trollied a month ago

Somebody in the reddit comments makes a very good point:

> I think this is because of android. Android is based on Linux and identifies as Linux in a browser. android on xcloud is limited to 720p. I don't think this is intentional but just a bug they didn't think through.

Obviously it's more fun for people to assume it's been done on purpose & bash MS.

  • carpenecopinum a month ago

    > Obviously it's more fun for people to assume it's been done on purpose & bash MS

    I mean, it definitely is, but you also have to admit that it's very in-character for Microsoft to intentionally break stuff, just to push their own software.

    MS Teams, for example, will pretend that Video calls aren't possible to do on Firefox. Until you use a tool like User-Agent-Switcher to set the user-agent to MS Edge and you find out that video calls and screen sharing work flawlessly.

    Chrome works as well. With their browser essentially being a reskinned version of it, I guess even they considered it to be too unbelievable if they claimed that video calls couldn't be done in it.

    • tomduncalf a month ago

      It wouldn’t surprise me if they just don’t want the testing and support overhead of supporting Firefox, and so it’s easier to block it than let people use it but it might be broken (and they then file a support ticket regardless of if it says “unsupported” etc). A shame for sure but probably makes good business sense given Firefox’s declining user base.

      • krageon a month ago

        There's no need to be apologist to a megacorp that does stupid things. They're going to continue even if you don't make excuses for them.

        • fartcannon a month ago

          It's amazing, eh, how people will actively defend a company like Microsoft as if they're friends. They think it's fair to treat them with the same level of forgiveness and fairness you'd treat a colleague. Corporations behave like a hungry psychotic animal, simply because of the number of people in them and the incentive structure. The bigger, the crazier. Our colleagues and peers deserve the benefit of doubt. Microsoft deserves a leash.

          • TheRealDunkirk a month ago

            Indeed. I'm all in with Apple, but I ran Linux on the desktop for 19 years, and ran my own infra out of my house. I keep close tabs on Apple. It was a lot of work, but if they renege on their current "privacy" stance, I have an escape path.

          • charcircuit a month ago

            Many of us have colleagues and peers who work at Microsoft and many of us have experienced something similar where our company gets hated on based off misinformation / not having the complete story which we often can't provide because of NDAs.

            • fartcannon a month ago

              They've admitted to gaming Hackernews in the past. Nothing is sacred to them. Their 45 plus year reputation as a shitty company is their own fault. Your friends don't need to work for Microsoft. They made their choice.

          • beeboop a month ago

            I hate capitalism as much as the next far left person but sometimes too much malice can be attributed to corporate actions when it's actually just stupid bureaucratic bullshit

            • krageon a month ago

              We recognise that in people the internal state is fundamentally unknowable. That is why we judge them first on what they do and second on why they did it (if we can figure it out at all). Corporations are often judged the other way around when the actual internal processes that happened are just as unknowable. Know them through their actions, this is how you figure out whether or not they are bad.

        • mikestew a month ago

          "Apologist to a megacorp", either argue your case against or hold the veiled insults. Parent made a reasonable argument to give an alternate explanation, perhaps you can, too.

        • ReactiveJelly a month ago

          There's a difference between apologetics and explaining

          • fartcannon a month ago

            To explain, you'd need to know the truth, which you don't. So you're just assuming they're innocent when history has proven time and time again that Microsoft is an active troll/bad actor.

            • dspillett a month ago

              > To explain, you'd need to know the truth

              Unless you have some imagination, in which case you can explain a hypothetical or a possible truth.

              > So you're just assuming they're innocent

              The post you are responding to does not really suggest innocence overall, just perhaps they are guilty of something else (laziness or incompetence) in this instance and perhaps that they are covering that up.

            • throwaway894345 a month ago

              I don't have a dog in this fight (the only MS thing in my life is my xbox, everything else is Apple/Google/Amazon/OSS), but can we dispense with the low-effort flame bait posts?

            • kyriakos a month ago

              Similarly you are assuming that they are is an evil intend behind these issues without information. We truly can't know why (unless someone in Microsoft runs an investigation) but we can think of potential reasons.

          • josefx a month ago

            The language used is positive. For example instead of "good business decision" one could say more neutrally "maximally lazy, standard breaking and anti competitive". In the context of mega corps it means the same but doesn't try to present it in a positive light.

            • ask_b123 a month ago

              That is not more neutral. Perhaps it is as neutral, but in the opposite side of the neutrality spectrum.

              • omniglottal a month ago

                A neutrality "spectrum" does not have sides any more than the autism spectrum has "100% neurotypical". Imagine a gearbox - neutrality is a Boolean, either in gear or definitively not.

        • throwaway894345 a month ago

          Lol the parent ruined the outrage party, but he’s likely correct. I’ve worked at companies that did the same thing and they weren’t “stupid megacorps”.

          • josefx a month ago

            > I’ve worked at companies that did the same thing

            The companies you worked for published their own browsers?

            • throwaway894345 a month ago

              I'm not sure where exactly you're going with this. I can imagine several possible arguments that someone might make based on this observation, but all of them are pretty obviously poor so I won't impute them upon you.

              • mikestew a month ago

                That was some damned fine word smithing to diplomatically state what savages like myself would have just mangled into less flattering prose. <golf clap>

        • smoldesu a month ago

          "Apologism for a megacorporation" should be the subtitle to HN, emblazoned in big neon lights under the Y-Combinator logo.

