Feeds

Google makes Opera bloggers an offer they can't refuse: Use Chrome

Nice browser you got there, shame if something happened to it

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Google is warning Opera web browser users they must switch to Chrome in order to use Blogger.com, the search giant's blog-hosting service. No technical incompatibilities have been found to justify the alarm.

After a reader tip-off, El Reg created a Google blog using Opera 12.0 for Mac this morning, and received this message:

An on-screen message box that reads: Your browser is no longer supported by Blogger. Some parts of Blogger will not work and may experience problems. If you are having problems, try Google Chrome

Blog off, Google

The site continues to operate just fine and dandy using Opera. However, the Blogger warning message is persistent: dismiss it, and it reappears. The alert box is banished if Opera changes its user-agent string - the line of text the browser sends to a server to identify itself - and pretends to be a build of Chrome.

An Opera spokesman told us: "We assume that this is an error and are talking to Google about fixing the the problem. With more than 270 million users on mobile products and desktop, we feel confident that it's in everyone's interest to support the Opera browser products."

It's not the first time an Opera rival has leveraged its own popular websites to steer users to its own browser. In 2003, MSN picked out visitors using browsers identified as Opera and sent those users a style sheet that shifted the web page 30 pixels to the left. When the Opera browser declared itself to be Netscape or Internet Explorer, the same page rendered perfectly.

Opera went on to detail incompatibilities on Microsoft's sites.

In 2007 Opera complained to the European Commission. In 2009, the commission ordered Microsoft to include a "browser ballot" screen on new Windows installations so that users can make an explicit choice of which browser to use. This was introduced in 2010.

Google is the subject of an antitrust investigation into alleged abuses of the advertising market: one complaint is that it favours its own websites and services higher in the rankings than they should be.

Britain's own trade regulator last year described Google as "a fantastic organisation that should be applauded".

Google had not responded to our request for comment by time of publication. We look forward to hearing its explanation. ®

Updated to add

A Google spokesman said: "For web applications to spring even farther ahead of traditional software, our teams need to make use of new capabilities available in modern browsers. So, like many of our Google apps, Blogger supports the latest versions of Firefox, Safari and Chrome, and the last two versions of Internet Explorer."

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.