« FireScope: Add HTML & CSS reference to Firebug | ColdFusion Tip: Query columns in correct order »

March 6, 2009

Run IE6, IE7, and IE8 on the same PC!

Web designers and developers rejoice—browser compatibility testing just got a whole lot easier! For years we've been complaining to Microsoft about the fact that you can't have more than one version of Internet Explorer installed on a computer at the same time. So the only way to test a web site in multiple versions of IE was to use multiple computers, virtual machines, or resort to various hacks. None of these methods was ideal and all left us wishing for a better way.

Meet Xenocode. Xenocode is basically a way to virtualize applications. This product allows software developers to package applications into a self-contained executable that can be run directly without having to install anything.

Xenocode has decided to demo the technology by creating a browser sandbox. They've created free virtualized versions of Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8; Mozilla Firefox 2 and 3; Apple Safari; Google Chrome; and Opera.

Finally! You can now easily run multiple versions of Internet Explorer on the same computer!

Update (9/28/09):  Xenocode has rebranded this technology as "Spoon" and launched a new website for it. The browser sandbox has moved to this new location. In addition, I've noticed that they've been working to improve the stability of this technology. I'd previously had issues running the browsers on a particular PC, but now they appear to work much better.

Posted at 7:32 PM in Web Design


1. Justin Carter says:

Cool, Xenocode looks pretty interesting :)

For the IE problem specifically, I've been using IETester for the last year or so, I blogged about it here:

It can be a little unstable at times and doesn't render Flash but other than that it works well enough.

Posted on March 7, 2009 at 1:12 AM

2. Jack Silver says:

IE Tester is very useful, and is the closest emulator I've ever seen, however it is not totally accurate, and if you're looking for perfect support, you can't fully rely on it. I use it as a kind of quick glance until I feel like logging into a test machine, and for that, it works quite well.

Posted on June 9, 2009 at 9:21 PM

3. andy says:

I've been using Multiple IEs by Tredosoft (freeware at http://tredosoft.com/Multiple_IE ) for quite awhile, it allows running IE 5.5/6/7 side by side. Not sure what I'm going to do now that 8 is out though...

Posted on August 25, 2009 at 11:46 AM

4. matt mcinvale says:

thank you!!! was trying to debug an IE7 specific cursor problem that i couldn't reproduce in any other browser. i was able to run IE7 through xenocode and had the problem fixed in under an hour. :) :)

Posted on September 4, 2009 at 2:57 PM