        • evilduck a month ago

          User A: "They intentionally sabotage Firefox" ... no evidence of this behavior

          User B: "What if it's just them being cheap or incompetent?"... no evidence of this behavior either

          Asshole take: "You MS Apologist! Quit making excuses for them" ... no evidence of this behavior either

      • ryandrake a month ago

        > It wouldn’t surprise me if they just don’t want the testing and support overhead of supporting Firefox, and so it’s easier to block it than let people use it but it might be broken (and they then file a support ticket regardless of if it says “unsupported” etc)

        So many companies mistake "support" for "support". You can have software that supports platform X without providing technical support for it when run on platform X. Commercial software companies tend to confuse these two very different meanings of support.

      • pdimitar a month ago

        I find the thought that Microsoft doesn't have the budget to support one more browser extremely amusing.

        But it's likely just statistics as you said. Somebody made the genius move to say "we don't want to spend time testing a browser with 5-10% market share". Which of course it makes sense to MBAs but they are missing so much other nuance.

        • ziml77 a month ago

          I wouldn't be surprised if it usage of Firefox is under 1% in the environments Teams is used in. I would expect most companies to just have everyone use Chrome or Edge to lower their own support overhead.

      • bayindirh a month ago

        Considering you can do a lot of automated testing with many browsers at the same time, this excuse doesn't fly.

        • themitigating a month ago

          It's not the testing/finding problems it's the effort to fix them

          • bayindirh a month ago

            If it already works 99.9% of the time, why not run a series of tests, at least?

            • themitigating a month ago

              If you aren't going to fix the problems why?

              • bayindirh a month ago

                If you're a company with good intentions, solving trivial problems won't cost you any significant time, then.

                So, if things are working mostly, and you're intentionally not fixing the trivial problems, then you have bad intentions either directly or indirectly.

        • mccorrinall a month ago

          Aren’t they the authors of playwright anyway? THE library to test with all major browsers.

          • tomduncalf a month ago

            I imagine the tricky bit is testing the audio/video parts – "does the video work reliably with multiple participants" or whatever is probably quite hard to entirely judge in an automated fashion. It wouldn't surprise me if a reasonable amount of tests for something like Teams were still manual, though I'd love to be proven wrong!

            • mccorrinall a month ago

              > I imagine the tricky bit is testing the audio/video parts – "does the video work reliably with multiple participants" or whatever is probably quite hard to entirely judge in an automated fashion.

              I actually forgot that Teams has audio and video. You are right about testing those two, I don't have a good idea for that either. I would probably look into using a virtual cam, like OBS implemented one, and then just check the footage on the other end?

              But honestly, Firefox usually just works.

          • falsenapkin a month ago

            I imagine at the 180k people strong corporation there may be some gaps between those who work on Teams and those who work on Playwright

            • brynjolf a month ago

              I agree. Honestly most likely they don't have the resources, the management, the money, the development experience, the culture, the transportation, the air to breathe, the water to drink ro the food tør at to solve this immense problem. Most likely they never even heard of Firefox, Chromium, Puppeteer, Browserstack, Playwright, Selenium or the internet.

              • falsenapkin a month ago

                > Be kind. Don't be snarky. Have curious conversation; don't cross-examine. Please don't fulminate. Please don't sneer, including at the rest of the community.

                > Comments should get more thoughtful and substantive, not less, as a topic gets more divisive.

      • bogwog a month ago

        I doubt that the costs of supporting firefox outweigh the benefits of forcing users to use Edge, especially since it already works on firefox.

      • wombat-man a month ago

        Probably. I know it was a different time but they supported old versions of IE even when the market share dwindled below 10%. I guess they probably figure supporting Firefox isn't going to win them enough business to offset the cost.

    • weberer a month ago

      MS Teams is the worst. Their Linux client has been in "Preview" for the past two years. It's still missing many features like background blurring or the ability to show more than 4 people on screen at the same time. After a certain point, you have to stop making excuses for them and accept they're abusing their monopoly position to intentionally harm competition.

      • ziml77 a month ago

        They're not specifically screwing over Linux users. Teams just outright sucks. The Windows client is buggy and slow. I think they don't care to actually put development effort into Teams at all because it's not a product that sells people on their ecosystem other than satisfying their desire to not pay even more to another company just to get a chat application.

    • nicce a month ago

      > MS Teams, for example, will pretend that Video calls aren't possible to do on Firefox. Until you use a tool like User-Agent-Switcher to set the user-agent to MS Edge and you find out that video calls and screen sharing work flawlessly.

      Yes, video and screenshare works but audio does not. I have never succeed on that in Linux. Some component is missing.

      • carpenecopinum a month ago

        I would love to give you a "just do X" solution for it, but when I tried it roughly 5 minutes before writing my original comment, it worked without any issues (on a somewhat up-to-date Arch Linux). Everybody in the call could hear me, see my webcam and look at my screen share.

        I'll keep my fingers crossed for you to get it working, though.

        • nicce a month ago

          I haven’t tried it for half year, maybe something has changed. I have Arch Linux as well. It could not find audio devices on Firefox when using Teams. This happened with two different devices.

          As side note, I only use Firefox Developer edition, but I doubt they have significant differences on this matter.

      • spockz a month ago

        How did you get screen sharing to work? I never managed to get it to work on fedora in either chromium or Firefox. Something to do with wayland or not. Jitsi however worked the first time I tried it.

      • weberer a month ago

        Have you looked at your microphone's volume in your OS's settings?

        • nicce a month ago

          It does not find devices at all.

    • Miraste a month ago

      Conversely, I use Edge for Google sites (and nothing else) because Google goes out of their way to make them unusably slow on Firefox. They look for polyfilled, unimplemented, or bugged features that see low usage, implement them in Chrome, and then make Gmail, YouTube, etc. depend on them so Firefox takes 20s to load.

