IE6 and IE7 Running on a Single Machine


Many of you have asked how to run IE6 and IE7 in a side by side environment. As Chris Wilson blogged about early this year, it’s unfortunately not so easy to do. There are workarounds, but they are unsupported and don’t necessarily work the same way as IE6 or IE7 would work when installed properly. As Chris said, the best way to use multiple versions of IE on one machine is via virtualization. Microsoft has recently made Virtual PC 2004 a free download; we’ve taken advantage of that by releasing a VPC virtual machine image containing a pre-activated Windows XP SP2, IE6 and the IE7 Readiness Toolkit to help facilitate your testing and development. The image is time bombed and will no longer function after April 1, 2007. We hope to continue to provide these images in the future as a service to web developers.

Now you can install IE7 on your main machine for development, and get all the advantages of IE7, like the RSS platform, native XMLHTTP stack, and improved security, while still running IE6 simultaneously in the VPC on the same computer. Most importantly, you don’t even have to buy an additional Windows license. The VPC image runs in a virtual machine that offers all of the functionality of a full IE6 installation without giving it any access to its host machine’s hard drive, registry, etc. You can make as many modifications as you want to the virtual machine without affecting your host installation at all. 

Included in the VPC image are:

While we’ve released a VPC image today with Windows XP SP2, we’re also investigating creating other VPC images, for example IE5, IE5.5, IE6 and IE6 SP1, as well as versions of IE on different language operating systems.

Get more information on Virtual PC 2004
Download Virtual PC 2004
Download the Internet Explorer 6 Testing VPC Image

One more note – VPC 2004 doesn’t run on Windows Vista, but this image will work fine with VPC 2007, which is in beta now. You can get this free beta via Connect.

Happy testing!

PEte LePage
Product Manager

Comments (156)

  1. steve_web says:

    Awesome! Glad to hear that you have released an image we can work with!  I would say "Finally", but I don’t want to push my luck.

    When IE8 rolls around, please release the image **MONTHS** in advance, so we can do proper parallel testing.

  2. Tim Cerling says:

    Another way to accomplish this, without the virtualization of the operating system is to use Microsoft’s SoftGrid product.  This virtualizes just the application – either IE 6 or IE 7 or both – on Windows XP.  You can even run them side by side because all registry entries and files that might be shared are placed in their own ‘workspace’. Information about this product is still at http://www.softricity.com/, even though Microsoft has purchased the company.

    Yes, it does require purchasing a product from Microsoft, but it offers a lot of flexibility for future testing.

    tim cerling  (yes, I am also from Microsoft, so this is a bit of a plug.  But this is some really interesting and useful technology.)

  3. We have heard tons of feedback about the need for developers to run both IE6 and IE7 on their machine

  4. Tony says:

    "The image is time bombed and will no longer function after April 1, 2007. We hope to continue to provide these images in the future as a service to web developers."

    So what launches on April 1st 2007 that developers will no longer require testing in both IE6 and IE7? I can understand the usefulness for correcting existing projects, but what about new projects created after April 1st?

    I’m sure most of us will have adopted a "best practice" for creating new content, but just because we build a site using code that is tested in both IE6 and IE7 prior to April 1st doesn’t necessarily mean new projects don’t require testing.

    I’m happy that you have provided a solution that happens to match one of my earlier suggestions and I look forward to being able to return to development once again after such a hiatus.

  5. Doh! I just went and bought another licensed copy of Windows XP for this very purpose last week. This was certainly an issue for developers that needed to be addressed, so thanks anyway.

  6. I complained a while back about how unlike Firefox or Opera, it’s hard it is to support multiple versions of IE. Microsoft apparently did listen to developer complaints, and came out with a solution. You can now download a time crippled Virtua..

  7. PatriotB says:

    Tony — My guess is that shortly before April 1, 2007, they will release another image that is timebombed for ~6 months after that.

    I guess you could call this inconvenient, but since the image is solely meant for using IE6, it’s not like you should have much of anything on the VPC that you’d have to replace…

  8. IEの公式ブログ IEBlog で IE6 と IE7 を一つのパソコンで同時に動かす方法が紹介されています。 IE7 RC1をスタンドアローンで動作させる方法 などレジストリを使う方法はいくつかあるようなのですが、IEBlog で公式にオススメしているのは VirtualPC を使う方法。 VirtualPC は仮想PC を別途インストールするわけで「それなら Windows のライセンスがもう…

  9. C A Upsdell says:

    Good news.  This should have been done a lot earlier.  Now how about images for testing IE5.01 and IE5.5 with Windows 2000?  IE 6 is not the only legacy IE browser in use today with which web designers need to test.

  10. Matt Raible says:

    Multiple IEs seems like the best solution to this problem:

    http://tredosoft.com/Multiple_IE

  11. nmarmolejo says:

    I installed the RTM ver of IE7 and it continues to crash 8/10 times I launch it.

    I applied the RunOnceComplete and ShowRunOnce registry fixes but it still crashes.

    It crashes with error in ghmpdic.dll and causes IE to shut down.

    Anyone know what this error is and how to fix it?

    I even run the IE with no add-ons and it still crashes just as often.

    Thanks

  12. PeteL says:

    Matt Raible – Using Multiple_IE is one way of testing, but doesn’t always give completely accurate results.  I’ve blogged about this at <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/petel/archive/2006/11/20/ie6-and-ie7-side-by-side.aspx">http://blogs.msdn.com/petel/archive/2006/11/20/ie6-and-ie7-side-by-side.aspx</a&gt;

    nmarmolejo – We don’t have the resources to offer support via blog comments, the best way to get help is to check out the support page at <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/support/default.mspx">http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/support/default.mspx</a&gt;

  13. Ben Buchanan says:

    This is awesome. However would you consider releasing another image with IE7 installed, so people with Win2k can test IE7?

  14. Eric says:

    Minus the issues of this being time-bombed (shame on your Microsoft for making this harder) this is just about the greatest thing you’ve done for developers in a long time. I have a totally unnatural love you now. You’ve made my day. Thank you very much.

  15. petknep says:

    nmarmolejo: you appear to have malware installed on your box. http://www.lavasoftsupport.com/index.php?s=74937aca50ccba9fa44d5b75d3135c8a&showtopic=4128 shows ghmpdic.dll being removed as part of a malware cleanup.

