There have been a few questions as comments on my blog that I wanted to follow up on.
When are we going to release the image?
As soon as humanly possible. The image is done, we're just working through some time bombing issues right now. We can't ship an untime bombed image, as that would be effectively shipping a full fledged OS. The image has been submitted, and it's being worked through right now. After having just shipped Vista, and the Thanksgiving holiday, a lot of the important folks are out this week, so we haven't been able to make it happen.
Will I be announcing the release of the image here?
ABSOLULTELY! As soon as it's up, I'll get a blog post up. We'll also make an announcement on the IE blog. If you're not familiar with the IE blog, you should check it out. It's THE place for info about what is going on on the IE team. It's a communal blog, so anyone on the team can post to it, and it's open for comments.
Doesn't XXXXXXXXXXXXX allow me to test IE side by side?
The short answer is not really. While it may look almost like what IEX looks like, it will not give you the exact same behaviors. For example, the network stack changes that IE7 released (IDN and other improvements), would be available to IE6 if you were running them side by side, but your customers aren't going to have that experience! So while it may work on your computer because it's getting Frankenstein bits from all sorts of different places, you're customers aren't running with Frankenstein bits!
How will we be able to download it?
It's going to be available on the Microsoft download center. It'll be about a 550meg download, so certainly not small, but not huge either. The image itself is about 1.5gigs, but through some compression techniques, we were able to compress it down to just over 500megs.
Hope everyone in the US enjoys their Turkey Day, and the rest of the world, enjoy your week.