Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

Running IE7 and IE6 at the same time: Windows and Mac

A common issue with testing IE 7 and IE 6 is, how do you get to do this in an environment which is true to the user environment?

The IE team has blogged about IE6 and IE7 Running on a Single Machine, and their answer is to give us a Virtual PC image that contains:

  • Windows XP Professional SP2 + high-priority fixes through November 2006
  • Internet Explorer 6.0
  • Internet Explorer 7 Readiness Toolkit 2.0

The idea is: run IE 7 on your main machine, and boot into this VPC image for IE 6.

On the Mac side there is exciting news. Parallels has a new release that contains:

  • Coherence mode: You can run Windows apps that appear like they are mac windows. They fit into Alt-Tab and expose. No need to go to the “windows” window and go from there. This means you can run IE7, Firefox for Windows, etc and it looks like they are just other apps
  • Boot from Basecamp partition: People have long asked to be able to boot directly from a bootcamp partition.
  • Transporter: Parallels Transporter can migrate the information from live disks of a remote PC computer and create
    images of such disks which can be usedParallels Transporter usage scenarios.

Virtualization is getting better and better, and will help us keep old crud around for frustrating testing ;)

Posted by Dion Almaer at 9:27 am

3.5 rating from 31 votes


Comments feed TrackBack URI

So virtualisation is still the only way to do this.

Wondering why the IE7 team couldn’t have included an option to switch to the IE6 rendering engine.

Comment by Dominic Pettifer — December 2, 2006

These work pretty well for me for the windows machine. I’ve got XP installed with IE7 and then run the standalone versions to test with them.

Seems like an idea solution for ie7 and ie6 on xp

Comment by Dougal — December 2, 2006

Coherence mode is wicked cool, but it doesn’t actually give each application an Expose or CMD-tab target — at least not yet. It basically just sizes the Windows desktop to match the size of your OS X desktop, then cuts out the Windows desktop background to give the illusion of independent application windows. Still, it does make IE6/IE7 testing much easier.

Comment by Justin Kramer — December 2, 2006

“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 do developers use after april 1st? Start over again from square one? I’ll stick with parallels and only using winxp when I have to.

Comment by Rob Sanheim — December 2, 2006

Personally, I prefer Tredosoft’s package with multiple IE versions in one package over a seperate image. That way I can side-by-side compare whatever IE version I want.

Also, a virtual PC image tends to be very heavy and run slowly on my laptop.

I wrote more on Tredosoft’s pack at Justaddwater: “All IE Browsers Standalone on Same Machine

Comment by Jesper Rønn-Jensen — December 2, 2006

I have to say, I thought this was great news. Free Virtual PC and a pre activated image of XP. I certainly got the impression from the original post that their would be a new image released before the current one expires. I’ve taken advantage of the image to test some software I would’ve installed on my PC, like Flock and Fiddler. Flock is very cool.

Comment by Richard Kimber — December 2, 2006

I use the standalone version of IE6 on my office pc with xp but it not support cookies and filters :(((

Comment by Vladislav Stoitsov — December 2, 2006

There’s an easy way to set up Internet Explorer 7 as a standalone browser.

They also have a nice installer for getting Internet Explorers 3 thru 6 installed as standalone browsers. With fully functioning conditional comments support and the version number in the title bars.

Internet Explorer 7 Standalone Installation Instructions by Tredosoft

Internet Explorers 3 thru 6 Standalone Installer by Tredosoft

Comment by Thomas Aylott — December 4, 2006

Vladislav, look for the file ‘Wininet.dll’ (version 5.0.2x) from a Win2000 installation (or prior) and include that in the folder of your IE6 standalone. It did the trick for me…

Comment by DF — December 4, 2006

I just downloaded the IE6 standalone.

Comment by Andy — December 4, 2006

i am running ie6 installed, and the IE7 RC1 Standalone setup with a slight modification to allow me to run the full IE7 release (it’s easy, just rename the IE7 exe from IE7-WindowsXP-x86-enu.exe to IE7RC1-WindowsXP-x86-enu.exe and it works!) , i don’t have cookies in ie7 and all that jazz, but for testing, it’s alot easier and lighter weight than any other approach. only thing is when i switch between 6 & 7 i need to run the ie7rc1_cleanup.reg to clean up the registry otherwise any command i send to IE will open in firefox, since firefox is my default browser. I’ve thought about installing IE7 and doing the Virtual PC thing, but it seems like more of a PITA than a better solution.

Comment by naterkane — December 5, 2006

Andy – The standalone IE6 does not render the same way as installed IE6. It’s is a clever workaround, no doubt, but ultimately web developers cannot rely on it for accuracy. One minute you think you’ve fixed it, the next minute all your IE6 clients are talking refund…

Do yourself a favor and just a VMWare image instead.

Comment by Reader — December 6, 2006

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