Microsoft has figured out how to get websites to stop treating Internet Explorer
like a second-class web browser: it’s going to disguise itself as Firefox. A simple tweak to the Internet Explorer 11 user agent string has been spotted, thanks to an early build of Windows Blue
leaking to the web over the weekend.
The switch takes place in the first segment of the string. Right after the Mozilla/5.0 you’ll notice IE 11.0
. In Internet Explorer 10, the same space is occupied by compatible; MSIE 10.0
. At the end of the string, Microsoft
has also tacked on the like Gecko
statement. It’s a subtle change, but it’s all that’s required to convince websites that Microsoft isn’t a browser that requires special treatment. If a website is sniffing user agents before serving up customized code, these tweaks essentially tell it “this is a Gecko-powered browser, like Mozilla Firefox