Testing Multiple Versions of IE on One PC


Previous posts described the importance of developing sites with feature detection and debugging a site’s behavior in older versions of Internet Explorer using IE’s browser and document modes. Testing production Web sites against multiple browsers and multiple browser versions is a reality of Web development. IE9’s emulation of older IE document modes makes this easier but those emulations are not exact. Some developers need a convenient way to run multiple versions of Internet Explorer on one PC. Windows 7’s Windows XP Mode is an interesting option for testing sites across versions of IE on one PC.

Running Multiple Versions of IE Using Windows XP Mode

One way to run multiple versions of Internet Explorer on one PC is to run the older version(s) of Internet Explorer using Windows XP Mode on a Windows PC running Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate edition. (Windows XP Mode is an optional downloaded feature of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions that provides you a pre-installed image of Windows XP SP3 that you run using Windows Virtual PC. A recent update allows Windows XP Mode to run on a CPU without hardware virtualization.)

It is even possible to set up and run multiple XP Modes on one Windows 7 machine, thereby allowing you to run Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, 8, and 9 simultaneously on a single machine.

IE versions 6, 7, 8, and 9 all running on one PC
Screen shot of my 24″ monitor showing IE9 running natively and IE6, 7, and 8 in three separate Windows XP Mode instances

Interested in trying this? This linked document provides detailed instructions for setting up a Windows XP Mode virtual machine and then copying it to create two additional XP Mode virtual machines and configuring them to run IE7 and IE8.

Other Options

This page links to white papers describing other solutions for virtualizing Internet Explorer.

This page contains links to Windows Virtual PC virtual machine hard drive images (VHDs) for testing websites with different Internet Explorer versions. These images were recently updated and now expire on May 18, 2011.

IE9 on the Horizon

Now is the time to prepare your production Web sites for IE9 while not forgetting your site’s visitors who use IE7 or IE8. Windows 7’s XP Mode is a no-additional-cost solution to testing multiple versions of Internet Explorer on a single PC running Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate.

—Ted Johnson, Lead Program Manager, Internet Explorer

Comments (77)

  1. DavidPaulo says:

    Steve will be happy

  2. Job says:

    At the start, when you write, "are not exact," you mean "are not exactly the same as running the other version," right?

  3. NotReallySteve says:

    Sorry HAD to put it in…this article would feel out of place without it!!

    I hate to repeat this here but once a post on the IE blog is not the latest post it gets ignored.

    Can someone from Microsoft please make a statement about shutting down the IE6/IE7/IE8/IE9 images at http://www.spoon.net/

    ======================================================================================================

    This was **THE** most useful resource for testing multiple versions of IE and the shutdown really ticked developers off!

    As a long time web developer of Enterprise Web Applications I've tried all the options out there to try and simplify testing IE and the lack of realistic options is a royal PITA.

    1.) Multiple IEs – IE8 breaks the functionality of IE6's textboxes – thus its a NO-GO

    2.) IETester – works great until you need to test popup interaction and then it fails – thus a NO-GO

    3.) Virtual PC with timebombed images of IE6, IE7, IE8 – works ok, but the 12Gigs of HD space needed is frustrating when each full image of Windows dies 4 times a year, running a full Windows image is slow and you have to beg for updates because the releases are not co-ordinated and announced well at all – thus its a NO-GO

    4.) IE Super Preview – Last I checked this did not allow full testing of IE user interaction, JavaScript DOM changes, popups etc. – thus its a NO-GO

    5.) Multiple PC's to run multiple versions of windows and IE.  With all the hardware, software, and physical space needed – its a NO-GO

    6.) Spoon.net IEs – They work, they work just like local native apps once running, and there's no hacking of my real local IE install. – the **ONLY** problem with these IE's is that Microsoft shut them down

    Please understand that we (developers) just want something that works.  Testing in multiple versions of IE is a pain to begin with and with IE9 on the horizon it is only getting worse.

    I'm not sure where the issue stands with Spoon, but I would really like a solution worked out fast.

    Steve

  4. Brandon Bloom says:

    Seriously. Spoon.net was *awesome*. I know Microsoft bought Softricity/SoftGrid a while ago, so you have the tech to implement this yourself. Give us FREE Spoon.net -style multiple IE app virtualization. We need it *yesterday*.

    While you're at it: how about a Microsoft-approved IE9-Frame for IE6/7/8? Similar to Google Chrome Frame, but Microsoft-approved, so you could convince IT shops to install it via group policy.

  5. Prior Semblance says:

    I will continue to support microsoft not supporting IE6 development, but this does sound useful for IE7/8 (mostly 8, 7 is dying now too).

