In a rather amusing change, Microsoft has decided to make their Windows Phone user-agent identify as Apple’s iPhone Safari browser. Essentially, browser communicate with webpages using a special identifier to tell the servers what kind of browser they are using. This is how websites distinguish between desktop and mobile versions of sites. However, because Microsoft’s browser is so insignificant in terms of market share, most websites simply ignore their specific user-agent entirely, and serve unoptimised desktop pages.
As a result, in Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft will fake its user agent as iPhone Safari, so that webpages return mobile friendly copies to Windows Phone users. The tables have certainly turned from a decade ago, when developers would go out of their way to support Internet Explorer’s non-standard way of doing things.