Microsoft’s online Office won’t support Opera or Chrome

It doesn't look like Microsoft is learning from its past mistakes.

Microsoft's "Office Web Apps" will only support IE, Firefox and Safari. This means that they are leaving out support for Opera and Chrome. This is quite strange considering the antitrust troubles Microsoft has gotten itself into by breaking antitrust laws.

Microsoft is also aiming for using Silverlight, yet another proprietary technology controlled by them.

One would think that Microsoft would be eager to show that they are no longer going to abuse their dominant position in one market to affect a different market, but even with antitrust authorities breathing down their necks, their priorities seem to be a bit off.

These priorities seem to be based on the browser situation in the United States. Europe is quite different, however. While Opera's global market share seems to be around 3%, it could be approaching 10% in Europe, which is more than Safari and Chrome combined if one is to believe these statistics.

Perhaps if other browser vendors weren't forced to spend so much time on compatibility issues due to IE's dominance, standards support could be taken to a new level. But designing for browsers rather than standards still seems to be the norm. Even though Microsoft in particular should know better.

Do we need another Opera Bork Edition (and a Chrome Bork Edition while we are at it)?

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18 thoughts on “Microsoft’s online Office won’t support Opera or Chrome

  1. There is a site run by some Office people called makeofficebetter.com or something and Daniel Hendrycks of this community has started a petition to support Opera and Chrome.

  2. There is also a number of good news in there:* No IE 6 support* No blocking of browsers* Use of web standardsSupporting 3 browsers officially is a big step for Microsoft. I am not sure that market share is the only reason for the selection, since IE 6 is not officially supported, and only new versions of Safari and Firefox. Safari is the default browser on MacOS X, and Firefox on Linux, I think they are trying to make sure that everyone can run Office Web Apps, not that everyone can run Office Web Apps in their preferred browser.The Silverlight connection for improved experience is however worrying.

  3. Originally posted by DjiXas:

    So if site is not compatible with other web browsers, you need to involve authorities?

    No, our Open the Web team will of course try to get in touch with Microsoft and convince/help them to make it compatible with Opera.The point here is that Microsoft is obviously not learning from its mistakes, and that it continues down its old path of anti-competitive behaviour.History has shown that to cause true change to Microsoft's ways, the authorities would need to be involved. In this particular case we will hopefully be able to work with Microsoft to sort out any issues preventing Opera from being support.

    Jesus… That's what I call "beyond stupidity".

    Thanks. Your consistently polite and constructive comments never cease to amaze.

  4. So if site is not compatible with other web browsers, you need to involve authorities?Jesus… That's what I call "beyond stupidity".

  5. John Sedlak writes:"The point here is that Microsoft is obviously not learning from its mistakes, and that it continues down its old path of anti-competitive behaviour."This is BS. For one, there is a major difference between "official support" and "does it work." Not officially supporting certain browsers isn't surprising; it is Microsoft saying that the other browsers may or may not have issues. While I agree that this isn't right (they should support as much as possible), it isn't anti-competitive.Secondly, the quote states that there is support for Firefox and Safari so the whole anti-competitive thought can be chucked in the garbage. How can your point be made when the site will support a multitude of browsers and rendering engines, especially on made by Apple.Furthermore, to state that Microsoft must support Opera and Chrome opens the door for supporting all browsers. It isn't fair for the browser with even 0.0001% market share to be left off the list as it can be construed as anti-competitive with the same line of reasoning that Opera whiners use.The argument here is baseless. If you truly knew about "support" from Microsoft you would know that "official support" statements do not accurately gauge what practices the company is taking. For example, the XNA site (creators.xna.com) did not support IE8 for a very long time. Using the aforementioned reasoning it would be fair to say that Microsoft was being anti-competitive against itself. Wait… what?By the way, congratulations on not pointing out the following in the linked article:"In a blog posting on the Office Web Apps blog, Microsoft listed its Internet Explorer 7 and 8 browser as well as Mozilla Firefox 3.5 on Windows, Mac and Linux, and Safari 4 on Mac, as the official browsers supported by applications. Office Web Apps are Web-based versions of Microsoft's Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote desktop applications."In particular make note that Microsoft is supporting multiple browsers on multiple non-Microsoft platforms. When you take lines completely out of their context it becomes easy to slant them in any way you want.

  6. Originally posted by SouthernCross:

    There is a site run by some Office people called makeofficebetter.com or something and Daniel Hendrycks of this community has started a petition to support Opera and Chrome.

    Here it is. http://makeofficebetter.com/Idea/260/support-for-opera-and-chrome-for-online-officeI also did a blog post yesterday about it. (My blog is in beta(It will be out of Beta when I find out how I want to write posts and when I have more posts)

  7. I think you shouldn't complain about them leaving out Opera from their list of officially supported browsers. Instead, you should complain that they give a list of supported browsers at all. What they should have done say they'll use web standards (as kilsmo said) and write valid code and then to actually do both. End of story.