  6. Alex Angelico says:

    Nice post but, if you are running ni a windows PC, the easiest methods are:

    1. ietester : http://www.my-debugbar.com/…/HomePage

    2. Install IE9 Beta, and use the included developer tools  to change the Browser Mode and the Documento Mode.

  7. JM says:

    This is a bit off-topic, but it came to mind when mentioning document modes. What's the meaning of including more and more document and browser modes in new versions of Explorer? Quirks mode is unfortunately still a requirement, IE7 mode was useful two years later, but the IE8 mode is really redundant. Will IE10 have 5 document modes?

    Another problem is that all the browser and document modes are too chaotic. What the hell is "IE9 compatibility view"? Is it IE7? IE8? What is the difference between browser mode and document mode? What mode is set when pressing that "torn sheet button"? Your articles related to this topic are good but not everyone read them. It would be very handy to add some help into Developer Tools.

    Thank you.

  8. Seth says:

    IE is dead. Since first Platform Preview of IE, Goolge released 3 or 4 version of Chrome. Now IE don't have any benefits. And it the only browser that requires rebooting PC after installation. Looks like MS has only 2 developers in IE team, because that's the only one explanation for your turttle-slow development. IE is dead. Really. It has no chances. It laks modern functionality, rendering engine support less HTML5 than the pther browsers, JavaScprit is slow, Interface is ugly, no simple extensions, no useful extensions, lot's of crappy bars that slow down IE… IE was outdated even when it was announced year ago. IE9 brings only new rendering engine, while other browser try to bring new functions. Sorry. I've been fan of IE for 10 years, but now switched to Safari. It is compact, it looks beautiful, it has great extensions, it can save video from YouTube and other sites without any add-ons… It took 3 – 4 years for other companies to do what IE team was unable to do since 1994. Where are Offline favorites? Where are normal tools for completing forms? WHY I CAN'T DELETE ADDONS FROM BROWSER????

  9. @Job: You are correct. I mean that IE9’s emulations of older versions of IE are not the same as running the old version. The code is different. The emulations are very close but not exactly the same.

    @JM: The purpose of the legacy document modes is primarily to run content designed for older versions of Internet Explorer. In addition to Quirks, there are actually sites—sometimes intranet sites—developed for IE7 and IE8. Rather than break those sites with IE9, we offer them a compatibility mode. Our hope is that sites will move forward but compatibility modes allow them to do it on their schedule, not ours. blogs.msdn.com/…/testing-sites-with-browser-mode-vs-doc-mode.aspx discusses this in more detail and explains the differences between browser mode and document mode.

  10. John Nerush says:

    When will Microsoft finally lay these out of date and inferior browsers to rest, all you are doing is causing designers pain.

    Stop fighting against Chrome and Firefox. Learn from their success.

  11. Viktor Krammer [Quero] says:

    I think the emulation in IE9 via the developer tools (F12) document / browser mode works quite well for most cases :) What are the exact pain points of using the IE7/IE8 emulator in IE9?

  12. Jimmy says:

    This is great. I had no idea you could use XP mode to accomplish this. Thanks for the post!

  13. Andrew says:

    4 VMs (on Mac), all XP except the one with IE 9 which is Windows 7. This is because the emulation is NOT the same as using the actual browser. Usually these days, IE 9 can render most everything I have made work with Firefox and Chrome. Then I can get into conditionals for IE 8, and go down from there. Most sites I do today don't support IE 6 in any capacity. That VM can hopefully disappear soon.

    I cannot believe we still have to support it too in this way. It should be updated on a continual basis, and updates should be highly encouraged. Both Chrome and Firefox get updates to their engine (which improves CSS layout too between versions, adds new tags, etc, NOT just security!). If IE 6 were updated frequently we might even still see that interface (maybe just with tabs taken from competitors) but at the very least all the known bugs of it would be gone and much faster than it was waiting for IE 7.

    I don't see where their problem is. I thought by now MSHTML and IE's MSHTML would be separate therefore NOT breaking compatibility with old applications (which are dumb enough to use IE to display HTML).

  14. Mohamed Mansour says:

    Testing IE with this approach not only wastes a lot of space, but a lot of computing power and memory. Imagine running 4 VM's … IETester is much better, faster, and less space/memory. http://www.my-debugbar.com/…/HomePage It is just a few MBs in size and doesn't require a VM.

  15. jabcreations says:

    I test IE6 and IE7 on XP using between 384~512 megabytes of RAM each while Windows 7 pretty much won't run without at least a GB of RAM. Any recommendations besides disabling SuperFetch? Also it besides the fact that it is not only completely useful because it blindly loads everything making users wait until it's finished it is also constantly turned back on by Windows Update. I don't have the bloat or problems with XP.

  16. jabcreations says:

    SuperFetch is *useless, not useful.

