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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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."

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?