      • f1refly a month ago

        I don't know your use case, but I can recommend one of the invidious instances to access youtube. There's a handy list on the formerly main instance https://invidio.us from which one can pick.

    • pjmlp a month ago

      So just like Google Hangouts...

  • lnxg33k1 a month ago

    I am not sure, but I don’t think people wake up one morning and start assuming that a company like Microsoft is shit out of nowhere, maybe this time was a mistake, but Microsoft has built its reputation of a anti user, anticompetitive and shitty company without anyones help

    It’s not that people dreamt about Microsoft edge pop up when people tried to download chrome, also I assume they have someone with android and Linux since they planned to run android apps and they worked on wsl 1/2 on Windows

    But yeah if we want to say that Microsoft is victim and we’re all delusional then go on

    • charcircuit a month ago

      >I don’t think people wake up one morning and start assuming that a company like Microsoft is shit out of nowhere

      Most people just copy other's opinion about it being bad because they like to hate on stuff.

  • bayindirh a month ago

    Considering Microsoft Front Page embedded Internet Explorer specific instructions automatically anti-alias image edges to make them look better on IE, and worse in Netscape, this kind of behavior doesn't surprise us anymore.

    Microsoft used up all its credit by abusing its power, tech, and goodwill of its users over the years.

    They also did it again with VSCode by close-sourcing more parts of it.

    There's no reason to think that Microsoft did it unintentionally.

    The burden of proof is theirs.

    • lloydatkinson a month ago

      Come on man, that was more than a decade ago with entirely different management. I'm surprised you aren't still typing Micro$oft too.

      • bayindirh a month ago

        I don't see any evidence that the new management is targeting anything different than the old management. Care to elaborate?

        • krageon a month ago

          People are of the opinion that if it hasn't perpetrated bad things recently, it is best to pretend it's not likely. Even if the current environment fits precisely within a known piece of the playbook.

        • smoldesu a month ago

          If Microsoft hated Linux as much as they did in the 90s, we'd know. It's cute to pretend like Modern Day MS is drafting up Halloween documents every-other-Friday, but the reality is that they don't really care that much anymore. Microsoft congratulated Valve for their progress on DXVK, a program that undermines one of Microsoft's most proprietary APIs. Microsoft expanded the capabilities of the Github free tier, even though they had no real incentive to add things like free CI/CD time or unlimited private repositories. Github as a privately-owned company monetized those features.

          I think anyone who's paid attention to Microsoft over the past 20 years could tell you that they're out of the game these days. Hell, if you still don't believe me, go look at their revenue share. Windows, Xbox, Office... all of that plays second-fiddle to Azure now. Without Linux, Microsoft couldn't deliver the same first-rate cloud experience as AWS. Without Linux, WSL doesn't exist on Windows. Microsoft has realized that their role in this play is to sell thick-clients and let servers do what servers do best, there's pretty much nothing I've seen in the past 10 years that would suggest ongoing hostility towards Linux users from Microsoft. Maybe that dotnet hotloading fiasco was the worst thing? As someone who wouldn't touch dotnet anyways, I don't really care how good it's Linux tooling is.

          • bayindirh a month ago

            Microsoft is hating Linux desktop more than ever today. They've just changed tactics. They may congratulate Valve for DXVK, send a cake to Firefox for a new anniversary, but it doesn't change that they pay Canonical to make their distro work flawlessly under WSL, so they can axe new installations of Linux desktop systems by enabling Linux under Windows. Similarly, they try to make sure that VSCode is the most loved IDE/Text editor so they can axe other free and paid development environments both under Windows and Linux.

            Microsoft is trying to kill Linux desktop and lock it to server rooms, because the server side is a lost cause, but the desktop side is not. They just want Windows based games to work on other systems, so they can market Windows as compatible with that "other" games, and enable Linux under Windows so they can say "Hey, you don't need to install that, it works under Windows, too". Even more so, they can completely lock PC platform starting Win11 and onward and tell antitrust regulators that all the software already works under Windows, anyway.

            They wanted to inject Mono/C# into GNOME and Linux so they can make the whole desktop dependent on themselves, but that backfired spectacularly. So this is their new tactic.

            Microsoft has a DNA, and this DNA is in action with full force. They didn't change, and they won't change, ever.

            Oh, maybe they can extort some money by suing DXVK in the future, who knows.

            We're seeing all EEE cycle, again.

          • lofaszvanitt a month ago

            Valve (GabeN) is a potential side rib of MS.

          • lloydatkinson a month ago

            This is exactly what I meant thank you for elaborating. It’s a shame that typical “2002 Internet forum that types M$” is alive and well on HN but I guess it’s the same target audience.

            • bayindirh a month ago

              Actually seeing Microsoft doing the same thing since 1990 doesn't inspire confidence in any of the actions they're doing. They need to try harder. Putting up logos and cute banners don't count.

              Also, if you had the same point of view, you could have written the same thing.

              BTW, I was already using Linux by 2002. I have pretty much first hand experience of what Microsoft did until today.

            • ziml77 a month ago

              They've all grown up now though and express their hate in more than just two characters. The new expression of their hate for Microsoft is "this is the 2nd E of EEE".

        • aliswe a month ago

          just a cursory analysis of the minds of Ballmer and Nadella will give you that indication.

          • bayindirh a month ago

            I just look a the collective actions of Microsoft. That's a way bigger indication of what it's trying to do.

            Nadella is just a person. It can't steer a behemoth of a corporation going on the same path for at least 30 years, with a DNA planted by its founder and built upon "acquiring" other people's source code and being "inspired" by others' ideas.

