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PodShop: Microsoft adCenter: Windows/IE 6+ Only, Please

Assorted Ramblings and Filings.

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One day after I bag on Microsoft for all of the different initiatives (read money-making schemes) it has undertaken recently – and in the process left Windows for dead – I get a piece of snail mail from them.

Nothing related to my blog post, of course, but direct from One Microsoft Way comes an invite to try out their new adCenter search advertising engine. Microsoft’s propaganda usually gets pitched right away, but I was intrigued. OK, let’s see what their answer to Google’s AdWords is all about says I.

Opening the large, gaudy envelope, I am greeted by a friendly, inviting letter describing adCenter, its benefits, and how it will improve my life. That fugly MSN butterfly adorns the top left, but I trudge on, my eyes drawn to a few key items towards the center of the page:

  • bring your online marketing to a whole new level
  • state-of-the-art tools
  • audience research capabilities that help you target potential customers
  • an engine that, according to a recent independent study, converts clicks to customers at a rate that is 57% higher than Google and 48% higher than Yahoo!
  • Start today and get a reward card worth $50

Really? Hmmmm. Maybe I should look at getting MSN searchers to via adCenter. Nah, MS is the devil, this has to be a trick! Are you ready to forgive and forget all the misery of making web standardized code look right in IE?!? No, but this is different. Oh, why not. OK, I’ll bite. Let’s see what all this effort into a search advertising engine is all about, Microsoft.

Firing up a new tab in Safari and entering the special URL and unique ID code designated just for me, I am met with the following message:

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

Nice. Only allow people using your antiquated, tab-less wonder of a browser in. That’s the spirit! That sounds about right.

Undeterred, I use Safari’s ol’ trusty Debug > User Agent trick to scheme my pretend Windows MSIE 6.0 way into adCenter’s lair. Yes. It worked. I have penetrated the compound, and am ready to embark upon the further details of setting up an account. Until the next screen…

Yes, even though tricked into thinking I am running IE 6 on a Windows machine, the adCenter page stalled out due to few drop down boxes that were blank for me. I assume if I was playing by Microsoft’s rules, (i.e. running Windows and Internet Explorer 6) the boxes would have had something for me to select, but for me, my iMac G5, and Safari, it was no go. Since there was nothing to select in these drop down menus (which were required, of course), the setup continued to error out.

Not wanting to give up yet, I tried Firefox, and while able to progress one screen further, I still couldn’t get the account completely set up; ten seconds later I was canceling and deleting any remnants of adCenter, and I had to flush my browsers’ caches just to feel clean again.

Unbelievable. Now I know anyone that doesn’t use Windows or Internet Explorer is in the minority. This is a fact of life, and since becoming a Mac user, I have been privy to all of these little quirks of denial. A few banking sites here and there, the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) snafu that has since been resolved, and others, of course.

But my latest non-using WIN/IE rejection comes directly from Microsoft, natch. On something they have spent millions of dollars, time, and employee resources on, Microsoft would rather lose potential customers and money rather than create their adCenter site with accessibility from the non WIN/IE users. Atta way, Microsoft! Give Yahoo! and Google hell!

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Comments [2]

I should take a gander at getting MSN searchers to adCenter. This must be a trap! Are you ready to pardon and never return to all the misery of creation web institutionalized.

50 days ago

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