Archive for August 1, 2004

How to make Firefox irresistable

So far, Firefox has really been kicking ass and taking names. But a recent letter to Infoworld from a happy convert made me stop and think for a moment. The user’s only complaints were a few rare sites coded for IE, and of course Microsoft’s Windows Update. Now,there’s not much we can do about sites coded for IE, but there is something we can do about Windows Update. If you change your user agent string to look like IE, the Windows Update site loads fine, with some minor visual differences, although the ActiveX control doesn’t load since Firefox doesn’t support AX controls. But there is some work on supporting AX, such as with limited instances of AX in Netscape. Lots of people bemoan the fact they still need to use IE for Windows Update, in fact. So, what we need is an extension specifically written for Windows Update. It could come with a custom style sheet so the page renders better, and some mechanism for triggering the AX control on Windows systems when the Windows Update site is visited. Yes, this would only be useful for one site, but that one site is incredibly important for Windows users, and the ability to use it would give many people the reason to never load IE again.

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