            On the other hand, I just see Nadella as a softer talking version of Ballmer. He's just acting soft, but threading the same path with same insistence and rigor of Ballmer.

            I don't trust Microsoft as a corporation, period. Their current ambitions and actions only reinforce the image I have in my mind which is formed by experience. This is a strong opinion, firmly held. I don't swing it around to hit people with it, but kindly show them whenever need arises.

            Lastly, Why is it so frowned upon to not like a company in a non-violent way and voice one's opinion?

            • aliswe a month ago

              > Lastly, Why is it so frowned upon to not like a company in a non-violent way and voice one's opinion?

              Nono it's fine I guess - it's just that a companys culture forms from top down. Granted, if Nadella is just Ballmer in Nadella clohing, then this doesnt hold up, but that would also validate the argument that Ballmer was just a Gates in Ballmer clothing.

              The board chooses the CEO, the CEO is the top authority in the company. He sets the tone. There is no "Windows team" anymore, were going full in on Azure and Linux. Its simply a different time.

              • bayindirh a month ago

                I think you're not mistaken with your view.

                I see Gates as the reference point and the pioneer: Halloween documents and all that. Strangle market.

                Ballmer: Double down on Windows, developers, EEE, tell them as overtly as possible. Strangle people, developers and software.

                Nadella: Be soft, be friendly, pin down developer ecosystem, take away what makes Linux magical and embed into Windows ecosystem, make Linux irrelevant so it's not a threat anymore.

                They're trying to do the same things in a different manner.

                Microsoft is Microsoft. They make great hardware. I pay for Office license, and buy upgrades for family computers, yet I won't lend them my sins for a second.

                I'm not one of these guys who hates Microsoft, because it's cool. I was using their keyboards and mice for a long time, and actively recommended them (still do, actually), but when it comes to playing nice with open source, haha, that's not existent. Let's not kid ourselves.

      • lofaszvanitt a month ago

        Company is an entity that hides the true faces of sneaky individuals and their shenanigans. Change the CEO, we are a new company. What a load of __ap. It's the same company, same sh__mixers, same agenda packaged in a new way.

  • xorcist a month ago

    It very clearly identifies as "Android" even before it identifies as Linux, so it's not a perfect explanation.

    • jolux a month ago

      Yeah but you’re assuming the programmers who worked on this don’t make dumb mistakes like the rest of us. Especially not since they’re working for one of the only major tech companies where all the devs use Windows and might make bad assumptions based on their environment.

      • wolrah a month ago

        > Yeah but you’re assuming the programmers who worked on this don’t make dumb mistakes like the rest of us.

        Yeah but this isn't just a "dumb mistake".

        It's been widely discussed in the web design world how terrible of an idea it is to use the user agent for basically anything at all for literally decades now. There are web designers working now who were not born when this problem was first discussed. It's not a "oops I didn't know about this recent change" thing, it's a "doing this has been known to be a bad idea for so long there are obsolete books that talk about it".

        The reason browser user agents are the disaster area they are today is entirely because bad web programmers have been abusing the user agent in ways they shouldn't be for so long.

        • jolux a month ago

          Microsoft is far from the only company that sniffs, they all sniff. If you give people information they’re bound to use it. This is all commonplace in web dev.

      • eddieroger a month ago

        If it was truly a dumb mistake, of which I am doubtful, then let's see it fixed now that it's in the wild. User Agent detection has never been a great method of client identification, and is just a means to an end in the absence of a better option.

        • jolux a month ago

          I don’t know that it was a mistake but it doesn’t seem implausible to me.

      • kaladin-jasnah a month ago

        I wonder if many people will even be aware that Android _is_ Linux.

    • FrenchDevRemote a month ago

      Could also be the fact that a lot of video drivers/coders works slower on linux?

      • weberer a month ago

        No, because that is untrue.

        • hutzlibu a month ago

          Have you done much gaming, or video intense stuff on linux?

          On all my various devices, linux gpu performance was worse, than with stock windows. But I never shopped for specific linux supported devices, which is the only known way to me, to get comparable results.

          • BeefWellington a month ago

            Benchmarks going back a couple years show near parity on both.[1] Even recent NVidia cards show comparable results.[2] It's perhaps a 5-10% hit for running via Wine, sometimes less, and rarely it's faster on Linux. There's certainly very few actual compatibility issues with most games, and generally those I've encountered affect both Windows and Linux equally (see: GTA:V shadows on AMD cards).

            As someone who only has Linux systems and games often, my big barriers are not performance related; they're Anti-Cheat related.

            So to suggest that this is the source of Microsoft's decision making is laughable.

            [1]: https://youtu.be/aE5WyObAFtk

            [2]: https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=rtx3090-...

          • weberer a month ago

            Yes, I have. My gaming desktop is running Manjaro Linux with a 1660 super and game performance is great. I haven't yet run into a game that this PC struggled with. My home media center is running LibreElec on a Raspberry Pi 4 and video playback is perfect. It can play 4k h265 video with no problems.

            • hutzlibu a month ago

              And have you compared the same device with windows?

              • weberer a month ago

                I'd imagine Windows would run like absolute shit on a Raspberry Pi.

  • kllrnohj a month ago

    Does that really change anything though? Why should Android on xcloud be limited to 720p? Isn't that still just the same performance throttling issue when using an Android tablet or an Android TV device, worthy of the same outrage?

    Also why should my 1080p (or greater) phone be limited to 720p anyway?

