Bad Microsoft, No Bisquit

Bad Microsoft, No Bisquit

So tonight I was on Memeorandum checking out some news and I saw this really hot headline from the Windows Live Desktop Mail Beta: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, “And we want to make it easy for our customers to share those pictures. You’ll discover that with Mail Desktop Beta (Windows Live Mail Desktop) sharing pictures is super easy. The common situation now? (at least for me ) I take a TON of pictures.”

Ok, great. You got me with that headline. I love photo sharing. All I ever talk about these days are Flickr and Zooomr and well whatever else has to do with photo sharing. So I click the link to read the blog post, and what do I get? Yep, you guessed it, the image above. Not the blog, not the blog post, but some crappy message telling me that I need to figure out some log on thing with Microsoft Passport.

Sorry Charlie. It would have been nice to read the article and blog it, but oh well.

Want a surefire way to sabotage your blog readership? Then be sure and sign up with Spaces dot MSN dot com for all your blogging needs. Sure to turn away even the most interested of your readers. Sheesh. Very, very, very annoying.

Update: Ed Bott thinks that my experience is most likely a bug related to my useage of Firefox combined with this site and not part of a bigger problem overall with accessing MSN Spaces blogs. I’m certainly willing to concede that that this problem that I had could be a bug and not intentional and that the issue might not be as widespread as I thought. Although I could not access this post either at work or home earlier this morning and did get the prompt above (caputured directly from screen print) the link does appear to be working now. You still of course must log in to passport to leave a comment on the blog which I don’t like.

Ed wrote about a similar bug last year with the Passport log on thing.

12 Replies to “Bad Microsoft, No Bisquit”

  1. I have a spaces blog and you don’t need a passport to read the posts.
    So I guess he has turned on authentication for his blog, very silly 🙂

  2. Thomas, it looks like he made a mistake that you and I have made a million times, which was to accidentally paste in the wrong link. It’s fixed now. Go here to read the whole post, no Passport required.

  3. Ed, just clicked on the link you provded and am still being prompted for a Passport ID. You must be logged into Passport already.

    One other thing that’s troubling with Passport is that my work has blocked being able to log into it. And I don’t care how good a post it might be I’m not going to try to screw around with a proxy just to be able to encourage this type of bad behavior.

    Links and things should flow out there in blogland. It’s counterproductive to have this “feature” and even if accidently turned on I still see MSN Spaces accounts in a negative light, no offense Ian.

  4. Sorry, Thomas, but you’re wrong.

    I just went to a machine where I’ve never used a Passport, clicked the link using IE7 on Windows Vista, and had no trouble viewing the page. Just went to another machine running Windows Media Center with IE6. Again, no problem. I went to my wife’s machine, signed her out of her Passport account, and logged on with IE and Firefox. No problem. I then created a new user account, clean, and viewed the page with Firefox.

    Whatever is going on is going on on your computer. It may be going on with other people as well, but neither of us knows that for sure. I’ve seen prompts for Passport authentication when I go to the MS Knowledge Base using Firefox. Might be the same bug.

    At any rate, you really need to rethink this post.

  5. Hi Thomas,

    Since you said ‘sorry Charlie’ I thought you meant me and forwarded your post over to the MSN Spaces team. Like Ed, I clicked on the link you provided in this post and went straight to the post without needing to login (I can clearly see the Passport Sign In button which means I’m not already signed in).

    I will send you the post in an email so you can read while we figure out what might be happening.


  6. Ed – are you serious? Who are you to say he should rethink his entire post for having a bad experience and reporting it honestly? I did not have the same problem he did, but have experienced it before with MSN Spaces – if it is a bug that happens with Firefox as you suggest, it sounds like MSN is the one who needs to rethink things.

    The interesting thing I found with the Spaces blog post was not the ‘neato’ features of editing photos within the context of sending an email, but the fact that there was not one dissenting voice in the comments – everyone was so blissed with how cool this feature set was that it has thus far created the worst kind of echo chamber with everyone on the same side of the story. Perhaps that is because only MSN users can comment?

    I can’t say if it is good or bad since I dont have access to try it out myself, but personally, even with broadband, I don’t send photos via email any longer unless it is part of the visual communication I am doing. That said, I am sure many people still do, and for them, this looks lilke it might be interesting, but we will see in time.

