Microsoft updates IE testing site, gives away Parallels Desktop

Elliot Bentley

Disillusioned web devs wooed with free VMs, testing tools and dirt-cheap copies of Parallels Desktop for Mac.

With Chrome and Firefox
adding innovative bleeding-edge
seemingly every week, it’s easy to forget that
Internet Explorer is still being used by a third of the market –
and that a non-insignificant chunk of these are far behind the
latest release, Internet Explorer 10.

Earlier this year, Microsoft launched modern.IE to aid developers working
with legacy versions of IE, offering free virtual machines and a
scanner to highlight incompatibilities. An update yesterday
introduces new VMs, an improved scanner and best of all –
close-to-free swag.

For a $25 charitable donation (plus $6 postage), the
company are offering a limited number of “Windows Quickstart Kits”,
which include full versions of Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac and
Windows 8 Pro. That was, until the package sold out within hours,
although the team have hinted
that similar offers may be coming in the future.

Of course, Microsoft already offer free virtual
, including every version of Windows dating back to XP
running IE6. These can run on most VM software, including the open
source VirtualBox.

Alternatively, for those who can’t be bothered to
install a VM on their own machine, modern.IE includes a three-month
trial of BrowserStack, a service that allows remote cross-browser

The scanner is also
useful, notifying whether pages will be run on Compatibility Mode
and highlighting out-of-date plugins and rogue prefixes, among
other features – although devs may or may not care about Windows
8’s “touch-first browsing” and pinned “Start Screen tiles”.

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