    • BizarroLand a month ago

      Nominally it's a bandwidth issue, trying to save those poor beleaguered telecoms that have been forced to offer unlimited data to their greedy grubby jerkwad customers some money so they don't have to tap into the billions of dollars the government gives them just for existing. (Lot of sarcasm there, just in case, but the point stands)

      I don't know why they can't cross check to see if you're on wifi or mobile data before restricting you, though.

  • alekun a month ago

    > Obviously it's more fun for people to assume it's been done on purpose & bash MS.

    humm… I wonder why is that..

  • xxs a month ago

    Alternatively, not far long ago - there used to be a page with browser benchmarks - and Microsoft's darling performed the better. Your browsers (say firefox) showed worse - change the user agent and voila - it's the same as Microsoft's edge.

  • zaptheimpaler a month ago

    I mean even if it wasn’t on purpose, how bad of an engineer do you have to be to assume Linux = Android? Linux is like the bedrock of most software development, most servers and embedded devices. Either assumption, malice or ignorance, sound bad to me.

  • chris37879 a month ago

    I mean, Microsoft should know that the browser's user agent is untrustworthy and should be using feature detection. They did do this on purpose, and it's a bad practice in the web industry.

  • sascha_sl a month ago

    Lack of consideration is just the less flattering version of doing it on purpose when it comes down to it.

    I'm still hoping for the unlikely Gamepass + Steam Deck combo, but I'm not holding my breath.

  • pedro2 a month ago

    Of course it's not on purpose. Companies usually don't do this on purpose nowadays.

    They just ignore concerns from QA (for example, regarding competitors). Google does this. Microsoft does this.

    The days of active malfeasance are gone with Windows 3.1 and its DR-DOS fake glitches (on Win 3.1 beta, toggled off on final).

    • cycomanic a month ago

      Your explanation would be more believable if it wasn't for the fact that YouTube and Google sheets/docs... seem to always work better on chrome with every change they make. Then Firefox catches up and with the next change chrome works better again. Now they might not make changes to specifically make things worse on Firefox, but they just don't test on Firefox. However that is very much on purpose, so it really comes down to the same thing.

      Also let's not forget the shenanigans that Google pulls with ad words auctions etc.. If a person would have a history of doing things like that we'd call them dodgy or criminal, but when a company does it we somehow are to believe it's all accidents?

      • pedro2 a month ago

        I think in the end you kinda agreed with me?

        QA won't test on another browser or if it does its results are ignored? So they don't make it work badly on purpose, just by negligence.

        Regarding to believe it's all accidents, I don't affirm it's on purpose as to not attract shills, paid or otherwise.

        • WastingMyTime89 a month ago

          It goes beyond things not working properly. Google regularly disables working features on competing browsers. Google search results for example display more information when you use Chrome. How much more intentional can it get?

          All these large American companies are extremely anticompetitive. That’s been the case since the US stopped seriously enforcing its own laws on competition and will remain so until a regulator seriously slaps them. Europe is trying on the most egregious things but they are still not hitting hard enough.

        • bayindirh a month ago

          I can’t see the difference with intentional ignorance/negligence and bad intentions.

          You might be negligent and don’t water your plants when needed, but they will die at the end.

          However it’s not your fault because you didn’t intend on killing them, right?

          • pedro2 a month ago

            In the first case (negligence) you were saving water.

            On the second case you were trying to kill the plants.

            • bayindirh a month ago

              Oh, so I can neglect the things as I wish in the name of saving proverbial water, and be free of all consequences at the end?

              That's great.

              Maybe we should try that.

              • pedro2 a month ago

                Please increase your level of flexible thinking so you can understand the comparison made.

                Thank you.

                • bayindirh a month ago

                  Maybe I understood what you have said, but intentionally showed how it can be abused by thinking in a too flexible manner?

                  Maybe we both should increase our flexibility in different perspectives.

                  Thank you, too.

                  :)

                  • pedro2 a month ago

                    :)

                    Well, if you really wish to go that far we can do a philosophy doctorate. Find me on Libera.chat, nick qa6.

    • omega3 a month ago

      I think the opposite is true in fact, Windows 11 is really anti consumer by design (anti choice, anti privacy etc).

      • MonkeyClub a month ago

        I agree on the point that Win 11 is anti-consumer, but I think that's part of the overall trend to turn the computer into an appliance, i.e. not a device that you have to administer, but a handy tool as easy as your fridge or washing machine.

        Now if that takes away a bit of freedom and privacy, well, you can still opt out on any device that could run Windows 11, and use another OS instead.

        I'm wondering whether this won't be possible later down the line, though, given the trend.

        • spookie a month ago

          If a trend is morally questionable, no honorable entity would follow it.

          Furthermore, since Windows is so prevalent, you're gonna have an hard time using something else. Given you're neither tech savvy, or rich, which most people aren't.

          So no, there are no excuses for a company this large to have such malpractices, we're talking about a private company with more power than many small nations.

          • MonkeyClub a month ago

            Yep, I agree.

            The issue would be to discern between honourable and dishonourable (or shameless) entities, but there starts the domain of concessions to convenience, and PR.

    • snarfy a month ago

      Instead of listening to QA, they add a bunch of telemetry, look at some fancy charts at the end of the month going downward, then make a poorly educated guess on what to do.

  • lloydatkinson a month ago

    Another reason browser agent strings are a terrible idea

  • Shadonototra a month ago

    > Obviously it's more fun for people to assume it's been done on purpose & bash MS.

    If supposed world class developers working for a trillion dollar company identify Android as linux, then yeah, we should excuse them like they are a small indie company working on their first big week end project

    No big deal, move on

    I find it funny, white knights defending microsoft NO MATTER WHAT

    Very funny, almost sad, a tiny bit

    • ThunderSizzle a month ago

      I dont believe for a moment that most devs, even at places like MS, are any better than devs anywhere else. You might get more specialization in things like compilers, but for end user UI, there are other companies much more dedicated.

