Microsoft Australia is heating up the browser wars with what can be assumed as the first ever browser-exclusive treasure hunting competition on the internet. Now you might call this sneaky, but $10,000 Australian dollars (or roughly $8000 US dollars) is a pretty compelling reason to use Internet Explorer 8.
The “Ten Grand is Buried Here” competition involves finding a particular Australian website which only if viewed under Internet Explorer 8 reveals a special “claim” button for the cash prize. Hints will be given out on Twitter to where it is hidden throughout the competition until it ends on 17 September 2009, or until someone finds it first. I’m sure with so much at stake, no page will left unvisited.
Of course there’s no stopping from international users from also participating in the hunt, but the rules of the competition state only residents of Australia can claim the prize. So if you aren’t from Australia but have somehow stumbled across the treasure, it might be wise to pair up with an Aussie and give him a slice of the winnings. Without suggesting anybody in particular, my commission rates are very competitive.
Since it was launched today, there is a bug where Internet Explorer 8 users who downloaded the “Compatibility View” pack from Windows Update will be mistakenly identified as Internet Explorer 7 users since it automatically applies Compatibility View to Microsoft.com, where this competition is hosted,
but I’ve been notified the issue will be fixed soon.
Update: It appears the Compatibility View list cannot be overridden. Users are recommended to disable the compatibility view list by going to their “Tools” menu button, “Compatibility View settings” and unticking “Include updated website lists from Microsoft”. An amusing oversight to say the least.
Microsoft Australia is also sparing no punches if you used other browsers to view the competition page. Using Mozilla Firefox, you’ll see…
In Apple Safari, it reads “you’ll never find it using boring Safari”. In Google Chrome it reads “you’ll never find it using tarnished Chrome”. Unfortunately I do not have Opera handy to test what it says.
Personally I’m not sure if “get rid of it or get lost” sends the right tone, but I think it might reflect just how serious browser wars have become. I can definitely see different people reacting to this promotion differently, but I guess at least the person who scores $10,000 will be a big fan of IE8.
Update: Microsoft Australia has since changed the messaging of this campaign and even the concept of the competition to not discriminate between browsers. Users of all browsers are now invited to participate in the treasure hunt.