Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

IE6 Virtual PC Refresh Now Available

Category: IE, Microsoft, Testing

Pete LePage of the IE team has created a new Virtual PC IE6 image that allows designers and developers to do testing in an emulation layer.

This image is for Virtual PC 2007.

They didn’t do a version with IE 5.5 because:

We did do some investigation of shipping VHD’s with IE5.5, or earlier, but decided that due to the low browser usage share (less than 1% total usage for all IE versions before 6), it wasn’t going to be beneficial for enough developers and designers.

You will see that people jumped on this discussing how their stats are showing many mor IE 5 users :)

Posted by Dion Almaer at 7:52 am

2.1 rating from 101 votes


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Free. No additional software needed. The IE team should spend more time on making a descent browser and less time on this.

Comment by sillyIe — March 22, 2007

sillyle, I’ve found most of those solutions don’t quite cut it. For example, most of the methods of getting PNG support in a lot of these standalone IE6/multiple IE apps break. A VM is the only way to go to make sure you’re getting exactly what you should.

Comment by Andrew White — March 22, 2007

IE 6 won’t work in Vista, not even in standalone mode. Hence the VM image is actually a fairly nice gesture.

Comment by Kai Jaeger — March 22, 2007

Andrew is definitely correct. I’ve run into all kinds of issues with standalone versions of IE, including standalone versions of IE7. The only way you can be confident in your test of IE is using either a real install (which is not practical) or using a VM (which is easy).

Comment by xxdesmus — March 22, 2007

Awesome! “This copy of Windows did not pass genuine validation. The product key found on this computer was reported as stolen or lost.” Is there talk on a fix for this?

Comment by Steve Nolte — March 22, 2007

Nice. Ive been using the past image for my ie6 testing for a while now, very convenient

Comment by Daniel Rust — March 22, 2007

anybody know how to get this to work with VMWare? I tried using the converter but it can’t do anything with Microsoft’s image.

Comment by mdm-adph — March 22, 2007

I’m disappointed in the IE6 only because the entire point of using VMs for testing is to get all the weird setups that you normally wouldn’t get on your machine. Oh well. One of these days I’ll do a setup like Alex Russell’s:

Comment by Karl G — March 22, 2007

Am I the only one who thinks it’s stupid that MS has to release an entire virtual OS just so we can test sites in IE 6? I’m just wondering why they can’t make old versions of IE fully self contained?

I mean, we don’t have to do it to test sites on FF 1.5 and FF 2. All we need to do is install one of each and we can test in both (albeit not at the same time).

Kudos however to MS for releasing it at all (although I’d prefer they don’t restrict it to VPC).

Comment by Ian — March 22, 2007

i dont think it’s as retarded as it looks, after all IE 5/6/7 is intertwined all through whatever OS is inhabits like a cancer, so make a truely standalone IE6 would be very hard.

as sillyle pointed out above is fantastic – however there’s no way that Microsoft can officially support this though – can you imagine what would happen if you started browsing dodgy sites using securityless IE5? your computer would get infested with everything!

Note you CAN’T use Multiple_IE on Vista

However I’m guessing that you can run Multiple_IE on a the VPC

Comment by Steve Boyd — March 22, 2007

@Steve Nolte:
If you read the IEblog post linked in the article you would find it saying

We have learned some interesting things about the distribution process in a virtual machine environment. One is that we currently don’t have a way for WGA to work inside this evaluation virtual machine because the process used to create a virtual machine involves de-activation of the key used in the VM. We are thinking about ways to fix this in the future but it’s not as easy to do with Windows XP as it wasn’t designed to support distribution like this.

@mdm-adph: Why would you want that? Virtual PC is freely available.

Comment by erlando — March 23, 2007

@all of you

Yes, Microsoft blows for having a browser tied into their OS. All of us know it, and we’ve known and loathed it for ages. Get over it and move on to an argument that might have some positive effect.

Thank you to those of you acknowledging the IE team’s effort in putting out a freely downloadable copy of Windows (just say that again to yourself…slowly) so that people who still have to support IE6 until it dies the horrible death it deserves can still test with it. The IE team has earned praise for their efforts. They just need to keep it up.

Comment by The Hater — March 23, 2007

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