  17. Ben Buchanan says:

    Would it be possible to change the emulations in IE to be actual/accurate emulations? XP Mode is ok but resource hungry and does not run well if you're also running something like a Java IDE and full application instance (I have a quad core, 12gig machine at work and xp mode is still very slow).

    Also given IE9 won't run on XP, in the big picture this is only a temporary solution. Basically we need a real and permanent solution for testing multiple IE versions, something that doesn't require multiple VMs or relying on "not exact" (meaning unreliable) emulations.

    Since MS does not aggressively push new versions of IE, MS needs to support the developers stuck supporting multiple versions!

  18. Only 54 steps! says:

    Awesome! only 54 steps to get all the testable versions of IE to work (and only if you're on Windows 7).

    If only there were an easy solution like hosted images you could link to at the click of a button! – Wait, there was a site – Spoon.net!

    Oh yeah, then you guys shut them down without any explanation, making developers suffer even more than normal.

    A little write up on why Microsoft shut down Spoon to make development for IE a major pain in the rear would be greatly appreciated.  you might as well kick us when we are down since you just told us that you are no longer planning to support the Open Web and plan to force license restricted H.264 video on the entire Internet because you're unwilling to step up to the table and discuss supporting an open format.

    What a horrible week to be a Web Developer! – Please no more blog posts next week about how IE is continuing to ruin the Internet.

  19. albert says:

    i had no clue there were different versions of 7. go figure…."premium" was your most basic. because that is what premium implies……..entirely……..

    nice links to "read this if you cant do this"….way to put effort into this post. and your position. and your company. and its products.

    way to answer all the questions on here too. kudos.

  20. Max says:

    Special for Steve

    img51.imageshack.us/…/44112755.jpg

    p.s. 3 virtual PC – is no good

  21. Irrelevant says:

    These comments make me wonder how many real developers are actually posting here, besides the usual microsoft bashers, trolls and minors.

    The proposed solution is perfecty viable and should have occurred to anyone with half a brain. If you're stil thinking it's not, then perhaps web development, (or software in general) is not for you, and you may need to consider other career options.

    Thanks to Ted for taking the time to point out the painfully obvious.

  22. antony says:

    if microsoft can force they are not limit they hijack stole other's idea like Google innovative search. Silverlight copycat of Adobe flash and many other from other software vendor. well tell why home premium user can not use this feature any reason for this. because they need money money money. so it's joke that open-source and Microsoft. well tell me what thing you really made for developer  yeah IE 9 with HTML5 and CSS3 really. so are their any plugin for Web development in IE even 6, 7,8,9 like other provide such as chrome and firefox.

    this is a another stupidity that they force XP user to purchase window 7 after that upgrade to 8 by paying hight amount for os.

    the product come from microsoft rleate to money that other not chrome is a big one browser and firefox another. but IE joke for Web development.

  23. Hans says:

    I miss a reference to Superpreview – http://www.microsoft.com/…/details.aspx

  24. Vince says:

    Why install multiple versions of IE ?? Just use IE Tester instead.

  25. Blaise Kal says:

    I currently test IE6, IE7 and IE8 on my Mac using VirtualBox (open source) and multiple XP Virtal Machines. I like it for its speed and reliability, but it's a pain to setup.

    Microsoft's images with IE versions were also OK, but after having to reinstall the Nth time because of the time limitation, I stopped using it. I don't like IEtester, Superpreview and MultipleIE because there are differences with the actual browsers, mostly in Javascript handling and form elements.

  26. Jon says:

    Here's a better idea: we don't test for IE versions < 9 at all until Microsoft produces stand-alone versions that can be installed side by side. So long as they demand developers download massive, time bombed VM images, just to have the privilege of testing on older, buggy versions of their software, or jump through endless hoops to setup mutiple instances of XP mode, I see no reason to bother.

    Instead, why don't we say to site visitors: "This site may not work with IE8 and below, as Microsoft refuse to make it convenient to test with them. If you have any complaints, please direct them to Ted Johnson at Microsoft, or install a better browser."

    Oh, and I look forward to the useful, illuminating response from Microsoft that is always forthcoming when the question of side by side IE is raised, as it has been, continuously, for the past ten years.

  27. Wixred says:

    For IE7-9, I test by using either the IE9 Platform Preview document mode/stardard control or use IE 9 Developer Tools to do the same thing. Otherwise, I may use IETester which includes all previously mentioned as well as IE6 and IE5.5.

  28. Ben Buchanan says:

    Since a few people don't seem to realise, you don't need to use the timebombed images with XP Mode. If you <a href="weblog.200ok.com.au/…/browser-testing-with-windows-7-xp-mode.html">use the differencing method</a> you end up with persistent virtual WinXP instances. Still not ideal as I said earlier, and would be a heck of a lot easier if you could just spin up multiple instances of XP Mode without the runaround, but in the long run not as annoying as the timebombed images.