  7. Chris, Thomas can (and probably will) rag on the photo-saring feature when he finally reads the blog post.

    But the headline and this post are not about the new feature. They are instead all about “Bad Microsoft” for requiring a Passport login just to read about this feature. As I have shown, and Charlie has too, that’s not the case. Thomas has leaped from his experience to a conclusion that appears unwarranted. It sounds like Thomas should be mad at his IT department, which is somehow blocking this site. But I don’t know.

    So yes, I think Thomas should rethink this post.

  8. Ed, yes, it is not ideal that my work blocks Passport logons, but that is something that I don’t have control over.

    The link is working now for me though and I suspect that something was changed with regards to the post between when I originally posted and now. Perhaps as you suggest the author had in fact had authentication on and has now turned it off.

    I’m not familiar with how MSN Spaces ships or if the authentication thing is default or why it happens, but this is not the first time I’ve encountered this problem with MSN Spaces and Passport. I definitely saw what I saw and on multiple computers both at home and at work. The screen shot came directly from what I saw.

    While I’m certainly willing to concede that the problem could be a bug with Firefox, given the fact that I’ve had the problem many times in the past I’m not so willing to dismiss it.

    When I click through to a blogger blog or a word press blog or a TypePad blog or heck, even a livejournal blog, I’ve never been impeded even once. But many times when trying to click through to an MSN Spaces blog it’s been suggested that I need to log on to Passport before going forward. At this point I’m reluctant to even visit MSN Spaces blogs because the problem has happened more than I’d like to see it.

    It shouldn’t happen at all and I’m standing by what I wrote before. If it’s a bug then it’s Microsoft’s responsibility to fix it. Forcing me out of Firefox and into IE is not a suitable answer. I will guarantee you that others have gotten the Passport prompt and that in many cases people are choosing to simply abandon the opportunity to read a blog post and move on. I’m just talking about what others are actually doing.

    And again Ed, as you and I both can now click through no problem, I suspect that whatever the case was that it was addressed before your testing at 8:14 or Charlie’s testing after. It definitely was giving me the Passport prompt yesterday at work when I took the screen shot and wrote the post as well as very early this a.m. at home.

  9. Ok, and one more thing. Even though the link is working now I still need to sign into Passport in order to leave a comment. Again, lame.

    The service actually does look interesting though. I use for sending large image files now. I wonder if the photos are saved at true original resolution or if they are downsampled. And I wonder if they can be downloaded by the recipient in full high res glory to their own PC. I like it conceptually and would like it more if it allowed high res.

    Although the article does suggest that Snapfish is bothersome because your friends have to be members but neglects to mention Flickr, perhaps the most popular buzz photo sharing site on the internet today where anyone can access your photos without becoming a member or having to log on to an account.

  10. Thomas, I was not signed in to Passport when I visited the site this morning at 5:48, and I checked it using Firefox. You said you were still getting the prompt at 6:29 when you responded to me.

    So no, I don’t think that this page was changed early this AM to fix some problem.

    I wrote about a similar problem that was occurring with the MS Knowledge Base last year (number one Google result if you search for Firefox passport prompt). I haven’t seen that problem occur since then, nor have I read any other similar reports.

    I just did a lengthy Google search to see if I could find other people reporting the same experience as you did here. Couldn’t find any, except from a year or more ago when older versions of Firefox had problems with signing into Passport accounts. Those issues seem to have been fixed a long time ago.

    So I guess I just don’t get your point. Is there something you want Microsoft to do?

    By the way, I visit quite a few TypePad and Movable Type sites that require Typepad registration to leave a comment. And although I prefer to have the option to leave an anonymous comment, I understand from a management point of view why some site owners choose not to do so.

    You might want to read this post from Mike Torres about this issue. Of course, if you want to leave a comment you have to use your Passport account!

  11. Ed, I’m certainly willing to concede that this could be some kind of bug. I obviously did get the prompt though hence the image in the article. And I have had problems trying to access MSN Spaces blogs in the past. I did also verify the problem on two computers on different networks. But perhaps this experience is unique to me and others have not experienced similar trouble as you suggest. Certainly could be the case and the link does seem to be working fine now.

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