  16. Excellent. Microsoft: THANK YOU! I will download this shortly…

    One question though: Why the time-bombing? IE6 will still have enough of the market in April for it to be important that our sites work…?

    I’m sure someone will release a hack to make it work beyond April… not that I’d condone or use that, of course…;-)

  17. rc says:

    @ Ben Buchanan

    People with Windows 2000 don’t need to test IE7. Those who in the end of 2006 still use Windows 2000 (!!!), should continue working with Office 97, programming in Ada and gaming King’s Bounty.

    Indeed, if you use an old gramophone, you should’n complain that it doesn’t play DVD.

  18. kent says:

    What are the chances of this working with VPC 7.0.1 for OSX?

    I’m working on a PPC G5, so don’t say get BootCamp :>

  19. Mike Dimmick says:

    Thanks. I’m assuming the time-bombing is simply there to stop people from otherwise using this in the place of licenced copies of Windows XP.

    Could you now _please_ talk to whoever is responsible for XP licensing and make them understand that running a copy of the OS in a virtual machine does not enhance the capabilities of the system, should therefore not be regarded as an opportunity for additional revenue, and therefore that the Windows XP and Vista licences should permit running the same software within a VM?

  20. Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis says:

    Thanks so much for doing this! This is definitely a step in the right direction.

    However, I run Windows XP in VMWare on an old Thinkpad (my budget won’t stretch to anything better). I shudder to think at how slowly Virtual PC would run on top of Windows on top of VMWare on top of Ubuntu. Would it be technically possible to time-bomb a VMWare virtual machine image in the same way? And what about Parallels for the Mac folk?

    Or, does anyone know if VMWare Virtual Importer could be used to convert these images being released by Microsoft to VMWare virtual machines?

    http://www.vmware.com/download/ws/drivers_tools.html

  21. Microsoft have released a virtual pc image that enables you to run ie6 in a supported environment at the same time as having ie7 loaded on the main machine…

  22. コリス says:

    以前、当サイトで紹介したIE7とIE6を共存させる方法とは別の方法が、マイクロソフトの公式ブログ:IEBlogに紹介されていました。

    IE7とIE6を共存させる(コリス)

    http://coliss.com/articles/build-websites/verification/69.html

  23. web output says:

    Microsoft kommt den IE7 geplagten Webentwicklern seit gestern einen Schritt entgegen.Gestern veröffentlichten die Redmoder im IEBlog eine kostenlose Virtual Machine mit einem offiziellen Windows XP SP2 mit installiertem IE6 und dem sogenannten &quot;Int

  24. steve_web says:

    @Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

    Yeah, a VMWare image would be much cooler for sure, as it would help out all developers, not just MS Shop developers.

    E.g. If I run Ubuntu or Fedora Core, or ??? running Virtual PC isn’t an option.

    PS We still haven’t heard, from this blog, or Chanel 9, where we are supposed to report bugs for public tracking.  Since Feedback was turned off, I’ve compiled at least 2 dozen new bugs, but only have this blog to report them, and as we’ve seen, they don’t get the attention they need here (In the Chats with the IE team (also gone now!) several references to well known bugs commented on in this blog, were met with surprise by the IE team members)

    Transparency please!

    Transparency please!

    Transparency please!

    Transparency please!

  25. As many know testing different versions of IE can be a pain, there&#8217;s no supported way to run two versions side by side (people have done it, but Microsoft don&#8217;t recommend it and can&#8217;t guarantee accuracy of results). Their reccomended

  26. Alfonso says:

    Thank you very much for offering at last this option.

    I just wish that Apple did something similar in order to test Safari for all those of us that just won’t buy a new computer to test what bugs are in their browser. (and maybe then we might find something in OS-X that it’s interesting)

  27. maczeal says:

    Alfonso, switch to osx development with textmate, firefox+firebug, safari, mamp, etc — you’ll never want to use windows again.

  28. Anon says:

    Can we please have some installation instructions? Do we run the installer on the real or virtual PC?

  29. Aedrin says:

    "So what launches on April 1st 2007 that developers will no longer require testing in both IE6 and IE7? I can understand the usefulness for correcting existing projects, but what about new projects created after April 1st?"

    Read the blog post before responding:

    "We hope to continue to provide these images in the future as a service to web developers."

    Which also explains the answer to this:

    "Why the time-bombing? IE6 will still have enough of the market in April for it to be important that our sites work…?"

    Because they would be giving out a free Windows XP license.

    "IE 6 is not the only legacy IE browser in use today with which web designers need to test."

    Testing for anything <6.0 should only be needed if you are working on a legacy application that is being used in a corporate setting where you know they can’t upgrade IE. Supporting old browser is a big detriment to the internet. Any computer can run IE6.0, FF or Opera (and other decent browsers). There is no reason not to update it.

  30. Andy barnes says:

    if you want to try them with vmware on another OS you could always use the virtual pc importer for vmware 😉

    http://www.vmware.com/download/vmimporter.html

  31. Jim says:

    "This is awesome. However would you consider releasing another image with IE7 installed, so people with Win2k can test IE7?"

    How about releasing an image with IE7 to allow XP users to be able to access corporate applications that only run under IE6 or have corporate policies that only allow IE6, but still need to test with IE7?

  32. Jon Zoss says:

    I think I have found a easier way.  I will go as far to say it is THE easy way. The guys over at TredoSoft have made a single installer for the IE 3 – 6 stand alone.  With the last update I have had no issues with IE 6.

    -Jon

    http://tredosoft.com/Multiple_IE

  33. Brian says:

    They will not release a VMWare image simply because it is a program that competes with MS – the reason VPC is free now.  A previous comment linked to the VPC importer for VMWare and I think that is the best you’ll get from MS.

    And to those of you saying there are easier and better ways, I doubt they are better but maybe easier.  Most of the alternative ways, as said in the blog, don’t produce accurate results when compared to a real installation.  If you’re a web developer you most definitely want to see what is seen by a real installation and not just some hack job installation.  Not only that but this is really the only route for people using Windows 2000.  All you have to do is install VPC, install the XP image and update IE6 to IE7.

    Anyway, thanks Microsoft for helping the dev community ;).

  34. Denny says:

    This may be a nice first step, but web developers shouldn’t be forced to run a virtual machine to test a browser. There’s no reason IE6 and IE7 shouldn’t be able to run side by side on the same machine — like every other browser. This is another case of lowered expectations for the IE team.

