11 February 2007

Walmart in bed with Microsoft? Walmart says NO to Firefox, Mac, Apple

Update: 1:45PM: Thanks to Anonymous:
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Walmart in bed with Microsoft? Walmart says NO to Firefox, Mac, Apple
Posted by Allen Stern | 02/10/2007
Last week, Walmart launched their online video download service. Immediately there were posts that the service did not work with the Firefox or Safari browsers. There was a collective, "WTF" when this happened as this is 2007, not 1997. Back then it was "accepted" for applications to work with only a specific browser or platform. Now it appears that reports are out that Walmart has turned off the ability to get into the application at all by Firefox, Safari or any other browser it does not like.

And I can confirm that I cannot access the site via Firefox. So I ask, is this because of bad coding or because Walmart is working with Microsoft? Jonathan asks the same question. I certainly hope it is bad coding. But for the largest company in the world to not test their applications is just piss poor. In addition, with the requirements for SOX, who signed off on this going live? I can only imagine that in my past corporate life, heads would have rolled. (It appears some of the issues might be due to the DRM they are using is IE only)

With the "early adopters" generally using non-ie browsers, this will certainly hurt their ability for this to succeed. I hope this is only temporary. I am sure Netflix and iTunes must be loving this. Today any "f-up" is immediately spread across the web in mere minutes. I would have liked to see a message from Walmart that says this:

We understand that there are some issues using our download service in browsers other than Internet Explorer. We are quickly working on resolving the issues and appreciate your patience. Enter your email address and we will notify you once the service is functional in the other browsers and we will include a free download coupon for the trouble. Thank you for your interest in Walmart.

Updated 5pm: appears they are blocking apple completely -- from walmart customer service:
And Walmart video download service does not support the Macintosh Operating Systems as the video that you download requires Digital Rights Management 10 (DRM 10) software, which is not compatible with the Macintosh operating system.

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