  29. c69 says:

    @IE Team,  tnx for good tutorial !

    @Irrelevant , yeah, pretty much same feeling

  30. kejserdreng says:

    Ie 9 has not made the plugin Quicktime working. When quicktime plugin is install apple.com is so slow it become useless.

    discussions.info.apple.com/thread.jspa

    Please Microsoft ie9 team, the Quicktime plugin is working perfect on all other browsers (Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome)

    There is no excuse for microsoft to blame Apple. Microsoft needs to make this highly wide spread Quicktime plugin working in Ie9

    Many people rely on itunes, iphone from apple, so if Microsoft dont do something to solve the problem, people inkluding me will desplace ie9 and use Firefox instead

    Many thanks

  31. asdf says:

    Firefox has a feature in about:config called "middlemouse.scrollbarPosition" which allows you to middle click on the scrollbar to scroll to an exact position. Please implement this feature in IE9.

    Also middle mouse dragging a page to pan would be nice.

  32. narcis says:

    Forget about multiple versions. IE is the only browser that talks about this.  When will you decide to become a modern browser? you are at <50% of share and falling and falling [0]  

    Wake up!

    [0]  en.wikipedia.org/…/Usage_share_of_web_browsers

  33. Pies says:

    We've stopped testing in IE6 and 7 a looong time ago. It's not our job to support you, it's your job to make sure your browser supports standard technologies.

  34. Nick says:

    @Vince – IETester doesn't do popups – so for any enterprise web development, IETester won't do.

    @Hans – super Preview was the biggest waste of time I've seen since MS Bob. It gives you nothing more helpful than a quick screenshot tool for other browsers.   That doesn't help most of us becase we need to test the javascript, resizing, interacting, etc.

    If you really want to just test CSS styling in multiple browsers – but still have interactive real-world testing use the Firefox Firebug plugin "FireCSS" – it is beyond amazing.

    @Microsoft – When is IE going to support cool extensions? Everything available for IE now is almost as bad as IE itself.  See Chrome & Firefox's extension library – unbelievable options available… for IE? nothing worth taking the time to download.

    @narcis – IE is the only browser vendor that discusses this because IE is the only browser vendor that doesn't support side by side installs. Not only was this a major failure for helping developers but also for end users and corporations that wanted to transition their upgrades to get to the latest version quicker.  Instead corporations feared updates because something might break, and dev shops delayed supporting new versions of IE because of the difficulty to test in multiple versions.

    Today we are at the dawn of the worst scenario for IE ever.  Come April we will have to support 4 (FOUR!!!) separate versions of IE. 1 that almost supports most of the standards, and 3 with little to no support for standards… and best of all – only 1 mega convoluted way to test in all versions.

    I'm going to give @Ted's suggestion for a QUAD IE install a try and hope it works out.  It's no where near as convenient as multiple IE's was, or Spoon was but apparently MSFT doesn't care about developers any more.

    @Microsoft – you've been very quiet about HTML5 innerHTML.  Have you declared whether IE9 RTM will actually support this property properly?  Or will this just be the (13th?, 14th?, 15th?, 19th?) thing in IE9 that fails to meet the bar on?

    @Microsoft – HTML5 forms? It seems odd that IE is the only browser that hasn't added new form controls in the last DECADE… are you holding out the good news to surprise us when the RC comes out?

    @Microsoft – there was a rumor floating around that MSFT wasn't going to release IE9 at this years Mix because it won't be ready (which makes perfect sense based on the beta's we've seen thus far, and the lack of bug fixes).  Should we bother buying tickets to Mix this year? or wait until next year.

  35. Nick says:

    The comments form on this blog is pathetic.  It totally needs an auto-save and some indicator that the comment was actually submitted.

    reposting since I can't see the actual comment.

    @Vince – IETester doesn't do popups – so for any enterprise web development, IETester won't do.

    @Hans – super Preview was the biggest waste of time I've seen since MS Bob. It gives you nothing more helpful than a quick screenshot tool for other browsers.   That doesn't help most of us becase we need to test the javascript, resizing, interacting, etc.

    If you really want to just test CSS styling in multiple browsers – but still have interactive real-world testing use the Firefox Firebug plugin "FireCSS" – it is beyond amazing.

    @Microsoft – When is IE going to support cool extensions? Everything available for IE now is almost as bad as IE itself.  See Chrome & Firefox's extension library – unbelievable options available… for IE? nothing worth taking the time to download.

