The best way is to run it in a virtual machine. You didn't mention which version of Windows 7 you were running so I'll list up the options. ;)
You must have Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate to run Windows XP Mode. That's a built-in version of XP that you can run within Windows 7. You could install IE7 in there, add the link to your desktop, and run IE7 and IE8 side-by-side.
If you're using a lesser version of Windows 7, then you'll want to look into Microsoft's Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Image [microsoft.com]. Microsoft provides these working images of XP SP3 with IE6, IE7 & IE8 for testing purposes. You'll need to run these images in Microsoft's VirtualPC which is free. It's not quite as smooth and integrated as XP Mode, but you'll be using the same technology.
If you're the do-it-yourself type then pick up one of the various virtual machine softwares out there.
VirtualPC (Microsoft) free
VMware (VMware) free
VirtualBox (Sun) free
You'll need another copy of Windows to install in the virtial machine. Then download and install the versions of IE you want to test.
Thanks bill. Before posting I had visited the link you mentioned there but my OS wasn't listed and besides, the expiration notices turned me off ...
Expires April 1, 2010
Expires 120 days after first run
Not worth installation effort. So I figured I would ask the community for better options. After posting and searching I landed on Microsoft's Virtual PC page, which you mentioned. However, I need to add that although I am running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, my machine did not come with Windows XP Mode built in. Not until I downloaded and installed Virtual PC and XP mode [microsoft.com] was this option available.
There are four steps [microsoft.com] and the second is quite important because Microsoft Windows Virtual PC requires processors capable of hardware-assisted virtualization with AMD-V, Intel VT or VIA VT turned on in the BIOS. MS has made it a simple check for you by providing an executable. Oh, by the way, I had to visit the site using Internet Explorer in order for anything to run and download properly.
The top of the download page includes a link to support videos. They are short and informative.
I was informed of IETester the last day whilst speaking with a colleague at work. It seems to run fine previous versions of IE - has anyone else used it or does anyone know of any reason it wouldn’t give an accurate report?
|Not worth installation effort. |
They're including a free copy of Windows in that virtual machine. You can use it for 4 months. If they didn't expire it then they'd have to charge for it.
The other options, if you don't have Ultimate, Professional or Enterprise, is to use a licensed copy of Windows in a virtual machine. Then you don't have to be concerned with the expiration.
|Microsoft Windows Virtual PC requires processors capable of hardware-assisted virtualization with AMD-V, Intel VT or VIA VT turned on in the BIOS. |
I forgot to mention that. On older machines or under-powered, cheaper machines, that's not usually available. You need to have fairly recent hardware for that. Their assumption is that you'll be using Windows 7 on a new machine with new hardware that supports this.
I hadn't heard of that one. I'm a die-hard VMware fan with an MSDN subscription, so I can run any number of Windows installs virtually. IETester is an alpha product and their Bugs & Problems forum has the most posts. That doesn't instill much confidence.
So far, I haven't had to complain about IEtester. It allows you to test your website on IEs back to 5.5. Of course it's not flawless, but good enough to point out the problems.
Been using IETester for months. Its much better now than it used to be as earlier versions tended to crash a lot. Apart from that, its fine for checking sites in the earlier versions.
If you just need to test your websites on various versions of IE use this free tool from M$ "Microsoft Expression Web 3 SuperPreview for IE"
As I just mentioned in a Linux thread, Virtualbox apparently works without hardware support, which may be useful for people with "underpowered" hardware (which includes my laptop).
Microsoft's VirtualPC may be the only one that requires that specific hardware support. I've been using VMware Workstation for years on machines that have not had that hardware virtualization support built in.
Interesting. And the licensing comments earlier make sense to me too, bill. Oddly enough, you would think that if the licensing was an issue for MS in previous versions of the OS, what makes Windows 7 any different? Just the fact that it is a "newer" or later release than XP?
It will be interesting to see how MS will handle IE9 at this point. I see there is a "preview" option available but I really dread the idea of installing yet another virtual machine just for another release of the browser. I have found that if I do not "shut down" the virtual pc when I am done testing then it remains in memory, or at least appears to be in memory, using the allocated amount of RAM specified in the virtual configurations I have created, one for each version of IE.
|"Microsoft Expression Web 3 SuperPreview for IE" |
I happen to have the full version of Expression Web 3 and it does have SuperPreview. I hadn't tried it before. That's a great tool.
|Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer is a standalone, free application with no expiration and no technical support from Microsoft. |
I'm sure this will also support IE9 when it's released.
This is uncannily timely news...
|Microsoft removes hardware virtualization barrier to running XP Mode [blogs.zdnet.com] |
Effective immediately, Windows XP Mode no longer requires hardware virtualization technology, Microsoft officials said today. XP Mode is a feature of Windows 7 Professional or higher that allows companies to run XP applications that are incompatible with Windows 7 in a virtual environment.
Until today, XP Mode would only work on PCs that included CPUs that supported chip-level virtualization. Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft General Manager of Windows Commercial Product Management admitted during a phone interview this week that users were confused as to which PCs offered this technology. Some PCs that claimed to didn’t support XP Mode. To enable more users to take advantage of XP Mode, Microsoft found a way to eliminate the need to have virtualization turned on at the BIOS level. The company is releasing an updated version of XP Mode today to users and OEMs for download, she said.