The Windows 8.1 rollout has hit more hurdles: the new version 11 of Internet Explorer that ships with the operating system does not render Google products well and is also making life difficult for users of Microsoft's own Outlook Web Access webmail product.
The latter issue is well known: Microsoft popped out some advice about the fact that only the most basic interface to the webmail tool will work back in July. It seems not every sysadmin got the memo and implemented Redmond's preferred workarounds, but there are only scattered complaints out there, likely because few organisations have bothered implementing Windows 8.1 yet.
The Google problem is making greater waves because the company's search engine often renders badly, with results crammed into the left hand side of the screen in an unpleasant and less-than-useful fashion. Some users report other Google services like the Play app bazaar or Google Music are not behaving.
Microsoft's blaming Google for the problem, and has issued the following statement to a number of outlets:
"It appears Google made some changes to its search engine that temporarily impacted the way search results rendered for some browsers. We have already made the necessary adjustments to ensure customers using Internet Explorer are not impacted."
Numerous reports suggest that IE 11 users can once again enjoy access to all things Google if they un-tick the IE 11 option to “Use Microsoft Compatibility lists."
Those lists are pieces of XML hosted online and IE looks them up from time to time. The Reg imagines that fix explains Redmond's cryptic comments: Google did something to its code that forced IE11 to look at the Compatibility lists and render the site according to rules that no longer apply, leaving IE11 to make Google look bad. Fixing the Compatibility lists could, if our thinking is correct, mean IE11 renders Google as the Chocolate Factory intended it to be beheld.
Other browsers running under Windows 8.1 have no problems depicting The Chocolate Factory's search cash cow. ®