    @narcis – IE is the only browser vendor that discusses this because IE is the only browser vendor that doesn't support side by side installs. Not only was this a major failure for helping developers but also for end users and corporations that wanted to transition their upgrades to get to the latest version quicker.  Instead corporations feared updates because something might break, and dev shops delayed supporting new versions of IE because of the difficulty to test in multiple versions.

    Today we are at the dawn of the worst scenario for IE ever.  Come April we will have to support 4 (FOUR!!!) separate versions of IE. 1 that almost supports most of the standards, and 3 with little to no support for standards… and best of all – only 1 mega convoluted way to test in all versions.

    I'm going to give @Ted's suggestion for a QUAD IE install a try and hope it works out.  It's no where near as convenient as multiple IE's was, or Spoon was but apparently MSFT doesn't care about developers any more.

    @Microsoft – you've been very quiet about HTML5 innerHTML.  Have you declared whether IE9 RTM will actually support this property properly?  Or will this just be the (13th?, 14th?, 15th?, 19th?) thing in IE9 that fails to meet the bar on?

    @Microsoft – HTML5 forms? It seems odd that IE is the only browser that hasn't added new form controls in the last DECADE… are you holding out the good news to surprise us when the RC comes out?

    @Microsoft – there was a rumor floating around that MSFT wasn't going to release IE9 at this years Mix because it won't be ready (which makes perfect sense based on the beta's we've seen thus far, and the lack of bug fixes).  Should we bother buying tickets to Mix this year? or wait until next year.

  36. IE8 user says:

    Installing IE9 on Windows 7 or Windows Vista deletes existing features of IE7/iE8 which shipped with these operating systems. A dumbed down IE9 is the last thing anyone wants. No thanks, I am forced to stay with IE8 because of the superior customizable GUI despite the genuine rendering engine improvements in IE9.

  37. Ottmar Freudenberger says:

    Ted / IE-Team: Have you checked with legal department? The EULA of XP-Mode reads:

    "1. GRANT OF LICENSE. Microsoft grants you the following rights provided that you comply with all terms and conditions of this EULA:

    1.1 Installation and use.  You may install, use, access, display and run one copy of the Software in a single virtual machine on a single computer, such as a workstation, terminal or other device (“Workstation Computer”), that contains a licensed copy of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate edition.  Virtualization software is required to use the Software on the Workstation Computer.  The Software may not be used by more than two (2) processors at any one time on any single Workstation Computer."

    Now what?

  38. Olivier says:

    Why can't we run Virtual PC in Windows 7 home edition ? Windows 7 is already much slower than Windows XP, but removing this king of features is very bad.

    Can we convert your WinXP VHDs into images compatible with VirtualBox ? Or do we need to install illegal versions of XP in VirtualBox (big advantage : no timelimit) ?

  39. Alvatrus says:

    @Olivier

    Because XP-mode is geared towards ensuring compatibility within a business environment. It was never meant to create an environment to run old games, something that a lot of home users then would try to do. The basic functionality/performance of the XP-Mode video-driver would make that a poor experience.

    Microsoft wants to avoid that deadly pitfall.

  40. alex says:

    non è tutto oro quello che luccica

  41. AndyC says:

    @Ottmar Freudenberger: That only applies in terms of the single XP license included with Win 7 Pro or above. You can run more instances if the licenses have been obtained from elsewhere, such as Technet/MSDN or the timebombed IE testing images provided online. You can even use those on Home Premium by downoading the seperate Virtual PC for Windows 7 which also supports the integration features too.

  42. Gisabun says:

    What I don't understand is why can't Microsoft figure a way to use older versions and beta IE9 version using App-V. You can do it with VMware's ThinApp kb.vmware.com/…/1026565

  43. Marek says:

    Looks like the commercial decision to make IE uninstallable is backfiring.

  44. Klimax says:

    @Marek: IE is (I think) sort of shell with core being mshtml.dll and co, which in turn is used by help and at times by other applications.

  45. Ottmar Freudenberger says:

    @AndyC

    I don't see the EULA and licence "problematic" mentioned in this nor in the "instructions" article "Setting up Windows 7's XP Mode" which is linked to in the blog article.See the "copy" sections in that -ehm- instructions article" Creating a second XP Mode virtual machine for IE7 is easier than setting up the first though the steps below are longer because they’re more complete. Briefly, all you need to do is copy the virtual hard disk file, create a new virtual machine using that hard disk file, rename the virtual computer, and use Windows Update to install IE7. Here are the steps in more detail:[…]". That's why I'm asking for… ;-)

  46. Brian LePore says:

    As a developer that just got a Windows 7 Home Premium box and loaded it with 16 GB of RAM and just finished installing everything I need on Friday … I am really wishing this ran on Home Premium. I get why it doesn't, but dang it.

    Does Microsoft offer the ability to upgrade your license? What is involved in this? Will I have to reinstall everything?

