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by Franki

Update: Please see this article as it appears this may have been an unintentional consequence of a faulty implementation of the on-click event in Firefox

In what appears to be another attempt to dissuade users from using non IE browsers, Microsoft has blocked the right clicking of links on the MSN web site when using the Mozilla Firefox web browser. Clicking on such a link in Internet Explorer pops up the normal right click menu. Right clicking on a link in Firefox or Mozilla results in the same effect as left clicking a link. This may be an attempt to cause problems for people using the tabbing features of Firefox which is usually done by right clicking on a link and selecting “open in new tab” from the menu.

I can’t see how Microsoft can claim this was accidental because there is no valid reason I can think of to remap a browsers right click and also it only affects Firefox browser (IE’s biggest competitor) I’ve tested in both Netscape 8.x and Opera 8.x and neither are affected. Try it for yourself, go to http://msn.com In Firefox and try to right click on a link. Then try the exact same thing in Netscape or Opera (or Internet Explorer obviously). They apparently do this using a JavaScript file specifically targeted to the Mozilla browser. You can find it here: http://hp.msn.com/scr/home/msnmoz1021.js

If this is yet another case of Microsoft trying to block out products that successfully compete with them, then they should expect to find themselves in front of another judge for yet more anti-competitive charges. They’ve been found guilty twice already, (US and EU) what’s another guilty conviction? I’m really starting to reach the point where I may pop-up a DHTML warning message informing users of Internet Explorer of all the reasons why IE is a lousy browser, you know, the usual stuff. Lack of standards, lack of security, lack of modern user features, invites Spyware and Virus infection, promoted by a company guilty of monopoly practises who abandoned it’s development until it faced stiff competition from a competitor after which it suddenly became their flavour of the month again, that sort of thing.

In the mean time, If you really must browse MSN, you can either block that script using the Firefox AdBlock extension, or just hold down the control key while clicking links to open them in new tabs. Blocking the script with AdBlock doesn’t seem to cause any other problems and it does return control of your right mouse button to you.

Update: It has since been revealed by the gentleman apparently responsible for the MSN script causing the problem that it is an unintended effect and could possibly be a bug in Firefox 1.0.4. I should note that I did not state it WAS an intentional effort to block alternative browsers, I simply implied it might be. I believe that that is a reasonable theory in light of the fact that such things have happened at MSN before.








2 Responses to “Microsoft blocks right clicking on MSN for Mozilla browsers (updated).”

  1. Steven Says:

    Myspace.com also stops you from using right click,by inserting a no right click html in your scripts.

  2. Franki Says:

    yeah, but it doesn’t do it just to one browser.

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