The largest bank in the United States has officially ignored the second most popular Web browser--until recently.
A tipster for Networkworld.com pointed out recently that Bank of America's Web site did not list the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox as a "supported browser," even though Firefox now commands almost 20 percent of the browser market. The bank's site lists Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Apple's Safari, and Netscape as acceptable browsers.
Netscape? Even AOL, Netscape's former owner, doesn't support Netscape Navigator anymore.
Of course, Firefox, which was released in 2004 and recently set a Guiness record for downloads in a 24-hour period, still works on the BofA Web site--just not officially. The issue apparently came up when a BofA customer contacted the bank about problems he was having accessing the site using Safari. "Please don't tell me to just use Firefox instead," the Networkworld.com reader told BofA customer support.
Not a problem, according to customer support.
"Please note Bank of America does not support Firefox," was customer service's reply.
When posed with the question of why the No.1 bank's Web site did not whole-heartedly embrace the No. 2 browser's 180 million users, a spokeswoman told Networkworld.com that "there is a process that we go through to 'officially support' a browser type and version, which includes in-depth functional and regression testing cycles.
"As the usage of Firefox browsers has increased with our customer base, we will be initiating a full support model for Firefox version 2.x in the very near future," spokeswoman Tara Burke told Networkworld.com.
Think "the very near future" will prove to be very soon? Don't bank on it.