Tag Archives: vendor lock-in

vendor lock-in in Windows Live?

My university is forcing it’s students to have an account with Windows Live email service in order to get the university announcements/updates. Today I noticed a very strange behavior, in certain situations the website doesn’t let you configure email forward to another account outside of the Microsoft network. The following error message is shown:

You can forward your mail to one other e-mail address that ends in hotmail.com, msn.com, live.com, or is part of Windows Live Custom Domains.

I’m using Iceweasel 3.0.11 from Debian, and I complained about missing that feature, other people seemed to have the feature. After a few checks it’s seems to be the way the browser identify itself. When I changed my identification to IE7/Vista (using user agent switcher plugin), the problem was solved.

I’m trying to understand the logic – If i use IE or Firefox, I can do a forward to another account, but otherwise I’m locked in to the Microsoft network. It can’t be a technical issue, as in both cases the interface is the same (no special browser features needed).

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Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, Mozilla, Proprietary software