By Wyatt Barnett

Keep Testing Your Site in IE6 The Right Way—With a New, Free VPC Image from Microsoft

By Wyatt Barnett

When I first announced that Microsoft had made an IE6 VPC image avaliable for testing purposes, there was a fair amount of consternation about the expiration date in early April. MS indicated that they intended to keep providing images, and they have held true to their word. There is now a new image availiable for download that expires in July.

  • Before Vista, I actually used the multiple IE installer from Tredosoft Now that I have Vista, the VPC is the only option and it works pretty well. It’s just a bit obnoxious to use because they stripped everything out of the VPC Image so even tasks like opening local files become a hassle.

  • malikyte

    The definitely locked it down really well. I’m actually quite curious to know the steps they made to lock it down the way they did — that would be rather handy to know how to do (though I’d definitely not want to lock something down that much). Regardless, I’ve gone the other route. I’m still running IE6 as my native browser (as there’s more bugs to work out) and use IE7 on a VPC. It’s a little less intensive since I don’t use it as often.

  • Very useful, thanks for the information. BTW there’s a type in your first link.

  • An entire image for just a browser 0_o

  • mihd

    or have vmware running whatever version linux/macos/windows u need for production and/or testing

  • @mihd: Yes, vmware is also an option, but it requires that you own an additional Windows license. The VPC image Wyatt mentions is free.

  • Mike

    Ya, the entire image for just a browser 0_o….

  • wwb_99

    @Ian: the multiple IE thing is a very, very misleading thing. Yes, you can test multiple versions of the rendering engine side-by-side. But all of those versions share common components–like the script interpreter–which can have very material effects on your application’s compatibility. You really need a full OS stack to properly test things, not some hackish “multiple IE” implementation.

    @Mike: check out the link I posted in the first article. It explains why IE is more than “just a browser” and that testing it requires a full OS stack, not just browser bits.

  • Owen

    Personally I think its great that Microsoft has offered this option for testing reasons… I’ve been using it since back in October. I am however a little disappointed in the level of crippling of the OS they provide. Namely I can’t install plug-ins, this means I can’t test say a flash video that is dynamically placed on a page in IE6 via UFO. Or Quicktime, or any other website of that sort. It is still much better than pseudo browser testing by installing multiple IEs… it just could be a bit better with a few default common plugin installations or the access to add them in. :)

  • Tim

    It’s still useless…what I really need is a VPC with IE7. Corporate development environments won’t allow installation of IE7 (we’re not scheduled to get it until sometime in 2008).

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