A Linux-Watch reader today reported difficulties using Microsoft's Hotmail service with Firefox browsers running on Linux operating systems. We confirmed that creating a new Hotmail account was not possible, due to an error message suggesting a "browser
In testing with Firefox 3.03 on Mepis Linux, Linux-Watch was able to create a Microsoft Live ID and Hotmail account, and to successfully send and receive email from the account. This led us to experiment with modifying Iceweasel's "UserAgent" setting, so we could use our Debian system with Hotmail, too. We loaded "about:config" in the address bar, entered "iceweasel" in the search bar, and then changed the value of the the "general.useragent.extra.firefox" entry from "Iceweasel/3.03" to "Firefox/3.03". After that, Hotmail worked as expected. As an added bonus, we could also use the Rhapsody music streaming services, and other websites that use loose browser qualification by parsing the UserAgent string sent by the browser in the HTTP header.