  35. Blark Siglovski says:

    This is the first good thing you people have ever done. Thank you.

  36. My colleague, Pete , product manager for Internet Explorer , recently posted a write-up on the IE Team

  37. Geoff says:

    Has anyone tried converting the image yet so it works in vmware? My question would be with the activation, since the hardware appears differently to an OS in VMWare as opposed to VPC (if I remember correctly, been a while since I used VPC). If the activation doesn’t fail when the conversion is complete, then it would be wonderful. Has anyone tried this? Does the activation fail, or is it activated no matter WHAT hardware appears? TIA for anyone who’s tried this…

  38. michael Jones says:

    Loaded it and working well.

    But the software FAILS Genuine Advantage for running Windows Update…  lists the key as lost or stolen.  Feh.

  39. As a web developer, this doesn’t really do anything for me because:

    1. Virtual PC was already free

    2. An XP license is a negligable cost (if you don’t already have an MSDN subscription)

    3. This does nothing for IE 5 & 5.5

    Maybe IE 5 & 5.5 are so long ago inside the Microsoft campus that they can be forgotten, however in the real world people still use them. No I don’t like it either.

    In addition Virtual PC is a headache because:

    1. You need to boot the machine up which takes a while

    2. You can’t hit a local IP address

    3. It is noticably slower than running natively (Core duo2 6400, 2Gb RAM)

    When you compare this with how, say firefox works, the Microsoft solution just doesn’t compare well. With firefox I can install multiple versions and run them side by side.

    In addition, this still doesn’t answer why Microsoft chose to sic the lawyers onto the much more useful solution (http://www.skyzyx.com/archives/000094.php), which is closer to the Firefox style. I can see that there are some other sites that are offering the side by side IE tools, but still.

    Full credit to Microsoft for the attempt.

  40. PeteL:

    Your blog comment says that running IE side by side doesn’t run accurately but it doesn’t specify what that means. Sure it crashes, but does running it side by side mean that the html render code is not rendering the pages the same as IE6/whatever was rendering them. And Javascript?

    Effectively your blog posting says don’t do it because it crashes and it isn’t sanctioned. It doesn’t actually say what makes it "inaccurate".

  41. George Ornbo says:

    Another vote for the Tredosoft .exe from me.

    Installs standalone versions of ie3-6.

    Works like a dream alongside IE7 and allows cookies and sessions.

    http://tredosoft.com/Multiple_IE

  42. Orion says:

    With the new design of IE7 (less tied into the OS), would we need a VM for IE8 or would we be able to run both at the same time?

  43. JD on EP says:

    Testing IE6 + IE7: The browser upgrade changed functionality on existing webpages, and it will take awhile for the entire audience to switch to IE7+, so it will remain necessary to test work in both versions of the Microsoft browser. But because Microsoft

  44. rc says:

    @ David Cameron

    "Maybe IE 5 & 5.5 are so long ago inside the Microsoft campus that they can be forgotten, however in the real world people still use them."

    People use also Mosaic, Netcape 3 and eLinks (see common statistics). Do you care for these users? If not, stop making noise about IE 5.

  45. mike says:

    Yeah, I am in agreement with mostly everyone else here.

    http://tredosoft.com/Multiple_IE

    Is the best solution by a long shot. Thanks to this little script, I’ve been able to install IE7, and then at the same time run IE3, IE4, IE5, IE5.5, IE6, and IE7!  (IE3 and 4 crash a lot, but they are there nonetheless).  Now, it makes me wonder, why couldn’t microsoft think of something as innovative (and FREE) as this is?  

  46. compn says:

    i get ‘d:IE6AC_VPC.EXE is not a valid win32 application’ error when trying to open it.

    what gives? tried downloading it twice, same error.

    md5sum :

    c98071d11390bf10b39f9367a8eefa8c *IE6AC_VPC.EXE

  47. why_timebomb says:

    Of course they should time bomb it. Do you really want to be using a 6 month old image of XP in 6 months? Do you know how many critical/security updates that happen in 6 months! They know you are going to catch something in that time and it’s good practice to pick up the latest image with the latest patches!

  48. Chris Tierney says:

    This is great, however I rely upon my hosts file to test locally hosted websites under development. This functionallity is a must for me, but unavailable in the VPC. Please add.

  49. MikeFM says:

    Those of us that couldn’t wait for Microsoft to get around to doing this have already created similar virtual images ourselves. Not a very tidy solution since it requires a virtual machine. I suggest using VMWare too as it runs a bit faster and is also free.

  50. IE6 and IE7 side by side testing

  51. One unhappy user says:

    This "solution" shows the utter lack of talent at Microsoft. An application shouldn’t be so ingrained into an operating system that an entire virtual environment is needed to use different versions. I used to believe it was a pain testing web applications for quirks in IE6, Mozilla, Opera, Safari, etc, but now, thanks to the dolts at MS, I have to run a virtual environment in addition to my normal rounds of testing, and I guess I can forget about supporting IE6 users after April 1st. Because the Software Engineers at Microsoft are clearly lacking in their ability to produce a well written operating system, I’ve provided a diagram below to prevent mistakes like this from happening again, courtesy of my undergraduate OS class:

    The right way to write an operating system:

    [hardware]

    [kernel]

    [applications]

    Notice how the applications sit entirely on their own level. Ingenuous!

    The wrong way to write an operating system:

    [hardware]

    [kernel+GUI+Browser+Mr.Clippy+…]

    [3rd party applications]

    Notice how the applications, like Internet Explorer, are integrated with the OS. While this may be good for protecting monopolies, it’s bad for every one of your users. So please avoid it in the future!

