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Windows version from CGI.HTTP_USER_AGENT

I had the need today to go through our login history for one of our applications to try and hunt down possible compatibility issues coming from some new jQuery / AJAX related code. The issue in question is in another country and we wont be able to get a tech or developer in front of […]
August 29, 2007 7:50 am

Windows version from CGI.HTTP_USER_AGENT

I had the need today to go through our login history for one of our applications to try and hunt down possible compatibility issues coming from some new jQuery / AJAX related code. The issue in question is in another country and we wont be able to get a tech or developer in front of the problem machine to see it first hand. As standard we test our apps on Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7 and FireFox 2.x for Windows XP, Internet Explorer 7 on Vista, and Safari, FireFox and Internet Explorer on a Mac Mini. With our applications we log the username, date and time, ip address and the browser string of that user via CGI.HTTP_USER_AGENT. Its not often all that information comes in useful but today was one of those days.

The problems are coming out of a financial institution, and due to all sorts of possible scenarios the eternally wise system admins in corporations like these turn off all sorts of settings like flash, ActiveX and not so much any more Javascript. To see if we could get more info I started to look at the logins in question and came across information like this:

Lets break it down.

  1. Mozilla/4.0 – the user agentunderneath the browser
  2. MSIE 6.0; the browser in use
  3. Windows NT 5.2 the operating system
  4. .NET CLR 1.1.4322; Operating system identifiers, in this case the .NET Common Language Runtime version 1.1

The MSIE version number is straight forward, WYSIWYG – 7 really is IE 7! What interested me most was the windows numbering system:

  • Windows NT 5.0: Windows 2000
  • Windows 2000: Windows 2000 (used by Opera)
  • Windows NT 5.01: Windows 2000, Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • Windows NT 5.1: Windows XP
  • Windows NT 5.2: Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • Windows NT 6.0: Windows Vista

So there you go, I saw a 5.2, something I didn’t expect, so we have users on 64 bit Windows XP. Does this help me with my problem, well in a way yes, I know a touch more about our users, and that they have a platform we don’t test on.

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