Microsoft Gives Parallels, Windows 8 and IE10 to Mac Developers

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IE10 brings Internet Explorer closer to Chrome and Firefox than it’s ever been. However, if you’ve visited a geek conference recently, you’d have noticed a proliferation of Macs — which can’t run the browser. That’s a problem for Microsoft…

  • A large number of developers probably aren’t bothering to test sites in IE.
  • Those who do, often test it very late in the development cycle.
  • The inevitable problems lead to “IE’s still awful” comments. While IE10 may cause no more issues than any other browser, the mud sticks.

Microsoft released modern.IE in February. The site offers a page scanner, free virtual machine images, three months’ free subscription to BrowserStack and compatibility advice. However, to celebrate Microsoft’s sponsorship of the Webby Awards, several new features have been introduced today…

Free Parallels and Windows 8 USB Sticks for Mac Developers

If you’re a Mac developer, it can be difficult to justify the license costs for Parallels and Windows. Microsoft has made that decision a little easier for you by shipping free USB sticks with full copies of Parallels 8 and Windows 8.

Free Parallels and Windows 8 USB Stick

The catch? There’s a limited supply — so act quickly — and Microsoft would like you to send a $25 donation to your favorite charity. Sounds like a good deal to me.

New Virtual Machine Images

Two new virtual machines are available: IE10 on Windows 7 and IE8 on Windows XP. Both remain free and all VMs are now available for Parallels on the Mac as well as Hyper-V, Virtual PC, VirtualBox and VMware on other platforms.

Scan Sites Behind Firewalls

It’s now possible to install a local instance of the modern.IE webpage scanner so you can test intranet applications or websites which have not yet launched.

Guess what platform the scanner requires…

You’re wrong! It’s node.js. That’s a surprisingly sensible choice which means it’ll run on Windows, Mac OS and Linux out of the box.

The scanner has a number of useful new features:

  • deeper scanning with ‘how to fix’ suggestions
  • responsive web design analysis
  • touch optimization hints, and
  • assistance for sites which have blocked Flash content.

Better Internationalization

modern.IE is available in 18 languages including Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese.

It’s good to see modern.IE evolving and Microsoft making life a little easier for web developers. Now, if only we could persuade Apple to release Safari on Windows again…

Craig BucklerCraig Buckler
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Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

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