  47. David S says:

    Will the real Steve please stand up?

  48. SnarkMaiden says:

    @Brian LePore – it's called a Windows Anytime upgrade and you can do it from inside Win 7 without reinstalling – hit the Start button and type 'anytime' and you should get a link to the control panel for doing this.

  49. steve_web says:

    I'm a little concerned about a recent finding in IE9.

    If you have a page that contains iframes of any kind (think ads, think widgets, think partner sites, think sandboxed systems, think WYSIWYG editors, etc.) there is a MAJOR difference in how IE9 will behave versus previous IE versions.

    a.) If your top window is rendering in IE9 standards… your child iframes are FORCED to render in IE9 standards even if they aren't designed to.

    b.) If your top window is rendering in non-IE9 mode… your child iframes can be any mode EXCEPT IE9 standards mode.

    Which means if you have a non-IE9 page hosting an iframe with Canvas or SVG content – you're SOL to get it to work right in IE9.

    If for some reason I'm misunderstanding this, please advise but the MS Connect tickets seem to indicate this is happening – and that someone thought it was a good idea to do this "By Design":

    connect.microsoft.com/…/canvas-element-unknown-in-iframe-if-no-doctype-on-parent-page-ie9p5

    connect.microsoft.com/…/manually-refreshing-an-iframe-causes-its-document-mode-to-change

    What's the story?

  50. Brian LePore says:

    @SnarkMaiden,

    Hah, I was just about to post that I had just found this feature. Unfortunately, there is an error on the page (maybe because I have IE9 installed?), thus I cannot currently upgrade. First error looks to be in jquery 1.4.2. I tried to continue to run scripts, but I don't see anything on the page.

    BUT, I was able to load up Fiddler to view the HTTP requests, get the referer, and from there paste the URL into IE9 and saw content. That being said, when I tried to order it said form kept kicking me to a 'Online purchase for the Windows Anytime Upgrade you have selected is not currently available. ' page. Tried accessing it in Chrome but the same thing happened there to.

    I'll check back later, but this just doesn't seem to be my day. :(

  51. kejserdreng says:

    Ie 9 has not made the plugin Quicktime working. When quicktime plugin is install apple.com is so slow it become useless.

    discussions.info.apple.com/thread.jspa

    Please Microsoft ie9 team, the Quicktime plugin is working perfect on all other browsers (Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome)

    There is no excuse for microsoft to blame Apple. Microsoft needs to make this highly wide spread Quicktime plugin working in Ie9

    Many people rely on itunes, iphone from apple, so if Microsoft dont do something to solve the problem, people inkluding me will desplace ie9 and use Firefox instead

    Many thanks

  52. jun says:

    Microsoft doesn't actually make money off of IE, so its strange to me they don't just give up on it and make a deal with Mozilla to bundle Firefox with Windows.

  53. jun says:

    "…running Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate."

    The other amazing thing to me is why Microsoft likes this OS fragmentation. Windows netbooks are losing marketshare to tablets, and I'm thinking it has less to do with people really wanting tablets than people being fed up with buying a netbook and then finding they can't run their programs on it because the program requires Windows 7 Professional but their computer came with Windows 7 Starter.  And they wonder why people are sticking with XP!

  54. Phil Ricketts says:

    This is ridiculous. Who is going to run 4 VMs? Ugh, and to think that spoon.net used to work SO DAMN WELL.

    Microsoft > You'd make a lot of people very, very happy – if you just used a tiny tiny amount of your resource to do what spoon.net did. Let us stream versions of IE6, IE7, IE8, IE9 over the web – or find a way of sandboxing them. Please.

  55. Continued disbelief says:

    It continues to amaze me the amount of people who don't understand why Microsoft can't just dump IE.  For better or worse, IE won the first browser war, and in that initial period of people figuring out what they could do with html, companies developed numerous thin client strategies and in house processes.  There was a fairly large gap between the effective death of Netscape and beginnings of Firefox as a viable alternative, and for the push of different web techs to gain momentum.  However, those IE based thinclient solutions (with all of their misguided activex and other issues) became entrenched in corporations.  Add to that the problems MS had delivering Vista, and IE6 became a corporate staple for far too long.  

    Now the situation is that corporations might upgrade machines on a simple write down/asset management cycle, but if it can't run the corporate software (delivered through IE6) then its no good.  So they clung to XP and IE6.  Which is to say, desktop and infrastructure life cycles are very different.  You might swap out a desktop every three years, but a core piece of company software used critically day to day, won't change much in 10.

    Microsoft make alot of money from companies, and they are not going to alienate this large income stream.  So they do their best to go slowly, keep as much backward compatability as possible and make upgrade paths possible.

