Quick background: I recently posted a question on the Web Apps site, How can I remove Skype from Outlook.com. It concerns being unable to access email on Outlook.com because of a popup from Microsoft that blocks access to email while demanding that I sign up for a Skype account. The problem started within the last few days, pointing to either a recent web site change or some update on my system underlying the problem.

The problem occurs with all browsers I've tried in Debian but does not occur with the browsers I tried in Windows. Firefox (same version and add-ons in both OSes) works in Windows but not Debian.

My only theory is that the problem is Java-based. Debian uses a version based on IcedTea, which is not identical to what runs in Windows. So basically, I want to ask if any other Debian users are encountering the same problem, which would point to IcedTea-based Java being the common denominator. If anyone is currently using Outlook.com successfully, their configuration could be the solution.

I can see a number of reasons why this would likely be off-topic. Is there a way to ask this that would not be?

  • Asking here is probably the best place to ask this Q in its current form. You might want to try running Skype via strace to see what calls it's attempting to make.
    – slm Mod
    Jun 24, 2015 at 4:25
  • Actually, I don't have a Skype account. The popup relates to creating a Skype account (it's from within Outlook.com). I'm still a novice in Linux. If strace would be useful with Outlook.com, how would I run it? By "here", are you referring to the Meta site or the main site?
    – fixer1234
    Jun 24, 2015 at 4:31
  • Found some instructions on strace. Watched the browser load, Outlook.com load, and the popup appear. None of that affected strace; just the same cycle of polling.
    – fixer1234
    Jun 24, 2015 at 4:49
  • This is an issue to take up with Microsoft; it is also something that would probably breach the outlook.com EULA.
    – jasonwryan
    Jun 24, 2015 at 7:18
  • @jasonwryan: Microsoft was the first route I tried but wasn't able to get in touch with anyone. I suspect the problem is with the Java version used in Linux (Microsoft isn't in the Linux support business). Not sure of your meaning about the EULA. Outlook.com is a web service available to anyone who is able to access it. Microsoft makes no promises that your browser, Java version, etc. will work with it.
    – fixer1234
    Jun 24, 2015 at 7:33
  • @slm: I posted the question: meta.unix.stackexchange.com/questions/3568/…. Let me know if it needs to be modified.
    – fixer1234
    Jun 24, 2015 at 7:37
  • It may be accessible to anyone, but it still comes with terms and conditions...
    – jasonwryan
    Jun 24, 2015 at 7:42
  • @jasonwryan: I scoured the EULA and couldn't find anything that would be an issue. Then it dawned on me that you're probably referring to trying to bypass the Skype signup. If so, the issue is that the Skype popup behavior is not service-related, it's a bug. The web site works properly in Windows and that does not appear. Microsoft isn't forcing people to sign up for Skype. That popup is just a convenience for people who wish to. It isn't working properly in Linux.
    – fixer1234
    Jun 24, 2015 at 7:55
  • Never assume, with MS, that aberrent behaviour is neither intentional nor, particularly where Linux users are concerned, benign...
    – jasonwryan
    Jun 24, 2015 at 8:03

1 Answer 1


You have a problem with an application (Firefox) running on a unix (Debian). The problem involves interaction with a server, but you have evidence that the problem isn't purely on the server side (it works on Windows). Asking how to solve this problem is on-topic.

“Who else has this problem” wouldn't be appropriate for Stack Exchange.

This isn't necessarily the best site — since the problem is ultimately with a web application, it's possible that people who are familiar with the webapp are the experts you need to reach, and they hang around Web Applications. It's also possible that the experts are the people who know the minutiae of how Java differs between Windows and Linux, and those hang around Super User. Your question is on-topic on three sites; pick one.

  • Thanks for the focus. The nature of this question has evolved as I learn more about it. It would have been easier to pick a site if I already knew the answer.
    – fixer1234
    Jun 26, 2015 at 15:01

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