that should only be installed on a pre-SP2 load of XP is just an outright insult to the user’s intelligence and makes an otherwise fine service and site (MSN) look very bad indeed.

It’s past time to change especially when the other MS services and sites are opening their doors to everyone so come on MSN, get with it. I’d like to think you’re better than that!

As always,

Kirk M

I really don’t believe my little note to MSN Video support is going to amount to a hill of beans but the sentiment is true enough. Especially when I can view any MSN news video from any of the other locations outside of MSN itself that uses those particular videos. Firefox is setup to view embedded WMP videos and also to trigger WMP 11 (in my case) when viewing is more appropriate in WMP alone rather than within the browser itself. Sorry MSN, but it’s pretty obvious that you’re barring those using another browser who wish to use your site simply because they are not using Internet Explorer.

Any opinions?



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