    – One unhappy customer

  52. iongion says:

    Damn, i see so many "well" trained people here. You call yourselves developers ? You are coding machines, have you ever developed something real in your life? Something that works on every noticeable browser at least on the market ? MS did a good think for themselves to keep you locked in in IE, but you see how many problems it created? I lay my hat down for IE, at the beginning of its age, it was a tool FOR developers, a tool that because of ignorance to the new wave of web features or because of too much bugfixes suddenly transformed itself in tool against developers, and i actually mean AGAINST(<– font-weight:bold;font-size:8em;) developers, or at least good ones, that are preocupied to run their software for all of their clients. You people at MS, at least the ones that are developing IE, should make a partnership or quit doing browsers, give support to Mozilla or Opera to create a damn standards friendly browser. And create something like Apollo from Adobe for your own platform taste. IE is now a mess, progress has been made with IE7 but it is far from being or at least trying to be as standards friendly as FF or Opera or Safari. You could even start concentrating on doing good, quality software as a plugin for FF (like .net integration). Active-X is a mess. No serious company still sees it as a common choice over java(if you want low level stuff, not possible with flash). You have lost the plugin war, and the browser war is still won by you, but only by inertia. I repeat it again, i bet you have great programmers there, but because you are a company "for the money", they will always have pressure on them from above and never finish a good quality product, they will always have to switch focus on something else than browsers.Dont tell me that your browser team, in 7 years has developed only and only IE7. The so crazy "developers, developers" is something like a Jabba roar when i kill my mind hacking IE to make my client or my boss happy. And this thing of not being possible to run two versions of IE on the same machine is quite a blow. IE is only damn renderer, and i bet the part that breaks is the one that made windows so integrable with it. You’ve got sued for this, and you also got sued for the Eolas issue.And even your own plugin architecture got broken.We have to rely on crazy JS hacks to insert a  MediaPlayer plugin, not making our content possilbe to multiple devices, or having to overwork to avoid this. Problems that the Opensource Mozilla Gecko engine will never have. I finish my rant here, but probably Adobe’s Apolo will be the wave of the future with Internet Applications, or might that be ExpresionSuite with .net ? Or the browser will maintain forever its might.

  53. adm says:

    @ anon & others needing directions:

    – Download and install Virtual PC 2004 if you don’t already have it.

    – Download the .exe/image linked to above ("Download the Internet Explorer 6 Testing VPC Image")

    – Run that .exe to extract it to a directory of your choosing.

    – Run Virtual PC 2004, and "Create a New Virtual PC"

    – When prompted to select a Virtual Hard Drive, select the .vhd file that was created when you extracted the .exe you downloaded above.

    – Once you’ve created that Virtual PC, start it from Virtual PC 2004’s Console.

    Once the virtual PC boots up, You can use Control Panel to add users, add it to a workgroup or domain, etc. But apparently you can’t switch the Start menu and desktop to "Classic View". If someone can explain the reason for this, I’d love to hear it.

    But, to everyone who made this happen at MSFT: THANK YOU. I’m guessing it was a tough argument to win, but your efforts are very much appreciated. Not 10 minutes after I installed this, a web developer came around asking, "Hey, does anyone still have IE6?"

    I sympathize with those who say IE6 and IE7 should be able to run side-by-side — but the reality is, they don’t, and this is a decent enough practical solution.

  54. Tony says:

    @ Aedrin and others, "Read the blog post before responding"

    I never asked why I asked what. I could careless less when they time bomb the product, I just want to know what they intend to replace it with.

    "[T]hese images in the future" is far too ambiguous. Four months from now they could be releasing XP SP3, therefore would like to show the community their dedication to our needs by providing a new updated image. Which would be an amazing act on behalf of the IE Team.

    However, as many have argued a VPC is not the solution. Honestly, I didn’t expect this reaction, but it is a legitimate concern because I do all my development locally as well. If VPC isn’t going to allow me to test locally it doesn’t solve my problem. Perhaps it’s an immediate short term solution and on April 1st MS will have a better one, but as quoted above they want to provide more images. In my mind that means they aren’t developing a different solution.

    @ rc, "People with Windows 2000 don’t need to test IE7."

    I think that perhaps you need to visit other work environments outside of your own. My workplace has over 400 IBM Win2K SP4 workstations alone. There is nothing wrong with the OS. It runs our applications just fine. Upgrading the OS when it is still supported by MS until 2010 is simply cost prohibitive.

    I agree releasing an image with IE7 is a good recommendation since VPC4 is supported on Win2K and above. Hopefully someone will provide a solution to the local testing issue.

  55. DevManiac says:

    Its funny I was just thinking about how messed up Windows had done things and how simple the logic would be.  If it where me developing an OS (Which I realize is a lot of work) that I wouldnt want anyone being able to mess around with the core of the OS itself and that to create a folder like the windows folder that is not writable to period and have another folder for all 3rd party applications including there own so that the end user would have full control but not have to worry about any program / user from removing files that make the os work. you could have a layer overtop of the core os that could be modified to look like it was modified but not actually changing it so if you didnt want it you could remove it.  Another method of working with IE 6 and IE 7 that no one has mentioned is to have access to another pc and using vnc or something of the like, thats what I do for all my web dev.  For app dev I use vmware cause I dont want to blow up my os lol (again because its so unstable) I think developers should just say to hell with older browser versions and force an update lol 🙂 if all websites wouldnt work with IE6 people would have to upgrade.  Yes I realize there are cases where you cant upgrade but still (thats no excuse)

  56. rc says:

    @ Tony

    "My workplace has over 400 IBM Win2K SP4 workstations alone. There is nothing wrong with the OS. It runs our applications just fine."

    Several days ago I had to do some work at a workstation with Windows 2000. I FAILED TO USE IT. It doesn’t recognize modern devices, doesn’t let me work with the interface as I have get accustomed, half of my common software doesn’t install or run. System administrator tried to proof that it all can be tuned and customized… but we made some calculations and discovered that bying Windows XP would be 2.5 times cheaper than attuning existing Windows 2000 to modern goals. Also we discovered that this company had already spent lots of money for OS tuning, but there was nothing to tune if it were Windows XP.

    So sticking to Windows 2000 is more expensive than buying Windows XP or maybe even Vista.

    Sorry for bad English, little offtopic and unpalatable truth.

  57. adam says:

    I would like to try this out but don’t know how to start. Can you please show a instruction on how to install Virtual PC 2004 with Windows XP Professional SP2.

    Does this mean i can have 2 operating system running on 1 computer and i can test other beta application with Virtual PC 2004 with Professional SP2.

  58. Micah says:

    Thank you all very much for this. You’ve made all our lives easier.

  59. Jim Vaglia says:

    How can Microsoft determine who is a developer and who is a user?

  60. TV Online says:

    Any simple install instructions?

  61. Jeff says:

    @Chris Tierney

    "This is great, however I rely upon my hosts file to test locally hosted websites under development. This functionallity is a must for me, but unavailable in the VPC. Please add."

