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Microsoft webpage won't load in Firefox
02-02-2016, 09:16 PM
Post: #1
Microsoft webpage won't load in Firefox
Hi. I just discovered WPT and I'm amazed at all its wonderful capabilities. I'm trying to understand what's wrong with a Microsoft page. It's where you go to download the MS Safety Scanner. Using Firefox on my home PC I can't access it at all. The page just keeps reloading. I have tried to test this using WPT, which seems to confirm my findings.

Using Firefox, nothing loads at all.
http://www.webpagetest.org/result/160202_3M_FF3/

Using IE11, the page loads, but the content is mostly http instead of https as originally requested. (Not good for a security product)
http://www.webpagetest.org/result/160202_87_FWM/

I understand that Microsoft has a global policy to use only https. This is enforced by HTTP Strict Transport Security. After you visit their homepage you are locked in to HSTS for the next year. Is it possible there are some MS pages that don't work properly with https? Surely Microsoft would have spotted this. They must know what they are doing, particularly on security matters.

I'd appreciate any help in interpreting the results. And any pointers as to where I might complain to get this fixed.

Also, in passing, what's with the 'Status Code -2' results. I can't find the exact meaning. Does this just mean the server never replied. And is this normal?

Many thanks, Bob
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02-06-2016, 08:03 AM
Post: #2
RE: Microsoft webpage won't load in Firefox
-2 is a generic "something failed" error. It's what things are initialized to so if it didn't succeed or get an explicit error that's what it falls back to.

As far as HSTS, WebPageTest always starts with a completely clean browser profile so it won't have any HSTS information from previous sessions so something else is going wrong.

It looks like they do a JS redirect of some kind to the non-https page but whatever they use to do it is failing horribly in Firefox.
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02-07-2016, 03:10 AM
Post: #3
RE: Microsoft webpage won't load in Firefox
Hi pmeenan - thanks for your helpful comments.

I may not have explained very well. On my home PC, Firefox forcibly changes the url from http to https based on previous instructions from microsoft.com. As you say, WebPageTest has no knowledge of this prior history. So for testing purposes I requested the page from WebPageTest as https in both cases.

Both Firefox and IE fail to get the requested page. Firefox gets nothing at all. IE gets some content, but changes the protocol from https to http without any warning.

Do you think I'm right in blaming the Microsoft page for the failure? Or is it the browser that's at fault?
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02-11-2016, 02:14 AM
Post: #4
RE: Microsoft webpage won't load in Firefox
I'm fairly certain it's a Microsoft problem. If Firefox was that fundamentally broken it would have shown up in a lot of places.
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02-11-2016, 07:35 AM
Post: #5
RE: Microsoft webpage won't load in Firefox
I was going to report it to Microsoft, but when I tried just now it's working fine. http://www.webpagetest.org/result/160210_38_1832/
I think Microsoft must have fixed it very recently. Google shows this issue has been going on for nearly a year now.

Let's hope it stays fixed. Thanks for your help. Bob
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