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Why do malformed links in Firefox go to Microsoft.com?

June 09, 2005 at 11:23 PM
Firefox... http... Microsoft

I've wondered this for a while, but why do the miswritten links in Firefox such as http://http://www.brianbehrend.com/ automatically redirect to Microsoft.com? It doesn't even do that in Internet Explorer so it doesn't make much sense that it should happen in other browsers. The links are not valid URI's and therefore should just return a Page Not Found error, but instead they redirect.

If you're a Firefox user, click here to try for yourself.

Well it looks like it's due to a Firefox feature that automatically does a Google I'm Feeling Lucky search when you enter search terms in the address field. It does a search on the terms and takes you directly to the number one result. Since http://http:// links are not valid addresses, Firefox assumes you've entered keywords and would like to do a search. Guess who is the number one result on Google for http?

The feature is really handy most of the time. I often enter things such as amazon pitch black to go straight to a particular item on Amazon.com. Turns out this time, it's doing the last thing Firefox's developers and users would probably want: sending innocent web surfers right into Microsoft's clutches.

(via O'Reilly via A Whole Lotta Nothing)

Posted in Web/Tech | 1 Comments | Add yours

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1 action said...

What Microsoft really needs to do is forward it directly to their IE page, especially when IE7 comes out. That would be funny.

Posted on June 10, 2005 at 10:52 AM