Google Steps Up to Deal with Hotmail Issue
Why wait for Microsoft to fix stuff? When browser and site have their differences, something's gotta give, and Google Chrome was not getting along with Microsoft Hotmail.
So, rather than wait for Redmond to give ground, Google just added a patch to Chrome which enabled it to lie to Hotmail, passing itself off as Safari.
I can understand Microsoft's position, though: Chrome users are a tiny minority of overall Hotmail subscribers, and taking down such an active service at this point in time would screw up their dev cycle something fierce.
We're dealing with that, too, these days, which is why we aren't currently supporting Highlight for IE: it's not that we don't care, it's just that we don't have the resources to prioritize the service for such a relatively small number of users (2% of total NP visitors are signed-in members who are also IE users... wow) while still staying on track for bugfixes and other site-wide rollouts.
And, yes, I actually did get in touch with the IE dev team over a year ago... and am waiting for a return call! I'm not dissing them; I know they're busy working on IE8, which is no doubt a major mission.
With the patch, Chrome tells Microsoft's site it's actually Apple's Safari browser, sidestepping a compatibility issue that had caused problems using the site.
"While the Hotmail team works on a proper fix, we're deploying a workaround that changes the user agent string that Google Chrome sends when requesting URLs that end with mail.live.com," Chrome Product Manager Mark Larson said in a blog announcement. It also fixes a problem sending mail from Yahoo Mail, he said.
All you Firefox fans will recognize this functionality from the User Agent Switcher add-on, which does the same thing: puts on a Mission:Impossible mask and tells websites that it's IE, Netscape, or Opera.