    This is all ready possible – just edit the hosts file in the VM

  62. Dave says:

    Will this image run under Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 as well?

  63. whiskey says:

    This is kind of cool if you ask me.  I have used ie6 as standalone but yes, no accurate representations was an issue, at least to me.

    Since this is free i still don’t get why people are complaining about it.

    Oh, and by the way, the easy instructions in case anybody missed them:

    1. Download and install virtual pc.

    2. Download and install this image.

    3. Start Virtual PC.

    4. When it asks for a Hard Drive image, point it to where you uncompressed this image.

    5. Boot up the image.

    6. Develop and test your work.

    A TIP: Hibernate the Virtual Machine, so when you need to go back then you can boot it up faster.

    Expect to spend some dough on ram so it can run a bit faster.

    And stop whinning.

  64. Or, if you’re on Linux, this has been working just fine for me:

    http://www.tatanka.com.br/ies4linux/page/Main_Page

    Wine + IE6 + IE7. Works like a champ.

  65. kim3er says:

    This is great news, nice one. I’d love to see an image for 5.5.

    Rich

  66. Brian is writing on his blog that Microsoft offers a free Windows XP including Internet Explorer 6 as

  67. Thanks Brian, I already did the same, but offering a free VPC image including IE6 is great.

    Michael

  68. Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis says:

    People use also Mosaic, Netcape 3 and eLinks (see common statistics). Do you care for these users? If not, stop making noise about IE 5.

    Which "common statistics" and why do you trust them?

    I used to test with Mosaic, but gave up when I found it 1) had trouble with virtual hosts and 2) kept crashing. I don’t think I’ve ever tested with Netscape 3.

    However, I do test in ELinks and so should we all. For at least four reasons:

    1) Testing only in the dominant browsers is a pernicious practice. Our sites will normally outlast current browsers. They should be standards-based. And they should ideally be open to all comers.

    2) It’s a current, supported browser, unlike Mosaic, Netscape 3, or Internet Explorer LTE 6.

    3) If you’re blind and you don’t have the resources to shell out hundreds to thousands of pounds on Windows software and compatible hardware, then you’re not at all unlikely to find yourself using ELinks as your primary browser. Not only should we be testing with ELinks, we should ideally be /listening/ to it with Orca, LSR (Linux Screen Reader), or SpeakUp. That audience may be small, but that doesn’t mean it’s an unimportant audience. It’s an audience that can’t easily switch to a (better) readily available alternative, which means they come under the consideration of WCAG 1.0.

  69. Quicklinks says:

    IE6 and IE7 Running on a Single Machine Virtual PC with Windows XP as a free download for testing IE6 (tags: browsers software Windows development)…

  70. Johannes says:

    Great release! Thanks on behalf of all the other webdevs out there.

    But you know how it is… hand them the little finger and they want the whole arm. 😉

    So what about the even older versions of IE?

    On our website, we still have to accomodate for a lot of users with IE5.0 and IE 5.5, and sadly there’s no way to force them to upgrade.

    Are there plans to release images for those browsers as well?

  71. Kari says:

    In the past, even through Virtual PC’s dlls get shared and you lose the clean room environment of a pure install – and often have bugs that are unique to the dual install machine – how does this install prevent that?

    Thanks.

  72. rc says:

    @ Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

    "Which ‘common statistics’ and why do you trust them?"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers

    "If you’re blind and you…"

    Have you ever seen in reality how blind people REALLY use websites?

  73. Amiya says:

    How do I get this to point to a local web server?

    My site is staged on the host machine. The virtual PC thinks ‘localhost’ points to itself.

  74. compn says:

    ok, i figured out a workaround for ‘not a valid win32 application’

    extract it using winzip.

    i wonder if this is a problem related to my wextract.exe error ‘a required resource cannot be located’

    IE6AC_VPC.EXE has version number of 6.0.6000.16385

    ie6setup.exe has a version number of 6.0.2800.1106

    both appear to be compressed cabs made with wextract.

    terminating, terminating, terminating….

  75. Tony says:

    @ rc, "So sticking to Windows 2000 is more expensive than buying Windows XP or maybe even Vista."

    Perhaps in your work place, but not mine. Every work environment has it’s own set of in house tools, applications, etc. Therefore each workplace has different requirements. The costs involved for training staff, testing and updating applications, possible hardware upgrades, and so forth are all in addition to volume licensing. It’s not my place to determine the correct work flow for when the upgrade will be completed by 2010, but rest assured that gives Vista 3 years to mature and become a viable alternative to XP.

    Of course even if running Vista we still have to be able to test IE6 in three years time. Although, being able to test IE7 on 2K today would be much appreciated.

  76. Ian Nelson says:

    Now that I’m running Vista with IE7 on my main work machine, I need to ensure that I have an easy way

  77. compn says:

    @ Tony

    well grab this vpc image and install ie7 on it.

    this image runs on win2k you know, i’m using it right now.

  78. Blake says:

    Microsoft knows the pain of web developers who have been trying to test their websites in both IE6 and

  79. jehnstar says:

    That are very good informations. I wonder if there’s any install tutorial for this also, please?

  80. =jon= says:

    I’am Windows XP Home user – so VPC doesn’t run on my machine!!!

    Where I can find an image for VMWARE Player????

  81. Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis says:

    rc,

    Unless I’m missing something, the Wikipedia page you cite does nothing to support (or disprove) your claim that people in 2006 "use also Mosaic, Netcape 3 and eLinks (see common statistics)". The only statistic that mentions any of those browsers there suggests Mosaic usage was down to 9% in 1995. Even if you could find statistics of user agent headers indicating occasional requests claiming to be from Mosaic or Netscape 3, you’d have to remember that some of those requests could be spoofed by bots and other user agents.

    "Have you ever seen in reality how blind people REALLY use websites?"

    Rather than asking rhetorical questions and assuming I know what you’re trying to imply, you could just come out and make an empirical counter-claim.

