Google fakes out Hotmail for Chrome support

Instead of waiting for Microsoft to tweak its Hotmail site, Google decided to tweak its Chrome browser.

Google has added a patch to its latest beta version and stable version of Chrome to make the browser work better with Microsoft's Hotmail site.

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.

The patch is in Chrome 1.0.154.46, which also fixes a severe security problem .

Matt Cutts, Google's chief Web spam fighter and a high-profile company blogger, was less delicate about the Hotmail issue. "Normally you think of Web pages being faster to update than client-side software downloads. In this case though, Chrome updates near-weekly, much faster than Hotmail did. Another illustration that velocity and speed of iteration matter," he said in an online comment about the matter.

To which Omar Shahine, evidently involved with the Microsoft service, had a rebuttal: "That's a rather naive statement. You think that Hotmail is a Web page and you expect a service with hundreds of millions of users and thousands of servers to stop what it's doing, fix a bug for a browser that the majority of its customers do not use, and spin up an out-of-band release? We've already committed to addressing this issue in our next service release (already started to roll out to the site) which IMHO is an acceptable reaction."

Cutts responded, in effect, that Google knows plenty about running big Web sites, thank you very much. "Google runs Web services with many users and servers too and we launch changes weekly or faster," he said.

(Via Google Blogoscoped)

 

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