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dtfinch's Journal: Microsoft redirecting Google users to 404? 5

Journal by dtfinch

I followed the link http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306359/EN-US/ from Google search results and it lead to Microsoft's 404 page. So I searched for the article using Microsoft's integrated search and followed the url in the results. This time it worked, and by golly, it was the same exact url, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306359/EN-US/. This is not the first time support.microsoft.com has given me 404 errors on links I've followed from Google, but it is the first time I've verified that they link was in fact good, and their server gave a 404 response only when the referrer was Google. It's as though Microsoft wants me to think Google is giving me bad links.

This isn't the first time I've seen Microsoft sabotage their knowledgebase to annoy users of competing products and services. When I use Firefox, they disable their feedback form on the bottom of each article, and sometimes they demand that I login to passport just to view an article. Both annoyances go away if I switch to IE using the "IE Tab" Firefox plugin.

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Microsoft redirecting Google users to 404?

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  • http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306359/EN-US/ [microsoft.com]


    (Checking to see if we have the same problem when slashdot is the origin)

    • by nizo (81281) *
      Hmm, it seems to work for me from both your journal and from google. Maybe it was a proxy problem? Or Microsoft putzing around and testing exactly what you mentioned?
      • by dtfinch (661405) *
        At work we have a squid proxy, which is where I've noticed the problem. I don't visit the knowledgebase much from home.

        It's hard to imagine squid sending the wrong url on every first request to support.microsoft.com, but who knows?
    • by dtfinch (661405) *
      First click: 404.
      Second try: worked.

      Maybe it's just really crappy coding. You'd think they could afford better.
      • by nizo (81281) *
        Not that I visit microsoft.com often, but I keep expecting to get errors someday when I visit using Firefox. It wouldn't suprise me one bit to see them fiddling around with the idea of not allowing certain sites/browsers/etc.

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