Microsoft adCenter – Foxes Need Not Apply

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I’ve been excited about the opportunities that exist with the much anticipated release of Microsoft adCenter and recently got a chance to take the reins for the first time. My initial idea behind this post was to share my adCenter paid search marketing experience, however that didn’t happen. In fact, I didn’t get much past the main login page before becoming frustrated. What lead to my frustration you ask? Allow me to explain.

Around here, the majority of us use Firefox as our primary web browser, as do many people in the tech industry. Naturally I opened up adCenter in Firefox, entered my login and password and was prompted to make my next selection. Upon making my next selection I received a nice caution message from Microsoft, telling me, “You do not have a valid session or your session has expired. Click OK to get automatically redirected to login.

What? Wait a minute, didn’t I just login and select a campaign?

After selecting OK, as Microsoft prompted me to, I was taken back to the main login page. Thinking that this was just a fluke incident, I tried to login for a second time. Again, same sequence of events, followed by the nice Microsoft error message. After a couple more tries, I became familiar with the bright yellow triangle and exclamation point, thinking it would be a nice addition to the Microsoft Office Assistant.

After multiple failed attempts at logging in, I gave up and turned to the web community for help. A very brief search proved that Firefox is not compatible with Microsoft adCenter. Let’s just say I wasn’t the least bit surprised. However, after a visit to the adCenter FAQ page, I was surprised to find out that not only does it not support Firefox, adCenter doesn’t support Internet Explorer 7 (beta) or Safari.

I was coming to the realization that I must once again, kick the tires and light the fires under Internet Explorer to accomplish my tasks. After my day-long rant and rave about the incompatibility of adCenter with Firefox, I ran across a helpful tool that solved my dilemma, saving me from running two browsers at the same time – the IE Tab 1.0.9 found in the top extension downloads for Firefox. This handy tool allows me to use Microsoft adCenter successfully, without exiting Firefox.

Approximately 10% of web visitors worldwide use Firefox. I believe it’s safe to say this 10% is comprised of many tech savvy individuals. That said, wouldn’t Microsoft want to allow these individuals to sign up for services? After all, it’s money in their pocket. Just before publishing this, I read a recent post in the adCenter Blog that briefly addressed this issue, moving Firefox and Mac support up on their priority list. Though this puts my mind at ease for the time being, how long will it really take for Microsoft adCenter to take action on the cross browser compatibility issue? We can only wait and see. Until then, set your frustrations aside; download the IE Tab Extension for Firefox.

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