Windows Live Local?

Where’s Windows Live Local gone? It used to be at local.live.com but now all I get is a search interface that seems to lead to maps but no aerial photos. Strangely I can still see the aerial photos (which for my area are much better than Google’s) via flashearth.com but all the links to Windows Live Local now redirect to intl.local.live.com - “Live Local Search”.

Update: It’s back. Maybe somebody pulled the wrong plug :)

Update 22/09/2006: It’s still not working on Linux (tested with Firefox 1.5.0.5). Working fine on Mac Firefox. Can we have a show of hands from people who’ve previously been able to get it working on Linux?

Update: This item (dated Sept 12) on http://virtualearth.spaces.live.com states that it does work on Firefox Linux (my emphasis):

You have control over line thickness, fill color, line color and line pattern. You can draw multi-segment lines or complex closed shapes. While its not exactly Adobe Illustrator, it is quite an impressive set of basic drawing and editing tools all implemented in Dynamic HTML; No plugins required, and it works very well in Firefox 1.5 (Windows, Mac, Linux), IE6, and IE7. Here’s a Collection I am working on of the major neighborhood boundaries in Manhattan.

Update 24/09/2006: Steve Lombardi from the Windows Live / Virtual Earth team (that’s his blog linked above) tells me that this is definitely not intended behaviour and is now investigating - thanks Steve.

I’ll post more information as soon as I have it.

Stephen Stchur writes (hoisted from the comments):

This is definitely a browser sniffing problem. VE is absolutely designed to work with Firefox (on all of Windows, Mac, and Linux).

Download the Firefox extension (User Agent Switcher). Then switch the User Agent to be IE 6 for Windows. Then try browing to local.live.com. It will work.

A crappy solution, but at least it’s something until this gets fixed.

I’ve just tried that and it seems to work fine.

Update 25/09/2006: Spoke too soon - faking IE 6 prevents the redirect - but the map doesn’t actually load. I was having connectivity problems when I tried it and assumed that’s why the map hadn’t loaded - but Stephen confirms the same problem.

What does seem to work is faking Firefox on XP. That’s not one of the default User Agent Switcher options - but if you download uas-ffxp.xml and import it to User Agent Switcher you should get a Firefox/Windows XP option that will work with local.live.com.

Steve and Stephen hope to have a proper fix in the next release and asked me to pass on thanks to everyone who submitted reports.

32 Responses to “Windows Live Local?”

  1. Simon Says:

    How strange. I get maps and ariel photos :)

  2. Andy Says:

    Yeah, so do I now. But as you know it wasn’t just me :)

  3. Les Says:

    I’ve just started getting this as well. Used to work about a month ago. Anyone find out a fix?

  4. Andy Says:

    Which browser are you using?

    I have a hunch (and it’s nothing more) that something’s going wrong with the browser sniffing. When it wasn’t working for me I was getting the same response in FireFox (which is supported) as Safari (which isn’t as far as I know).

  5. Les Says:

    I’m using Firefox 1.5.0.1 on a linux system. I’ve also tried it on 1.5.0.7 as well no luck. I’m pretty new to the linux world so it probably is something that I’m doing/not doing. As I can duel boot into windows and it seems to work there. This didn’t happen until the UI update MS did to the site. Thanks for the quick response, hopefully you can help me sort this out.

  6. Andy Says:

    Has it ever worked on your Linux system?

    When I had the problem I was using a Mac - although the person who originally alerted me to the problem was using Windows.

  7. Les Says:

    Well it used to work before the UI update. I’m wondering if I’m missing a plugin. I’m got flash 7, QT and Real. Not sure if it requires anything else. How did you resolve the problem on your mac? Thanks!!

  8. Andy Says:

    It just started working again…

    Right now it’s working here on Firefox 1.5.0.4 on a Mac but not working on Firefox 1.5.0.5 on Linux.

    I’ll ask around and see if I can find someone at Microsoft who knows what’s happening.

  9. matt Says:

    Doesn’t work for me.

  10. Andy Says:

    Platform please Matthew.

  11. bsittler Says:

    I get redirected to intl.local.live.com using Firefox Bon Echo 2.0b2 on Linux:

    User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.8.1b2) Gecko/20060601 BonEcho/2.0b2 (Ubuntu-edgy)

    How is the detection being done, exactly? Also, note that I’m using Tor (tor.eff.org) so my IP address keeps shifting — does this affect live.com’s detector?

  12. Stephen Stchur Says:

    This is definitely a browser sniffing problem. VE is absolutely designed to work with Firefox (on all of Windows, Mac, and Linux).

    Download the Firefox extension (User Agent Switcher). Then switch the User Agent to be IE 6 for Windows. Then try browing to local.live.com. It will work.

    A crappy solution, but at least it’s something until this gets fixed.

    -Steve

  13. Stephen Williams Says:

    Broken:
    Redirects to http://intl.local.live.com/

    Firefox 1.5.0.7
    Ubuntu Linux, 2.6.15-26-686 #1 SMP PREEMPT, newest JDK.

