...or; Microsoft still don't want users for their services

Again the logic escapes me; why use a lot of resources to develop a great looking and useful web service, then hinder adaption by adding artificial barriers. Again Opera users are erroneously told by Microsoft their browser can't do things it certainly can, this time they've seemingly also tricked the BBC to help spread their FUD.

For this years Olympics, the BBC developed and maintained a "interactive map". The map, using Microsoft's VirtualEarth at its core, contained information about the venues, selected landmarks and geolocated tweets and blog posts from BBC reporters. However, as a Opera user, what I was shown were the following message.

We're sorry but your browser does not support BBC Sport's Olympic map.

If that actually had been correct, this would've been just another poorly crafted web-service. The thing is; the statement false. My browser of choice does support everything required to display the map. Absolutely everything. So when claiming you've gone above and beyond to make it compatible...

Getting a custom map to work on as many browsers and computers as possible, as quickly as possible, for many thousands of users at a time, is not easy.

(I'm aware not everybody will get the full experience with our Beijing map but believe me, we threw the kitchen sink at it to make it as compatible as possible. Apologies to anyone who misses out. ... )

...at the very least, I'd expect you to actually test with a browser before targeting and blocking it. Yet, the only reason I'm not able to view the map you've worked so hard on, is your own and Microsofts poorly crafted "browser detection" scripts; Instead of testing for the functionality required to display the map, the scripts simply looks for Opera and blocks it (regardless of the fact that Opera otherwise would've displayed the map just fine).

History has shown that this can kind of behavior can be expected from Microsoft. But from the BBC, a company that's supposed to serve the public, I had expected something else. Somehow I can't help but think that they've been fooled by Microsoft into believing that Opera doesn't support the features required to display the VE map. Though that's no excuse, regardless of how and why, BBC have had plenty of opportunities to provide a solution if they'd wanted to.

Hat tip to Opera's Hallvord Steen for creating a browser.js fix for the mischief provided by BBC and Microsoft.

Note: As mentioned earlier; I'm biased. I'm a long-time Opera user, both Opera and I fight for standards on the web, we're both Norwegian and I own a microscopic amount of shares in Opera Software ASA (small enough that if I should sell, I'd hardly have anything left after my banks fee). So don't take my word for it; look into this for yourself and make up your own mind...


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