    Perhaps you’re trying to imply that blind people don’t REALLY use ELinks? But in fact ELinks is among the suggestions for web browsing made by RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind in the United Kingdom):

    http://www.rnib.org.uk/xpedio/groups/public/documents/publicwebsite/public_specbrowsers.hcsp

    And as it happens I know blind Ubuntu users tend to use ELinks, One of those users is a colleague on the Ubuntu Accessibility Team. And here’s another visually impaired user recommending ELinks because he "loves" it:

    http://mail.gnome.org/archives/orca-list/2006-November/msg00016.html

    To answer your question as directly and honestly as I can: I have not sat in person and watched a blind person use a screen reader to browse the web. I have listened to podcasts from blind surfers, watched video footage of the process, and used screen readers myself to try and get some direct experience. I also follow several mailing lists for computer users with visual impairments, so I get to read a lot about people who are blind and are experiencing trouble with screen readers, browsers, websites and web authoring. I make no claims to encyclopaedic knowledge of such matters, but I am not just making stuff up, as your question risks suggesting.

  82. TechBlog says:

    Have you installed Internet Explorer 7 — either by going and getting it or having it come to you — but feel the need for a little retro browser action? If there are sites you use that don’t work with…

  83. nick says:

    @rc

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers

    Following a link from there to the TheCounter statistics, here’s their list for the month till 3 Dec:

    http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2006/December/browser.php

    The IE 5.x series is 5th (above Opera even, which I would test on) with about 2000 times as much usage as Netscape 3.x. The other browsers you mention don’t even figure (though could be in the ‘Unknown’ listing). Still think they should be considered equally unimportant?

    Besides, I’m pretty confident sites I do will display in Netscape 3 or a text browser (in fact, I do test in text browsers), they just won’t look very interesting. They’re all based on quite straightforward HTML – paragraphs and lists and anchors etc. Without the CSS or JavaScript, the old browsers should handle them no problem.

    Old versions of IE are a different case though. It’s not that they’re old which is a problem, it’s that they’re full of their own idiosyncratic little bugs you need to correct for. The time will come when I won’t bother, and just let them see unstyled content like on even older browsers, but I don’t think the usage figures justify it for IE5 and IE5.5 yet.

  84. Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis says:

    "The IE 5.x series is 5th (above Opera even, which I would test on) with about 2000 times as much usage as Netscape 3.x. The other browsers you mention don’t even figure (though could be in the ‘Unknown’ listing). Still think they should be considered equally unimportant?"

    There are two problems with this line of argument:

    1) Users of minority browsers often have to spoof mainstream browsers like Internet Explorer 6 or Firefox, and bots spoof all sorts of browsers. So statistics based on user agent strings probably have too large a margin for error for making the sorts of fine distinctions you’re trying to make. (They’re not even that reliable for working out how Internet Explorer and Firefox are doing.)

    2) Your language risks implying that only market share matters. I would suggest that an equally important consideration is what would be the cost to the user of changing their browser. Most people have the luxury of just picking the latest and best browser at a low cost (download and learn), but this is often not true of 1) people working inside conservative corporations and 2) people who use assistive technologies.

    In practice it’s very difficult to draw objective lines in the sand.

  85. Pete LePage posts that there is a new Virtual PC image preloaded with Windows XP SP2, IE6 and the IE7

  86. Chris Bowen says:

    [Cross-posted from http://blogs.msdn.com/cbowen] Pete LePage posts that there is a new Virtual PC image…

  87. Microsoft released AS A FREE DOWNLOAD a Virtual Machine image that contains a pre-activated Windows XP SP2 installation, Internet Explorer 6 and the IE7 Readiness Toolkit. With this VPC Image, you can run IE7 as the standard browser in your PC, and have

  88. rc: Sure people use earlier browsers, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

    I draw the line an Win2K. And some people run Win2K without patches.

  89. Andrew says:

    Been doing this for months.

    1 word: vmware

  90. Tony says:

    @ compn, "well grab this vpc image and install ie7 on it.

    this image runs on win2k you know, i’m using it right now."

    Of course the answer would be so simple. Well hopefully the others that have recommended this can take your advice as well.

    "The VPC image runs in a virtual machine that offers all of the functionality of a full IE6 installation without giving it any access to its host machine’s hard drive, registry, etc. You can make as many modifications as you want to the virtual machine without affecting your host installation at all."

    I really should listen to Aedrin’s advice and read before I post. I totally misread this as being unable to access the VPCs registry, therefore would not be able to upgrade IE6 to IE7 on the image. Does the image pass WGA?

    Has anyone found a work around that allows the image IE to view local directories of the host computer so that parallel work flows don’t have to be maintained? This was mentioned before regarding local IP assignment issues.

  91. Eugen says:

    IE 7 succeeded well. one can read so well rss feeds 🙂 when does new update come of outlook?

  92. O pessoal ligado nas Web Standards apesar de se queixar do IE sabe que ele domina o mercado (pessoalmente…

  93. compn says:

    @tony "Does the image pass WGA?

    Has anyone found a work around that allows the image IE to view local directories of the host computer so that parallel work flows don’t have to be maintained?"

    well i dunno about it passing WGA… some other people have said it does not. there is "C:Program FilesMicrosoftInternet Explorer 7 Readiness Toolkit" in the image , which i think links to the ie7 daily builds.

    my full instructions

    download vpc image

    extract it using winzip

    download vpc

    add new vpc from default settings

    select the vhd that you extracted from image

    go into settings for networking

    and under network adapter 1 select shared networking (nat)

    this should make vpc open a NAT router for your vpc to connect to your lan/internet.

    then you can map a network drive using the ip, e.g. \192.168.0.1C , from within your vpc to access your local harddrive’s shared folders.

    good luck.

  94. Graham Fluet says:

    Even with Apple’s programs you can run multiple versions of them (Safari 1.0, 1.2, 2.0) at the same time.

  95. Great work.

    Thank you!

    Vincent

  96. aravind G says:

    Thanks so much for doing this! This is definitely a great step in the right direction.

    Thanks Again !

  97. Mike says:

    Crazy idea.  Why not include a IE 5, 6, 7 etc rendering modes in the next version to make web development easier.  Firing up a VPC image just to test rendering seems a bit heavy.

  98. Tim says:

    I’d like to echo the other users who would prefer the VM to have IE7 installed instead of IE6 – our corporate policy will NOT allow us to install IE7 on our machines due to it breaking existing applications.  I need a way to test IE7 without installing it on the host OS.  However, kudos for getting this far…it’s a big step past my usual habit of keeping 4-5 old machines around.

  99. mcp says:

    Have you tried to update the VM? Windows Genuine Advantage says the key is either stolen or lost.