  14. Les Says:

    Found one form of a fix. I removed the RPM that firefox was initially installed with and pulled down the tar.gz file from getfirefox.com version 1.5.0.7

    Extracted that and ran from the firefox directory that was created from the tar.gz file. Local Live works fine, so something must be missing or broken in the RPM files.

  15. Jonathan Stowe Says:

    I get redirected with:

    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.8.0.7) Gecko/20060911 SUSE/1.5.0.7-1.1 Firefox/1.5.0.7

    It is possible that BrowserCap is getting confused by vendor strings in the User-Agent: header

  16. Brian Raven Says:

    Seems to work OK on the following:

    Firefox: 1.5.0.7
    User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-GB; rv:1.8.0.7) Gecko/20060909 Firefox/1.5.0.7

  17. Jono Says:

    Broken for SeaMonkey 1.0.5 on Windows.
    (Same rendering engine as FF 1.5)

  18. Andy Says:

    I think that’s probably because the Firefox from the RPM has a different browser string. If you download User Agent Switcher as Stephen suggests above and then use it to fake IE 6 it’ll work.

  19. Curtis Says:

    I have firefox 1.5.0.7 running in gentoo linux and it appears fine.

  20. mike Says:

    Hmm… got the same problem with Opera on Win XP. Redirects me to intl.local.live.com
    When I set Opera to cloak as IE it doesn’t redirect but the map doesn’t load either.
    And it used to work (some 1-2 months ago)

  21. Andy Says:

    Thanks Mike - I’ve passed your comment to Steve and Stephen.

  22. Mark Says:

    As of 12:30 ET 9/25/06 it’s not working for me with Firefox 1.0.7 on Win XP (redirects to intl.local.live.com). I’m not using 1.5.x because I upgraded to it at home and got the mysterious “timed out” problems nobody can seem to figure out - so I’m afraid to upgrade at the office.

  23. Andy Says:

    My understanding is that Firefox < 1.5 is not supported on any platform - so I’m afraid the only option is to upgrade.

    I seem to remember that the Firefox Windows installer allows you to install Firefox somewhere other than the default - so you may be able to run two versions side by side.

  24. Andy Says:

    By which I mean that Firefox < by Live Local on any platform of course :)

  25. Les Says:

    I tried the User Agent Switcher and it kept me at the usual page but I didn’t get any of the maps loaded up. It would just sit with a window that says “loading” on it. I wait for about 5 mins and got nothing. Looks like I’ll just be using the non-RPM version till they get this working with an RPM build.

  26. Art Says:

    I’m using FF 0.8:

    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.6) Gecko/20040206 Firefox/0.8

    I could access it before just fine. Now I get the the simple page with two input fields, enter an address on the bottom one , click go and get en error that I need to fill in the blank.

    I really don’t want to upgrade FF. So, what agent string are you FF folks using that works? I am hesitant to cahnge mine as it introduces problems with some banking sites.

    BTW, using IE 5.5 faked to 6.5 also displays the same symptom. Again, this worked just fine while in beta.

  27. Andy Says:

    I don’t imagine it’s just a case of faking the version - it’s quite likely they’re using functionality that won’t be available in an older version of FF.

    Why not install the latest version of FF in a different place to the old version?

  28. Andrew Benham Says:

    I’ve just sorted the problem with Firefox 1.5.0.7-1.fc5 from the vendor’s RPM on Fedora Core 5.

    Install the User Agent Switcher extension as described previously.

    Create a new User Agent in the ‘Options, Options’ - I’ve called mine “Non-Fedora Firefox”.

    Copy all the fields from the Default User Agent into this new one. You’ll have to do this one field at a time, or copy and paste into a separate temporary window.

    Now, in the new User Agent:

    1/. Blank the “Vendor” and “Vendor Sub” fields.

    2/. In the “User Agent” field, remove “Fedora/1.5.0.7-1.fc5″ (or whatever version is there) and the “pango-text” strings.

    Switch over to this User Agent, and local.live.com works just fine.

    I don’t know which part of the original User Agent string is causing the problem, that could be the next thing to try.

  29. doug r Says:

    When I use Firefox, I get the map page just fine-but when I use Opera, I just get the intl page with the two boxes

  30. doug r Says:

    I’m running FC3, Firefox 1.5.0.7 and Opera 9.02, BTW

  31. Andrew Benham Says:

    For Firefox on Fedora, it’s the “Fedora/1.5.0.7-1.fc5″ in the User Agent string that breaks local.live.com

    It’s nothing to do with the trailing “pango-text” in the string.

    Helps explain why Firefox from a Fedora Core RPM doesn’t work - not sure wht Fedora want to put their details in the User Agent ?

  32. Tyrone B Says:

    I’m on both Firefox 2.0 RC2 and Bon Echo (Build 2006101403) and I get redirected to intl.local.live.com but If I use Internet Explorer 7, it works perfectly.

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