Today we had a wonderful customer in the store who had just switched to Apple by buying a new MacBook, and was finding difficulty utilizing his company’s web-based calendar and communications website. The site in question required Internet Explorer(yuck!) 6.0 or higher to operate. When browsed to using Safari or Firefox, the site would propagate an error and disallow the browser access, presumably to make it easier for novice users to know which browsers work and which don’t. Luckily, it was compatible with Safari after all! Here are the steps we took to resolve the issue.

Unfortunately, all web developers don’t keep up with the times. It’s likely this site’s crew hasn’t done testing with other browsers since Internet Explorer 7.0 was released. So how do you know if your browser really can work with the website in question? There’s an easy way to fool the website into believing you’re really using IE 7.0 (or whichever it’s demanding in your case).

Open Safari, and from the Safari menu, select Preferences.

Now, click the Advanced option located at the end of the button bar, and ensure “Show Develop menu in menu bar” is checked.

This will add a new menu to Safari, titled Develop. This is a menu website developers use to view websites as if they were actually using the browser in question, fooling some websites to behave as they have been programmed to, when certain browsers access them (For example, if you select the iPhone user agent, and load http://www.google.com, you will notice you are accessing the mobile site rather than the regular size, as Google thinks you’re on a cell phone!). Select the User Agent that suit your needs and good luck!

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