    This has a lot to do with my IE7 and IE8 were fairly timid releases.  If MS screw up a release, its not as simple as a quick patch, it means corporations will ignore this release entirely.

    Which brings us on to this whole 'I refuse to develop for IE' clap trap we hear so much from alleged web designers.  While in a perfect world I agree it'd be great to develop one solution, and every body can view it nioce and easy, with no headaches for anyone.  Yay!  However, when you're providing a service to a client your predominant task is to get their data/message/service to their customers and users.  While you may deteste the fudges and changes and workarounds you need to do, thats part of why they're paying you to do the job on not just push some crud saved from Word onto a website.

    By all means, have your private sites ignore IE fixes, use whatever bleeding edge tech you like.  Just remember that until you're willing to tell your client that they'll have to ignore 1/3 – 2/3 of their potential client base, you've got to live with it.  And no, its not MS's requirement to make life easy for you.  See that money your client pays you as a professional?  That means they expect you to be able to deal with these things.  If you can't manage that, you're in the wrong line of work.

  56. The rest of us says:

    So what about the rest of us? the ones that cant install 4 XPMode VMs and all that bloat!

    All we want is a Spoon – we can do the rest.

    Hurry up and buy Spoon so that we don't have to suffer with this lame multi-os hack install to test in multiple IE versions.  You and I both know it is a weak attempt at solving the problem and still leaves developers stranded.

  57. The rest of us says:

    …where "it" is this silly XP Mode hack that only some developers can use.

  58. Shaun gould says:

    I use IE Tester:

    http://www.my-debugbar.com/…/HomePage

    works fine for testing what sites look like using different version of Internet Explorer, why waste your with all this other stuff when a simple free app solves it all

  59. Gisabun says:

    @kejserdreng : Actually, it is not up to Microsoft to fix Apple's QuickTime plugin  but Apple. Apple wrote it, Apple fixes it. Just like writing a plugin for a new version of [choose your favourite application with plugins] – it is the plugin developer that fixes their own products.

    PS – Not to start anything, QuickTime plugin in Windows probably isn't that popular. While I have it, I rarely have the need for it.

  60. Chris says:

    QTLite is also worth mentioning instead of fully blown QuickTime.

  61. Sandra says:

    @The rest of us

    That's just your opinion. Who are you, anyway? Steve, the Spoon CEO?

  62. IEFont says:

    What are you doing with the font issue connect.microsoft.com/…/font-rendering-is-worse-in-ie9-than-ie8

    2010-03-16 you said this "Thank you for your feedback. We were able to reproduce the issue and will be investigating this." but nothing has happen since?

  63. Olivier says:

    @Alvatrus : so we have to pay 100 more euros (or dollars or whatever) just to be able to run what was running in previous Windows version (ie. VirtualPC in XP Home).

    It's not a nice move from Microsoft toward small companies who can't afford the most expensive versions of softwares.

    I guess people having Win7 Home and wanting to play old games don't mind using Virtualbox or VMWare and installing a cracked copy of Windows XP. Here I'm talking about small companies who want to stay in the legality by using timebombed versions of Windows provided by Microsoft.

    If we have to use VMs to test older versions of IE, it's Microsoft fault, not users' one.

  64. The rest of us says:

    @Sandra – I have no relation to Spoon at all.  In fact I'm quite ok with any solution to allow multiple IE version testing that is free and easy to use/deploy.  Like everyone else I find that installing a whole Operating system is massive overkill for testing a web page in IE.

    More importantly, what percentage of the computer population is running the required Windows 7 installation to even do this? In December 2010, according to Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/…/Usage_share_of_operating_systems only 24% of computers were running Windows 7 (all versions) – note that is less than 1/4 of all computers… and of those how many are actually running the required version?

    Finally lets not forget that this issue with Multiple IE versions has been around since Microsoft released IE7 (2006).  So for FIVE YEARS! and counting we've been waiting for a permanent solution to this problem and only now – FIVE YEARS LATER has Microsoft provided a convoluted workaround band-aid solution to the problem.

    However to be honest there are additional issues that made this worse.  If Vista hadn't been an absolute commercial failure, users would have updated faster and not be left behind.

  65. Richard says:

    Surprised you didn't mention Microsoft Expression Web 3 SuperPreview for Internet Explore – which admittedly is only a partial solution, but does provide some useful side by side testing of IE6, 7 and 8.

    http://accessibleweb.eu/

  66. HTML5 Video says:

    We still need Microsoft to come to the table and discuss the correct HTML5 video format.

    =====================================================================

    We ***ABSOLUTELY MUST*** not use H.264 as the default format and here is why (quoted from multiple forums around the Net)

    ——

    Since the beginning of the Web, individuals and companies, commercial and non-commercial, have been able to produce and distribute content in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, and text on the Web without paying licensing fees for the use of any of those amazing technologies.

