hot and lively

Once upon a time, there was only one important free mail service. When I left Oslo University to go to London and knew I was going to loose my student address, this was where I went to get a new mailbox. And even a couple of years later, when I started working for Opera, bugs affecting Hotmail were top-top-top priority. (Opera 7.51's bug 143675, "Opera deletes random messages from my Hotmail inbox" remains one of the scariest bugs I've analysed. Few bugs match that one in obvious and devastating violation of the user's trust.)

Well, how times have changed… A quick search of bugs filed for the respective services since GMail launched shows that there are roughly 3 times more GMail-bugs than Hotmail bugs in the bug tracker since 2004. Apparently, GMail's popularity has skyrocketed while Hotmail's has dropped, right?

Not so fast. Sometimes I see lists of E-mail addresses wherever random people register for newsletters or sign up for something in a reception. Technical people who tend to use Opera more frequently may lean heavily towards GMail, but among the general population Hotmail / Windows Live Mail is still a giant.

This is why I'm very glad to say that it should now be possible to use Hotmail's AJAXy interface with Opera 9.2x and 9.5. It's thanks to a sophisticated browser.js patch from David Bloom and an extra "spoof as Firefox" setting. If you're a Hotmail user, let me know how it works for you!


33 thoughts on “hot and lively

  1. Could you elaborate on how we should be able to get this to work? Hotmail still shows me the 'light' interface, which is 'better for my browser'. I may be blind but I can't find a way to select the new interface.

  2. I blogged about it a while ago. At least at that point hotmail did hide the upgrade link in opera. Se screenshot in my blog. I am on opera mini now so i can't be bothered to test again right now. But you should be able to upgrade using ie then ushe microsoft live hotmail advanced interface in opera.

  3. F_V: it should start working more or less automatically when Opera has fetched the site patching updates. You can do a "Help > Check for updates" and see if that works.Other things to check* On , the final bullet point in first list should contain a date – Match 21st 2008 or later should be the right version.* If you log in to and look at "Tools > Advanced > Error console" you should see a message that starts "Opera has modified the JavaScript on (FireAnt.Debug.Trace tries to use arguments.callee.caller". (There will be many other reported errors, select "JavaScript" in the bottom right drop-down to find this more easily)Finally, I think you don't need to restart Opera but I know Hotmail has some "this is an unsupported browser" cookies, so it may help if you still have problems after checking for updates.. Let me know how it goes!

  4. I see that it tries to load the ajaxy version, but I get the "Is this taking too long? Try the classic version" message.

  5. It works on 9.2x, but on 9.5 build 9864 it stucks on loading (Is this taking too long? Try the classic version)

  6. OK, it magically started working today when logging in.In 9.2 it works, although quite sluggishly. Other thing is that random text selections seem to occur, especially when using spatial navigation.In 9.5 I can't get past the Loading screen.

  7. 9.5 had some known issues with JavaScript recently but I saw it working in a VERY new internal build. You may have to wait for the next weekly, sorry about that..

  8. Nothing to install. It is automatic. At best, you can go to Help > Check for Updates to make it happen right now.

  9. fearphage: while I don't have really strict rules for what goes in, GMail 2 was not that much of a priority for several reasons: AFAIK it's still in development, some issues seemed like they should be fixed by us in core and the timing for core fixes in Kestrel was quite good, some things have been fixed by GMail, and finally I don't think end users notice that much of a difference between GMail 1 and GMail 2. At the moment Hotmail is a more stable target and less likely to fix things for Opera on their own. I may be wrong about any of those fuzzy factors in which case we perhaps should add patches for GMail 2.

  10. What is the date on the latest browser.js? I'm seeing:The active browser.js file is Opera 9.50 , March 21, 2008.But I thought it might be more recent than that..?

  11. Originally posted by kamalesh:

    ergo, no gmail2 fixes needed

    That might be going a little too far. Without any fixes, some aspects of gmail will be ugly and less functional. That url will get you into gmail2 and it will be "good enough" but it is not the same experience as using the script.

  12. im using Opera 9.51 and cant see the full version of hotmail working anymore… thats goddamn sad, such an awesome browser and cant see that site. stupid site, the reason i use it its because of msn messenger thats all… i hate all other messaging clients

  13. shaktiIIIgta: how are things now? Some new Hotmail-related stuff in browser.js, though some users have reported the site doesn't load for them at all – since I could never reproduce this I have not been able to patch it yet.

  14. "Dear Charlie, Thank you for writing back. My name is Julius and I have read the e-mail exchanges between you and the previous support representatives. You mentioned that both Opera and Safari browsers can handle the Full version of Windows Live Hotmail faster than Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. I understand the importance of this matter to you.Charlie, I appreciate your taking the time to send us your thoughts and suggestions about Windows Live Hotmail. We take feedback about Windows Live Hotmail product and service very seriously. It is through your comments and suggestions that we are able to know what our customers truly want. Although we are unable to take action on your comment immediately, rest assured that we are committed in upgrading the Windows Live Hotmail system to improve our service to you. You can expect to see many improvements in the near future. We appreciate your continued support as we strive to provide you with the highest quality service available. Thank you for using Windows Live Hotmail."Me bugging the Windows Live Hotmail team :ninja:

  15. Chas4 thanks for that login link. I can now sign in. I had the hardest time getting in with 9.51Is it just me or is the net a heck of alot harder to surf recently!? I admit I'm on dial-up but still… Everything seems alot slower now. Opera 9.27 was way faster for me.

  16. When IE 8 is released in a final version and if they do a better job of standards support surfing may get easier and not just for Opera but the other non IE web browsers :ninja:

  17. McKensy writes:

    It's a reality! My Opera (9.62) doesn't work with Hotmail any more… Guess it's time to find a new mail-service provider…McKensy

  18. hi everybody now ( MAR-09 ) im using Opera 9.64 and besides full live hotmail doesnt work either it seems the light version of this free service works. Hoper someday people behind web designing RESPECT the standards, … damn

  19. lol, havent tried the full mode of live mail for some time then…didnt knew that, what i can tell is that maybe in the past version (9.63) or so… i had troubles when opening live mail hotmail and tried to attach and open attachments, y tried disabling the mask as ff, and updated to 9.64 and havent had a problem since, id love to see their numbers of Opera users entering the site increase, lol

  20. Justin writes:What I don't get is why hotmail works in opera at work, but my Opera at home (both v10.10 build 1893) it has never worked. The page loads for a moment, then disappears except for the toolbar at the top of the page. any ideas?

  21. Are you masking as FF and is the browserjs workingAS of nowCurrent browser.js status: enabled. Target version and time stamp of the active browser.js file is Opera 10.00, Desktop, December 8, 2009 .

  22. Originally posted by anonymous:

    my Opera at home (both v10.10 build 1893) it has never worked. The page loads for a moment, then disappears except for the toolbar at the top of the page. any ideas?

    As Charles already suggested, please check if your browser.js is enabled and what date it was built on this page: . You may have an outdated file – at least one of the issues I remember working on may have such symptoms. If, for example, you have enabled a proxy that requires authentication automatic updates of browser.js may fail.

  23. Now it is Target version and time stamp of the active browser.js file is Opera 10.00, Desktop, December 21, 2009 .I have to thank the browsers for allowing me to use hotmail in Opera

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