  8. Originally posted by WayOfTheBastard:

    It does with Microsoft if you aren't compeletely ignorant of their history.

    What history? Like how IE had to spoof the user agent string to maintain compatibility? Microsoft is officially supporting IE, Firefox and Safari which implies that they will do testing for these browsers. It does NOT imply that they will be blocking all other browsers.Originally posted by WayOfTheBastard:

    Wrong. Microsoft is still at it with their anti-competitive antics and blocking competitors. Just because they support a whopping TWO browsers apart from IE doesn't mean that that somehow justifies their actions.

    I understand your point, but it is seriously flawed. While Microsoft is supporting two non-MS browser platforms the reality is that they are testing each browser across three (or more) operating system platforms.The reality this produces is that testing dramatically increases by adding just two browsers. The product's release schedule and Microsoft's resources are not unlimited. While you may want them to be perfect, it is impossible.Originally posted by WayOfTheBastard:

    Wrong. Opera has nearly 10% market share in Europe and 3% worldwide. That's a far cry from the "0.0001% market share" you are dishonestly whining about.

    But where do you draw the line? To draw the line right below Opera is anti-competitive to anyone below that line. The point is that the amount of share a browser has is irrelevant. Microsoft doesn't have to support any browser other than its own – it just can't block every browser but its own. The basis of an antitrust case is not whether or not Microsoft actively supports its competitors but whether or not it blocks its competitors.Originally posted by WayOfTheBastard:

    Which is irrelevant. See what I wrote about your nonsensical comment about Firefox and Safari support above.

    It isn't irrelevant at all but rather incredibly relevant. You are simply choosing to ignore the fact that Microsoft is going out of its way to actively support its competitors products. It isn't being anti-competitive here but rather competitive. Again, not supporting a browser does not imply that the browser will be blocked. Microsoft has no obligation to officially support Opera. Its obligation is to not actively block Opera users (or users of other browsers) specifically.This begs the question, if Google came out with a statement that it was supporting only Chrome, IE7, IE8 and Safari for Gmail would you be singing the same song? Would you be if the list did not include IE but included Opera? What if that list contained Chrome and a slew of browsers under Opera's market share?

  9. Respected Web application developers support the five main browsers. In particular, developers of popular Web apps. For a corporation to not support any of the five main browsers is not very respectful, ignorant, and dodgy.

  10. I've always noticed that Opera and Safari (c.q. WebKit) render quite alike and support much the same technologies. So I'm wondering: what if Opera would spoof its user agent string to match that of Safari?In other words: isn't it time to add a "Mask as Safari" option to the site specific preferences?I know we're talking about the principle that Microsoft isn't respecting competition, but I'm trying to look at this from a user perspective: I want to be able to use online Office in Opera and perhaps a "Mask as Safari" option would make that possible.

  11. I think Microsoft has only said that it will be officially supporting IE, Firefox and Safari. It doesn't mean that they are blocking other browsers. They probably won't be testing their product in other browsers. So it could still work well in Opera and Chrome. I think this shouldn't be a big issue. They have even asked for feedback from users using these alternate browsers, so if there are any problems, they could probably be fixed too.

  12. Actually, this reminds me of Yahoo's Graded Browser Support matrix, which divides browsers into officially-supported (A-Grade), officially-deprecated (C-Grade) and not-testing-but-assuming-it-will-work (X-Grade) categories.Yahoo doesn't test on Chrome, on Firefox older than 3.0, on Opera older than 9.6, or on Safari on Windows…but it doesn't block them either.

  13. Oh no,that devil company again.Of course haavard in the first place misses to notice the failure of "his" web standards. Webkit is a pretty good standards compliant engine. Why on hell safari support isn't sufficient for Opera?Now should Microsoft as a company offer the extra resources/costs to address sth that might affect the 2% of its users? Does opera ship its products 100% bug free? No, the huge costs outweigh the somewhat better user satisfaction. What makes microsoft's decision wrong and illegal and opera's decision a good and rightful managing practice?

  14. I'll reserve my opinion Untill I've had the oppotunity to try this new 'service' out. I think it's healthy that people are free to express their concerns and opinions openly. I just wish people would choose to express themselves without engaging in 'loyalist' flamewars. :rolleyes:.

  15. I recently started to use Opera because i found firefox, IE, and Safari to be too much trouble, they say they are fast browsers, (not) but i have to say after trying Opera, i really like it, I tried to log into microsoft office small business……. "not supported" try downloading IE8 or Firefox. i just deleted them because i dont like them so i'm not going to download them again. About time Bill Gates pulled his finger out and sorted these "minor" problems Cant really complain/comment about Opera because i've only just started to use it and hav not given it a chance yet, (only time will tell)

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