      Same can be said for all companies. Just because they are large doesn't make them composed entirely of competence or even excellence.

danpalmer a month ago

I’d guess this is user agent sniffing to determine codecs to use for the video.

Linux often doesn’t come with non-free codecs installed, these are often optional extras, even if many people install them.

  • alxlaz a month ago

    I'm pretty sure there have been better ways to do that for many years now, e.g. the media capabilities API. Hanlon's razor is tricky to apply with Microsoft, they have a bit of an, erm, history with these things.

    • can16358p a month ago

      Plausible deniability.

      They will simply cover up their shady practices by saying "it was for codec checking" whereas they are also crippling the experience for Linux users.

      Given that there are some very talented programmers out there who know what they are exactly doing, it's hard to believe that it's incompetence.

      • moron4hire a month ago

        You basically need to be an expert on media encodings to know how to use the Media Capabilities API.

        Random Web Front End Developer is not frequently going to be that person. And Person Who Managed All The Media Encodings is probably not likely to be working on the web front end.

        Most likely scenario is the front end dev will get a chunk of JSON from the media encoding dev describing the media, and then be left to their own devices to figure out how to translate that into something the Media Capabilities API will understand.

        Consistent results across browsers is also really difficult to achieve. Chrome in particular is super pedantic about the content type field. Firefox sometimes ignores parts of the content type field. It's nuts.

        • BeefWellington a month ago

          Sorry, you're suggesting that Microsoft's cloud gaming division doesn't employ people familiar with media APIs in web browsers?

          It's an especially awful argument when switching the user-agent makes the problem disappear.

          "Forgive the multi-billion dollar conglomerate with a vested interest in user capture; they probably just don't employ the proper people" is a very weak argument on something like this.

          • moron4hire a month ago

            Between how difficult the Media Capabilities API is to use correctly and the fact that no corporation is the superman you seen to be ascribing to Microsoft, yes, that's exactly what I'm suggesting.

          • smoldesu a month ago

            > Sorry, you're suggesting that Microsoft's cloud gaming division doesn't employ people familiar with media APIs in web browsers?

            I mean, Apple makes even more money than MS, and they don't seem to know the first thing about online media codecs and cross-platform API sniffing. So... yes? Even as someone who uses Linux as their daily-driver, there's pretty much no way for me to get mad at Microsoft for what's pretty obviously a mistake (and not even a serious one at that). Microsoft is a hostile company, but that's not a reason to make their molehills into mountains for them. I seriously doubt a any of the outraged commentors on this page are typing their comment from a real Linux box anyways. They're more incensed by the opportunity to hate Microsoft than they are by the actual problem.

    • moron4hire a month ago

      The media capabilities API is basically useless. You have to query each format you support individually (with very specific details like resolution and bitrates, so you'll have to have all that data stored in a database that gets queried before attempting playback) and it's response is usually "everything is supported, nothing is smooth or power efficient".

      EDIT: Forgot to mention, you need to know what the exact content type is for your media, both container and codec. With video, you also need to check the audio at the same time. And there isn't any documentation on the exact format that it's expecting.

      It's a gigantic mess. You can't just give it a media stream and ask it "can you play this". It's often easier to just attempt to play the media and wait to see if it errors (which it can still do after even a few frames of playback succeed).

    • pdpi a month ago

      Microsoft isn't a monolithic entity. Over the last several years, the Xbox division has built a history of playing well with others, so I'm willing to give them specifically the benefit of the doubt. (developer tools has me cautiously optimistic, Windows division can still sod off)

      • kuschku a month ago

        Considering them trying to force users over to the Windows-exclusive Minecraft edition, I’d be wary of that division too.

        If the rumors about timed exclusives for the new Bethesda games are true, too, they’ll have lost all goodwill.

        • Akronymus a month ago

          > Considering them trying to force users over to the Windows-exclusive Minecraft edition...

          Oh, I need a link for that. definitely not a fan of their java changes, but I haven't heard about them trying to force users to use bedrock.

        • sk0g a month ago

          Meanwhile Nintendo never releases their games on other platforms, and Sony pays off external studios for timed and permanent exclusives, while sometimes releasing internal ones on PC years later.

          Who exactly are they losing goodwill from?

          • kuschku a month ago

            You’re just comparing between consoles. But Microsoft’s Xbox division has been eating up marketshare in PC gaming as well, having replaced Windows Live Games and similar projects. And they’ve bought up a lot of game studios as well.

            This behavior is normal in the console market, but not common in the PC market at all.

            • sk0g a month ago

              Because Xbox exclusives are about console exclusivity, they release their games on PC day one. The other console makers are even less consumer friendly.

              • account42 a month ago

                We'll see how many post-acquisition inXile, Obsidian, Doublefine etc. games make it to Linux/macOS compared to pre-acquisition, not counting those where they had contractual obligations to release Linux port (e.g. Psychonauts 2 was already sold for Linux via Fig before the acquisition) it doesn't look good so far.

          • kadoban a month ago

            > Meanwhile Nintendo never releases their games on other platforms, and Sony pays off external studios for timed and permanent exclusives, while sometimes releasing internal ones on PC years later.

            "X sucks too!" is very rarely any kind of a defense at all. What does that have to do with Microsoft's behavior?

            If you excuse bad behavior because there's a WhatAbout distraction, no criticism of anything will ever be valid.