  100. sm says:

    I love the fact that IE7 recognizes PNGs and handles the transparenct correctly out of the box. IE6 did not. To get them to work I had gotten in the habit of using the AlphaImageLoader filter in CSS ("filter:progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader").

    This doesn’t seem to work in the IE6 VPC Image, however. Am I missing something or is the VPC image?

  101. Kim Steinhaug says:

    I would love virtual machine with IE7 aswell. Im running win2000 and Im very happy with this, I have no reason for upgrading to windows XP when Win2000 works fine? However I cant upgrade to IE7, which is kinda silly policy from MS.

    Maby in s short while that XP image is upgraded.

    On the other hand, maby we could just upgrade IE7 by ourselves in this image, if WinXP is fully functional what’s the problem? I better download and check.

    If the image was released with IE7, there is no way of downgrading, but we could upgrade, 😀

  102. David says:

    Another vote for an IE 7 image.  

    Right now, my audience is 100% IE 6 so guess which one I want to run in a virtual machine and which one I want to run native.  

    And, if anyone asks, you can’t upgrade the image to IE 7 since it fails the WGA check (what?!).

  103. Fred says:

    you cannot test HTTPS sites where you have to log into them (using basic authentication). i get an error using the IE6/7 standalone browser. so this VM IE6 is great for me. thanks!

  104. Jason says:

    I have win XP Home. is there any way to use this? (Virtual PC 2004/7 only seem to work on XP Pro). Thanks!

  105. php hosting says:

    Great news..

    I will definately try it out.

  106. rc says:

    @Tim

    "our corporate policy will NOT allow us to install IE7 on our machines"

    For a _web_ _developer_ machine there cannot exist any "corporate policy". A developer MUST have the possibility to install or uninstall on his machine everything he needs. Otherwise he simply cannot do his work.

  107. olo says:

    only one question : why not vmware ?

  108. Tomnibus says:

    Well, I am running an Intel Mac. I downloaded Virtual PC (not real interested in running virualization inside virtualization with Parallels but…) as I run the installer for VPC it says "This processor is not compatible." or something to that effect. i can’t install VPC.

    So, with the new Parallels they have the conversion tool. i went ahead and converted the VPC image to Parallels.

    I load it up in parallels and it says, "Due to significant hardware changes you must activate this version of windows." and it won’t activate.

    I’m on hold with MS to determine what to do, they will probably tell me I can’t do what I’m doing. Why the heck didn’t they use a version of XP that didn’t need windows activation?!

  109. Tomnibus says:

    HOW AGONIZING!!!

    So, I called to get this thing activated. The first person got stuck on "Was this a pre-installed version of windows or retail copy?" And I had to say it’s a downloadable image from the Microsoft Website. He transferred me to someone else. With that person I got so far as him saying, "Do you have the CD?" and I told him (again) that it was a downloadable image, no CD. He said, "Can you look on the side of the computer for a sticker?" I had to say again, IT’S A DOWNLOADABLE IMAGE, THERE’S NO STICKER.

    He said, we need the product key to activate this, can you look on the side of the computer? He just wasn’t getting it that this is a pre-installed Virtual PC image that thought there were significant computer changes needing re-activation. ugh.  I gave up and I trashed the Image. I’ll have to probably install another Virtual copy of windows in Parallels with IE 6 only.

  110. Jim says:

    Yet another vote for a VPC with IE7 installed instead of IE6 (and not able to upgrade to IE7 because of WGA).

    No matter what your corporate policy about IE7 may be, installing a new browser on a production PC and having the older (stable? compatible?) one only available in a Virtual Machine seems backwards to me. (By the way, all of our web developers still run Windows 2000 on older PCs. XP does not offer any significant enough advantages to warrant upgrading, which would also require newer hardware.)

    Compatibility with IE7 is what needs tested, not IE6!

  111. erm, yah says:

    "Those who in the end of 2006 still use Windows 2000 (!!!), should continue working with Office 97, programming in Ada"

    and driving a 66 cobra?

    http://www.dragtimes.com/Shelby%20American-Series-1-SC-Timeslip-3451.html

    http://www.mx6.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-668.html

    w2k is only ~5 1/2 years old.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=Windows+2000+released+February

  112. Chris J says:

    Yet another vote for IE7 in the virtual machine. We have a a third party ITIL/ITSM  product that does not work with IE7 which all our developers need access to, and the supplier has told us support for IE7 will not be about until 2nd quarter next year, thus upgrading to IE7 is not an option.

  113. Dude says:

    Good grief, people.  Here are some quotes I just grabbed from the comments above:

    "This solution shows the utter lack of talent at Microsoft."

    "You call yourselves developers ? "

    "IE is now a mess"

    "This is another case of lowered expectations for the IE team. "

    There’s many more.

    Please, someone explain to me why Microsoft would want to continue dialog and blog with its developers/users when they reply with crap like this?  Even if the criticism are warranted there is way to discuss in a mature and civilized manner without insulting the people who are trying to do some good things for you.  "Hey look at me!  I can blast Microsoft behind a veil of anonymity and make myself feel important!"

  114. FAW says:

    Imagine having to set up a formal testing environment for your software development! Whatta concept!(rolling eyes)

    This is a great way to have your cake and eat it, too. The installation was a breeze, I have a perfect VM with a fully functional IE6, and I get to use IE7 for my daily operations on the WinXP machine.  On my Win2K Server box, the VPC is where I have IE7. I use VPC for many other things, too, like different server environments (IIS5 vs. IIS6).

    MS bashers, please get a grip. You simply aren’t credible anymore. Microsoft listened to the reasonable objection that I need fully functional versions of both browsers on a single machine and delivered a way to do so consistent with its own platform and development practices. There is nothing lame or duplicitous about this – it is good business.

    Thank you, IE Team, for helping make my job easier.

    FAW

    (PS – Any chance of getting an image for IE5 testing? I work with a lot of legacy apps…)

  115. Xolith says:

    Is there a stand alone IE7 application that doesn’t integrate and make your computer evil.

  116. KG says:

    To our kind friends on the IE 7  Development/Program team – we need the ability to update the IE6 vhd image to IE7 via the WGA process (currently broken, as noted in other blogs), or we need an IE7 vhd.  ASAP, as always!  Can you help?

