Virtualization is a must for developers, and through modern.ie, Microsoft provides a number of virtual machines that can be used to test websites in different versions of Internet Explorer running on various versions of Windows. The list of available virtual machines available for download has grown to include Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7, and Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1.
The virtual machines are available to download free of charge and are provided in various formats. There are versions available for Windows, Mac and Linux, and whatever your preferred virtualization tool, there’s a download for you.
Windows users have the widest choice with VMs available for Virtual PC, Hyper-V for Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Hyper-V for Windows Server 2012/Windows 8 and up, Oracle VM VirtualBox, and VMWare. For Mac users there is support for VMWare, Oracle VM VirtualBox, and Parallels Desktop for Mac, while Linux users have the option of using Oracle VM VirtualBox.
- As well as increasing the number of available VMs, Microsoft has also update the whole range based on feedback provided by users:
- Windows update set to off by default to avoid the VMs with older versions of IE updating themselves automatically to the newest version for that operating system
- Resealed the images to have the longest expiration of the evaluation period allowed
- Brought answers to frequently asked questions right inside Windows on the desktop background
- Instituted a VM build version system and have the home page set to visit modern.IE to check for updates to the VMs
If you’ve never tried the downloads from modern.IE, they are a great alternative to manually setting up a virtual machine — you don’t need to track down an installation ISO or worry about licensing. Give it a try and see what you think.Further reading: Desktop Virtualization, Internet Explorer, Windows 8.1