    Since the beginning of the Web, individuals and companies, commercial and non-commercial, have been able to create tools that helped content producers make and distribute HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, and text on the Web without paying licensing fees for the use of those amazing technologies.

    Since the beginning of the Web, individuals and companies, commercial and non-commercial, have been able to make clients (like Web browsers) that display HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, and text on the Web without paying licensing fees for the use of those amazing technologies.

    This is the critical feature of the Web that makes it different from all other media and communication tools that have come before it. This is what makes it possible for tiny little start-ups to become a Facebook or a Google or a Mozilla.

    Simply put, this freedom from licensing requirements is what makes the Web great. We, the community of people who make the Web what it is, should not be so quick to toss that all important foundation aside just because some hardware or OS vendors think it's the easy or most profitable path.

    ——

  67. jun says:

    @Continued disbelief

    The very reasons you say Microsoft can't drop IE are why they should. Continued development for IE DOES mean breaking these illconceived Intranet applications.  Putting out a version of IE6 that only works for Intranet and cannot access the Internet, well that would be the solution.  Bundle Firefox with Windows for the web and a crippled Intranet only IE6 for Intranet.  Problem solved.

  68. jun says:

    Or better yet, make IE10 use webkit or gecko for Internet sites and some old Trident emulator for Intranet.  Why not make things simple?  Anyone who has a public facing website that still only works for IE6 or any IE simply needs to fix it now.  So its only internal Intranet apps that Microsoft is catering to by stifling IE's movement into the 21st century.  New IE releases should CEASE to render public facing sites the old 20th century way EVER.

  69. I just use thinapp says:

    No need for a vm…..

  70. Olivier says:

    @The rest of us : the problem isn't really Windows 7, because VirtualPC works in Windows XP. The problem is that Microsoft requires us to buy Windows 7 Pro+ to use XP Mode (which is the new name of VirtualPC).

    VirtualPC was working for years on any version of XP, and suddendly they changed their mind for Win7 and need us to pay at least 100 more euros to be able to run VirtualPC (Win7 Pro cost about 100 more euros than the Home edition).

    They have also their stupid excuse to prevent us from running IE9 in Windows XP, just to forces us to upgrade to Windows 7.

    PS : please note that I'm not talking about Vista because I've no idea if it can run VirtualPC and/or if there's a XPMode or something like that.

  71. Steve says:

    @irrelevant: Indeed. The anti-MS trolls here are just pathetic. Why would any rational person bother to spend time on an IE developer community blog to post irrelevant and often factual incorrect preconceived fanboy ramblings, without even bothering to read, understand or relate to the blog postings in question?

    It is actually just sad, even though it is a nuisance I feel sorry for people like that.

    Even though the IE team laudably try to be open here, I do belive a lot of people would support more strict registration and moderation to improve the signal-to-noise ratio.

  72. Brian LePore says:

    Would like to update that after using Fiddler to get the URL for Windows Anytime Upgrade and pasting it into IE and setting the browser mode/document modes to IE8/7 (switched it a few times) I was *finally* able to upgrade my Windows 7 box and have installed XP Mode. Trying to get it up now. Very time consuming, but not even remotey difficult. Would be nice if I could just download VMs to get a working IE6-8 going, but oh well.

  73. Carlos says:

    jun said

    "Or better yet, make IE10 use webkit or gecko for Internet sites"

    i don't want to repeat my self, but again: forget about Gecko. IE must go with webkit, it is more solid than Gecko, and have better standards support.

    For example, have a look at http://www.browserscope.org/ , compare current versions of engines.

  74. Paul Young says:

    Thought I should mention that Stylizer (http://www.skybound.ca) supports previews in Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8 (in addition to other browsers) without much effort.

  75. JC says:

    I constantly tell our CEO, who just migrated to Mac OSX, that we spend most of our days debugging IE rendering issues when building new sites. I tell our clients that as well. "A lot of your $$ goes into making Microsoft IE work properly." It is FACT and it is TRUTH. The LEAST Microsoft could have done was keep IE on SPOON.NET/BROWSERS. Just out of good will to the development community. Really bad form removing IE for Spoon.net. Frustrate developers for years with MS proprietary garbage, then slap them in the face as they try to support your bloated, unsecure browser. You should really sort this out… not tomorrow. NOW! Either that or just rebrand FIREFOX or a webkit browser. Get with the program already. Ballmer has you guys in 2001 still. The man should have been fired long, long ago. 100% completely out of touch.

  76. JC says:

    Also, since most web devs have jumped shipped to Mac, spoon.net was really the best way to develop for IE. Will this XP Mode fix work in Win7 in Parallels for Mac? You may want to mention that… because most of the people reading this would most likely want to know.