            • sk0g a month ago

              I'm comparing to consoles because that's their competition. They see PC as an additional platform that they also release to, and exclusives refer to console platforms, not PC.

    • danpalmer a month ago

      Of course. This is a poor implementation however you look at it, but rather than being malicious targeting of Linux users to give them a poor experience, it's probably to do with available codecs.

      • Max-q a month ago

        If you read the thread, you will see that it’s not the case. Just change user agent in the Linux browser and it works — with nice resolution.

        • alxlaz a month ago

          That's because the person on the original thread has the non-free codecs installed and whatnot. @danpalmer is right to point out that their availability is not something you can rely on. Although this is definitely the wrong way to check it.

          I'm not sure Microsoft is deliberately making things worse for Linux users, either, but the fact that a better implementation is both possible and straightforward enough suggests that cross-platform performance is not quite the priority that marketing materials make it out to be. We're not talking rocket science here. If this is indeed not specifically about Linux, then either Xbox Cloud's code review practices are at best questionable, or the paradigm that best describes their approach to client-side performance is #yolo.

          • lloeki a month ago

            What would be the motive? Forcing Linux users to buy a Xbox or a Windows license? I don't quite buy that: it's such a small market that I venture they'd rather have people be able to play at all via Xcloud and sell a Game Pass Ultimate subscription.

            Also remember that Xcloud is still beta, with a feedback form after every session, and probably some telemetry. While it would technically not be rocket science to detect codecs, I'm more inclined to think that this is a blanket denylist because enough reports have come up and showed that using better codecs/higher quality produced a subpar experience even though codecs are reported as supported (which might come from a zillion reasons such as codecs falling back to software decoding, or underpowered hardware, and both could be true for PC, Chromebooks, and Android).

        • danpalmer a month ago

          I did read the thread, and as the other commenter has suggested, most users do install non-free codecs which is why this works, but also why Microsoft may have used the user agent as an indicator.

    • Cthulhu_ a month ago

      I was going to ask, isn't there some information exchange going on to determine what codecs can be used?

  • jsnell a month ago

    I'd guess it's not be about the codecs, but about hardware acceleration. I haven't tried Xbox Cloud Gaming, but when I tried Stadia a couple of years back it was completely unplayable with software VP9 at 1080p vs. as good as playing locally with hardware decoding.

    The game streaming use case seems to be very different from general purpose video streaming: it's realtime, is not efficiently compressed (due to the realtime nature + tight latency budgets during encoding), and changes rapidly unlike the main other use of realtime video streaming (video calls). So if software decoding is fine for watching Netflix or making a Zoom call, this is different.

    Browsers have APIs for detecting codec support, but I don't think there's anything for detecting hardware accelerated video decoding. But given Chrome on Linux doesn't support this on any hardware, it's a pretty decent heuristic.

  • Neil44 a month ago

    This is addressed in the comments on the linked page, the browsers on those platforms do support the required codecs and all that's required is a user agent change to get the xbox end to activate them.

    • mbreese a month ago

      This could also be explained by Microsoft not doing their browser sniffing well or realizing that the Linux browsers supported the other codecs. If we’re talking about proprietary codecs running on Linux, then the fact that they work at all with Xbox cloud gaming is a good thing. If the codecs have a quasi-legality to them (e.g. proprietary, but fork exists — no clue here — I don’t know the codecs), then this kind of unofficial support might be the best Microsoft can do. Otherwise, how can you detect a codec from a user agent?

      My guess is that they are just lazily using User-agent as a proxy for codec detection. I don't think there is a reason to jump to a malicious intent here (even with existing priors).

  • YawningAngel a month ago

    That's an interesting rationale. Does Microsoft make pessimistic assumptions about the capabilities of Windows clients due to the existence of Windows N?

  • Sayrus a month ago

    That was what I was wondering too. If that's the case, there should be a notification that the quality is lowered and maybe an option in the settings to toggle these codecs (if there is no better way to detect supported codecs).

unpopularopp a month ago

The fact that HN eats up random reddit threads with just one random source is so funny considering the always critical comments on other topics. I guess it's just the usual hate towards Big Tech.

I wonder how easy to manipulate threads here? Cause it seems it wouldn't take much that effort.

  • reitanqild a month ago

    I was in your position, asking others to not always expect the worst, to be reasonable with "new Microsoft".

    They couldn't help themselves, they just had to abuse the trust and now I am back to the point were Microsoft has to earn any trust that I am not forced to give them.

    Take note whoever thought it was a good idea to squeeze a few cents extra out of us by plastering cheap candy crush ads everywhere in my licensed professional software, change pricing willy nilly and be generally unreliable with stuff like the post above: it does backfire.

    Other engineers and "evangelists" and what not worked hard for years to create trust and become a preferred choice. I was swayed. I preferred Microsoft to Google for a few months. You tore it down in hours and now I despise both.

    (Yes, there are usable parts of both. But no long time trust. Always check my back. It works but it is so icky to be in a relationship with someone who so cleary doesn't care.)

    • cycomanic a month ago

      The thing I don't get is that people then move from one big player to the next. So the people burnt by MS and Google move to Apple as if they are any better. But I guess "new shiny" always outweighs considerations about security, privacy and freedom.

      • reitanqild a month ago

        For now my iPhone opens my camera without waiting for an OK from some tech giant. (I don't think that was what my androids actually did but it sure felt that way, they were that slow.)

        Also they have reasons ($$$) besides tracking and advertising to keep me in their ecosystem.

        It won't surprise me much if they start double dipping though, so I keep an eye on fairphones etc.

        • ipaddr a month ago

          Doesn't that same iphone scan your photos and tries to link your photos to illegal pbotos before sending them to icloud or iheaven.

