Lately Microsoft has really done quiet good at making it known that they are aware of the faults within Internet Explorer – and how difficult it makes development. With this newfound honesty in mind, Microsoft has launched modern.IE – a new Microsoft resource to help test websites and applications on the major versions of Internet Explorer.
We recognize that there are still a lot of users that browse with older versions of Internet Explorer. And while modern web standards and automatic updates with platform previews might be steps in the right direction, we know that the range of devices and browser versions still present a real challenge for your testing matrix. modern.IE is a way we can help move the web forward by making it easier to build innovative experiences with web standards like HTML5 & CSS3 while supporting older versions of IE.
The key tool of interest for me on modern.IE is the webpage scanner – an analysis tool which generates a report of known compatibility issues such as:
- standards/quirks mode
- out of date libraries
- missing CSS prefixes
- reliance on browser plugins
- browser detection code
- responsive web design practices
There are a number of IE/Windows 8-only suggestions but, even if you have no interest in adding these, the report still provides useful information which will help you locate and destroy bugs. Apart from the webpage scanner, modern.IE also features free VM images for Hyper-V, Virtual PC, VirtualBox and VMware on Windows, Mac and Linux. And then there’s the free subscription to BrowserStack, which provides dozens of desktop and mobile browsers on virtual machines which can be accessed remotely via your browser. There’s nothing to install, manage or configure — just log on, choose a platform and load your site. The service also provides tunneling facilities so you can test applications hosted on your local PC or network. Simply Sign-up at modern.IE and you’ll receive a three month BrowserStack subscription for free.