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Why doesn't Hotmail work in Google's Chrome Browser?
December 3, 2008 5:01 AM   Subscribe

Can someone give me a straight answer as to why Windows Live Hotmail doesn't work properly in Google's Chrome browser?

A bit of background: Since Microsoft released a new version of their Webmail application (Windows Live Hotmail) some weeks ago, you are unable to compose new messages or reply to messages if you're using Google's Chrome browser. The toolbar and text entry areas are disabled / greyed out. In other words, you need to use Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari.

I suspect that the problem is with the way Hotmail has been written. Can anyone confirm this? Is it possible that Microsoft don't want people using Chrome and have done this on purpose?

Either way, this is a major pain in the head for me...
posted by DZ-015 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
 
There is no conspiracy.

Browser developers probably don't have "make sure it doesn't work on site X" anywhere in their specifications. While I don't have any experience of the particular issue you're talking about, it looks like this issue has seen a lot of attention on forums etc, and I would guess will be fixed as part of Chrome's development process. You're using beta software; you should probably have a back-up browser anyway.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 5:34 AM on December 3, 2008


Chrome is beta software and there have been a load of bugs. Still make sure that you have downloaded the latest version - I was having problems with other sites that this helped to fix.

I use Chrome as my main browser, and, while I do have some problems with Hotmail, I don't have the ones you mention: composing/replying is not a problem at all. So you must have something else going on.

(The main difficulty I have with Hotmail is that the back button always takes be to the welcome screen, i.e. if I'm reading a message I don't go back to the inbox or search result page etc. Weirdly, until I recently downloaded the latest version of Chrome this was happening in Gmail too, so I wouldn't assume there's some conspiracy.)
posted by cincinnatus c at 5:47 AM on December 3, 2008


My guess: Microsoft has their own "flavor" of Javascript and not all browsers behave the same way with it. I'd guess that's what you're seeing, and I'd suggest you make sure you have updated Chrome as suggested above.

cincinnatus c, the problem you're describing with the back button is a side effect of AJAX-heavy sites. The linked article at Wikipedia will tell you much more about it, but one of the big selling points of AJAX is that "parts" or "pieces" of a page can be reloaded or replaced without reloading the entire page. That makes an AJAX web app feel faster or more responsive, but as the Wikipedia article describes, one of the disadvantages is the behavior you're seeing:
'Dynamically created pages do not register themselves with the browser's history engine, so clicking the browser's "back" button would not return the user to an earlier state of the Ajax-enabled page, but would instead return them to the last page visited before it.'
posted by ElDiabloConQueso at 6:18 AM on December 3, 2008


Is it possible that Microsoft don't want people using Chrome and have done this on purpose?

Why would microsoft do this when they happily accept Firefox? Yes, the issue is the way hotmail is written. You can probably just change the user agent (does chrome allow this?) and fool hotmail into thinking its talking to firefox or safari.

I imagine if Chrome continues to gain market share then MS will begin coding hotmail to be compatible with it.

Either way, this is a major pain in the head for me...

You can use a different browser or a proper mail client like Outlook or Thunderbird with Hotmail.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:45 AM on December 3, 2008


My mom had this problem with Firefox under Ubuntu. I had to change the user agent settings and then it worked magically (I think I just had to remove the Ubuntu part).
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 9:22 AM on December 3, 2008


Since Microsoft released a new version of their Webmail application (Windows Live Hotmail) some weeks ago, you are unable to compose new messages or reply to messages if you're using Google's Chrome browser.

Datapoint: This precise behavior on my Chrome as well. About says it is up to date version of 0.4.154.29
posted by Ynoxas at 10:31 AM on December 3, 2008


> Chrome is beta software and there have been a load of bugs. Still make sure that you have downloaded the latest version - I was having problems with other sites that this helped to fix.

My guess it's more due to Hotmail than Chrome. Hotmail generally works with IE, and they make sure it works with Firefox because it has a pretty large share by now, but support tends to be flakey with other browsers (Opera, Safari/Chrome). When they switched over I could hardly do anything in Opera, but it's fixed now. If you're having troubles with Chrome, I'm sure they'll get fixed pretty soon too.
posted by bjrn at 10:58 AM on December 3, 2008


This has been fixed with the release to the Dev channel of Google Chrome 0.4.154.33. See Here for details.

Thanks for all your replies.
posted by DZ-015 at 2:36 AM on December 9, 2008


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