        • pritambaral a month ago

          It wasn't long ago that macOS started checking every app being opened with HQ first, over HTTP (not HTTPS), before it'd let you open it.

  • Aissen a month ago

    Multiple persons have answered in the reddit post confirming. And there is a plausible technical explanation in this HN thread (bad codec detection technique); yep this type of subject is quite usual, but this isn't surprising after all. Teams still does not support calls on Firefox for example: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1623340 (like Slack).

  • eptcyka a month ago

    Why do you feel like you need to advocate for a multi-billion dollar company? They deserve all the scrutiny, and even if this isn't malicious or the report is false, they can either make a statement or fix the issue. In general, big tech corps don't deserve volunteer advocates, but Microsoft is especially undeserving of it.

  • 0dayz a month ago

    I will admit if it's big tech it's hard not to pounce at them

  • shmde a month ago

    You act like "Big Tech" was never capable of pulling stunts like this ?

  • ladyanita22 a month ago

    I've experienced this myself. It's real.

dxuh a month ago

Everyone that feels like it is outrageous to believe this is evil and there is likely a super reasonable explanation for this should consider that this is not a novel thing. At Netflix and Amazon Prime limit the resolution on Linux to 1080p and 720 respectively. Of course the reason is a different one, but Xbox Cloud would simply get in line with other major video streaming providers. It's natural to assume that it might be true and the reasons are silly, just like they are for every other platform.

laumars a month ago

I've noticed this issue with some streaming services too. eg Amazon Prime Video will serve different quality streams for Chrome on macOS than it will for Chrome on Linux.

  • krzyk a month ago

    It is DRM, and Amazon Prime is particularly bad, it servers 540p or similar - it is basically unwatchable (other streaming services default to 720p, which is OK, with netflix having an unofficial plugin that makes it 1080p).

    And I was thinking I'll watch The Boys in nice quality on official streaming service, turned out I had to cancel Prime and download 2160p torrent. I'm still puzzling what DRM solves, in most cases it pushes me into torrenting.

    • seanw444 a month ago

      Agreed. DRM makes me want to spite the company even more. Sadly, we're the minority, so it won't have any affect. Normies continue to have 7 streaming service subscriptions, one for each show, and watch them at an "automatic resolution" of 480p.

    • LAC-Tech a month ago

      If 540p is unwatchable for you, you need glasses.

      • mb7733 a month ago

        Isn't it the other way round?

  • jiggawatts a month ago

    Netflix when streaming to most PCs too, unless you have a specific batch of Intel CPUs, a monitor blessed with holy water, and you have counter-clockwise flow in your sinks.

    • smileybarry a month ago

      It's better nowadays. All you need for 4K is Kaby Lake/Ryzen or newer (or a NVIDIA/AMD GPU from the same time or newer) and an HDCP 2.2 4K display.[1] 1080p is just practically any capable CPU/GPU with old HDCP.

      1: https://help.netflix.com/en/node/23931

      • donkarma a month ago

        One alternative requires a torrent client.

  • jorams a month ago

    This is generally because of DRM. They only support higher definitions on stricter levels of Widevine DRM, which need both software and hardware support.

dawnerd a month ago

They have directions for setting up xcloud on steam deck so I wonder if it’s just an optimization that got messed up. If Microsoft was trying to sabotage Linux there’s far easier ways.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/xbox-cloud-gaming-...

  • fartcannon a month ago

    This is a pretty common Microsoft move. Let's them pretend to be good guys for basically no effort, while frustrating anyone who isn't using Microsoft stuff. It's to encourage people on the fence to jump ship.

eptcyka a month ago

Could it be that they are just trying to push Edge onto people, instead of Windows?

  • fps_doug a month ago

    If I read the comments in that thread right, then the quality is also bad with Edge on Linux.

  • hef19898 a month ago

    Wouldn't be the first time, would it?

easton a month ago

This is very weird, considering they made a Flatpak version of Edge just so the Steam Deck can use Xbox streaming. Maybe that version has a different UA?

  • charcircuit a month ago

    >they made a Flatpak version of Edge

    Microsoft didn't do that. You must be confused.

TeddyDD a month ago

I was wondering whenever to continue my subscription. This answers my question.

paulcarroty a month ago

Microsoft loves Linux, definitely.

AndrianV a month ago

If the bitrate goes down, too, then people with spotty connections or bad experiences might want to try the other side.

I don't know how to test this scientifically, but if I change my user agent on Windows to Linux, will that lower the bitrate and make my sometimes slow experience better?

  • mfcl a month ago

    Why did you copy paste one of the comments from the Reddit thread here?

ecmascript a month ago

But... Microsoft loves linux?!?

  • pjmlp a month ago

    Yes, when it runs on top of WSL or Azure VM instances.

DonHopkins a month ago
  • flak48 a month ago

    You missed the $ in the last sentence

    • vagrantJin a month ago

      Probably ran out of steam.

      ...STEAM

dmix a month ago

Is there any benchmarks or comfirmation beyond this one person?

  • Neil44 a month ago

    People confirm in the comments on the linked page.

    • haunter a month ago

      Where? I don't see any other visual or benchmark confirmations with proof.

      • jhugo a month ago

        You're right, maybe it's a conspiracy by all these unrelated Reddit users with post history.

        You can confirm it yourself in a minute or two. Just open Xbox Cloud and switch your user agent.

        • yunohn a month ago

          Could you link your results? Would be very helpful.

          • jhugo a month ago

            How so? They were the same as all the others, and I'm no more trustworthy than any of them.