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

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


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."


Other stories you might like

  • The ‘substantial contributions’ Intel has promised to boost RISC-V adoption
    With the benefit of maybe revitalizing the x86 giant’s foundry business

    Analysis Here's something that would have seemed outlandish only a few years ago: to help fuel Intel's future growth, the x86 giant has vowed to do what it can to make the open-source RISC-V ISA worthy of widespread adoption.

    In a presentation, an Intel representative shared some details of how the chipmaker plans to contribute to RISC-V as part of its bet that the instruction set architecture will fuel growth for its revitalized contract chip manufacturing business.

    While Intel invested in RISC-V chip designer SiFive in 2018, the semiconductor titan's intentions with RISC-V evolved last year when it revealed that the contract manufacturing business key to its comeback, Intel Foundry Services, would be willing to make chips compatible with x86, Arm, and RISC-V ISAs. The chipmaker then announced in February it joined RISC-V International, the ISA's governing body, and launched a $1 billion innovation fund that will support chip designers, including those making RISC-V components.

    Continue reading
  • FBI warns of North Korean cyberspies posing as foreign IT workers
    Looking for tech talent? Kim Jong-un's friendly freelancers, at your service

    Pay close attention to that resume before offering that work contract.

    The FBI, in a joint advisory with the US government Departments of State and Treasury, has warned that North Korea's cyberspies are posing as non-North-Korean IT workers to bag Western jobs to advance Kim Jong-un's nefarious pursuits.

    In guidance [PDF] issued this week, the Feds warned that these techies often use fake IDs and other documents to pose as non-North-Korean nationals to gain freelance employment in North America, Europe, and east Asia. Additionally, North Korean IT workers may accept foreign contracts and then outsource those projects to non-North-Korean folks.

    Continue reading
  • Elon Musk says Twitter buy 'cannot move forward' until spam stats spat settled
    A stunning surprise to no one in this Solar System

    Elon Musk said his bid to acquire and privatize Twitter "cannot move forward" until the social network proves its claim that fake bot accounts make up less than five per cent of all users.

    The world's richest meme lord formally launched efforts to take over Twitter last month after buying a 9.2 per cent stake in the biz. He declined an offer to join the board of directors, only to return asking if he could buy the social media platform outright at $54.20 per share. Twitter's board resisted Musk's plans at first, installing a "poison pill" to hamper a hostile takeover before accepting the deal, worth over $44 billion.

    But then it appears Musk spotted something in Twitter's latest filing to America's financial watchdog, the SEC. The paperwork asserted that "fewer than five percent" of Twitter's monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) in the first quarter of 2022 were fake or spammer accounts, which Musk objected to: he felt that figure should be a lot higher. He had earlier proclaimed that ridding Twitter of spam bots was a priority for him, post-takeover.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022