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AdCenter Not Ready For Firefox

David A. Utter
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-06

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While Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer touted the US arrival of his company's Google AdWords killer, potential customers who use the Firefox browser found their attempts to join AdCenter were being killed by a lack of cross-browser compatibility.

Microsoft AdCenter forms the thin edge of the wedge Ballmer and company would like to drive into the online advertising market, and if the beating heart of the Googleplex is in the way, so much the better.

AdCenter doesn't want to play with browsers beyond Internet Explorer 6 and up, though. To the casual technology observer, the opinion may be "why should it?" After all, IE holds a dominant share of the browsers being used globally, in the 85 percent range.

So who gets shoved aside, a bunch of Firefox users? So what? Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble explained why Microsoft needs to acknowledge the world beyond the cozy confines of Redmond:

That idea and belief must be washed from our corporate culture. It's going to be a hard thing to beat. But beat it is VERY important.

Why? Because a high percentage of influentials are Firefox users.

In other words, if you want the most passionate people in society to use your stuff, you must support Firefox.

Microsoft's IE-only policy for AdCenter did not impress Vancouver blogger Darren Barefoot, who wondered why Microsoft didn't want his cash:

We run Google AdWords campaigns for a few of our clients. Seeing an opportunity to get a jump on some of the competition, I figured I'd sign up to adCenter and check things out. Unfortunately, when I tried to sign up, I encountered the following message (here's a screenshot):

Microsoft adCenter does not currently support the web browser you are using. Please sign in using Internet Explorer 6+. More about system requirements

Ironically, the ‘more about system requirements' link is currently broken.

This is old-school but not surprising behaviour from Microsoft.

Barefoot also noted AdCenter does not work from his Mac laptop, though he did not note if he tried Safari or Firefox from that machine.

Since no one's mentioned Opera yet, we decided to give that a try. Here's the warning box that Opera tossed up immediately when accessing the adcenter.msn.com URL:

Certificate signer not found

- The certificate for "adcenter.msn.com" is signed by the unknown Certificate Authority "Microsoft Secure Server Authority". It is not possible to verify that this is a valid certificate


It's probably not fair to pick at Microsoft over Opera, a browser with a much smaller following than Firefox. Except for one little detail: Google AdWords signups work just fine with it.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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