  117. cwc says:

    oh dear, so it means I would have to install another copy of sqlserver, mysql, php, clone a copy of all the web files i have running locally onto the vm inorder to just view it?

  118. perry says:

    As many others have mentioned, it does not appear that you can upgrade the supplied XP IE6 image to install IE7. Tried both through WindowsUpdate and IE7 direct download.

    Many large corporations still have IE6 on XP and we need to dev/test with IE7 before adoption.

  119. Tony says:

    @ cwc

    In a nut shell. Or you can follow compn instructions:

    "go into settings for networking

    and under network adapter 1 select shared networking (nat)

    this should make vpc open a NAT router for your vpc to connect to your lan/internet.

    then you can map a network drive using the ip, e.g. \192.168.0.1C , from within your vpc to access your local harddrive’s shared folders.

    good luck."

    Hopefully someone from MS will reply or post a new blog entry with a full set of instructions on how to use the vpc image to view files saved locally on the host pc.

  120. cwc says:

    Thanks tony…

    seems awfully complicated just to use the browser… not to mention the resource hog..

    think i’ll go for the standalone, unsupported ie6 somewhere further up the thread

  121. mb says:

    Can’t there just be a developer installation of ie7 that doesn’t uninstall ie6?  Why does installation have to be so rigid?  It doesn’t have to be this way.

  122. sjq says:

    Another vote for an IE7 vhd, or the ability to update the current IE6 vhd to IE7.

  123. Dev says:

    I use vmware player for this. I test all browsers in both linux and windows. It’s all free too and doesn’t hog or crash your computer. VPC is still VPC no matter how MS releases it–still buggy and slow.

  124. theWebster says:

    … but the XP image from µ$ failed "Genuine Windows" validation, claims the image was reported stolen. So I guess the image that will blow itself up April !st won’t allow any other Microsoft software installed on it anyhow. It does try to solicit some big bux for a valid copy of the OS though. 😛

  125. goose says:

    Microsoft software engineers demon-strated foresight and vision when integrating IE in the operating system.

    We have a fine, fine system in our posession – relied upon by thousands of applications and doing untold good for mankind!

    Thank you for these free virtual machine images. Microsoft, you make our lives so easy. Some would say too easy. Usability at the forefront as usual. Common-sense and the highest technology given to the masses. I love it.

  126. Ken says:

    Microsoft virtualization is a joke

  127. Jay says:

    I totally agree with other people here, it would be really nice to be able to have a single image where we can test other versions of IE.

    The set back with using a OS image is that it’s a very big download, and is a resource hog. Would it not be possible to release some sort of stand-alones based on what has been done with ‘local’ file-extension hack? Ideally this would be great (although  it would be good if installer could modify the registry so conditional comments also worked with the standalones as many people aren’t aware of this quirk)

  128. Jason says:

    What happens about any critical security updates for these VM’s?

  129. DJ Jean Gab1 says:

    liar !

    A virtual machine stay a machine, even virtual !

    go linux !

  130. Joseph@HP says:

    Count me in for either a fix to the WGA requirements for the upgrade from IE6 to IE7 on the virtual machine or the release of another .vhd image that has 7 installed instead of 6.

    I understand that MS expects us to upgrade to 7 yesterday, but the reality of computing in a corporate environment is that we can only do those things that the IT group policies allow.

    (and to the poster who said developers shouldn’t have any restrictions in their dev environments, well, I’m with you in spirit buddy, but I have to live and work in the *real* world)

  131. If you’re applied the IE7 update from Windows Update, and you’re going…. "GOSH! I can no longer login

  132. IT Blog says:

    Vor kurzem war der IE7 in der Post. Also nicht in der Briefpost, sondern verfgbar per Windows Updates. Bisher hatte ich mich damit noch nicht befasst, weil ich mit Firefox als System Browser sehr weit komme. Ich habe deswegen den IE7 Update im Hintergru

  133. Creation says:

    Well, I finally took the plunge and installed IE7 on my Macbookpro! Of course, before I did, I looked at all the alternatives for keeping IE6 running too. Evolt.org have standalone installers for Internet Explorer 5, 5.5 & 6 available for download but

  134. IE 7’s market share is growing quickly, still, developers will continue to need to test layouts and DHTML on IE 6 for some time to come. Sadly, there is no reliable way to run both IE 6 and IE 7…

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    The Smoking Section » The Marketing For… The Smoking Section samlar marknadsföringsmaterial runt nya Nine Inch Nails-skivan "Year Zero"….

  136. Многие спрашивают, как обеспечить работу обозревателей IE6 и IE7 в одной системе. Как уже писал Крис…

  137. After my last post, we have a nice, clean starting point for our website. Which is great, but in order to take it to the next level, we should probably get a nice development environment up and running.First, we’ll start…

  138. IEBlog says:

    In my original blog post about releasing the IE6 Virtual PC Image, we mentioned that it would expire

  139. For testing purposes, I want to be able to run both Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7 on my Windows XP system. Is that possible, and if so, how do I get it working?…

  140. So — you want to run multiple versions of Internet Explorer side-by-side for testing purposes. No problem, it’s simple! Oh, wait — no. It’s that other thing. Complicated. Luckily some other people have done most of the hard work for you, so i

  141. IEBlog : IE6 and IE7 Running on a Single Machine Many of you have asked how to run IE6 and IE7 in a side by side environment. As Chris Wilson blogged about early this year, it&#8217;s unfortunately not so easy…

  142. IEBlog says:

    Just a quick blog post to let you know we’ve updated the IE6 (XP SP2) and the IE7 (XP SP2) VPC images

  143. It seems I’m about to hit a month of no posting, so before that happens, let me share with you one of

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  145. Drigg says:

    Your story was featured in Drigg! Here is the link to vote it up and promote it: http://kidtube.nfshost.com/Firstcategory/gee_another_lion

  146. Ed eccolo qui, il desktop di windows 7, perfettamente integrato nella Virtual Box proposta da Sun. Devo dire che è simpatico, anche se sostanzialmente inutile, avere un sistema operativo nell’altro. L’unica utilità è quella di avere sullo stesso pc,

  147. Web designers and developers rejoice&mdash;browser compatibility testing just got a whole lot easier! For years we&#39;ve been complaining to Microsoft about the fact that you can&#39;t have more than one version of Internet Explorer installed on a computer