Today I started researching and preparing my application for IE-8, or at
least knowing what we would need to take care of before its release sometime next year.
I started by downloading the VPC image with IE8 beta 2 because it seemed much more convenient
than setting up a new virtual machine with XP or Vista from scratch. Well, life's not easy, is it?
VPC. Hyper-V. Fight!
I use Hyper-V instead of VPC, so I promptly imported the .VHD file into a new, empty virtual machine and
booted it off. It worked! Not so quick... The VM was not recognizing the Hyper-V virtual hardware
(Ethernet included) because I needed to install the Hyper-V enhancements (Integration Services Setup). Well,
that would require me to first uninstall the VPC's Virtual Machine Additions that came with the VM. No problem, I've
done that a few times before. Nope. Cannot uninstall because the "Add or Remove Programs" applet
had been intentionally disabled in this VM. I searched a little bit
and could not find the password for the admin account
so I figured at this point it would be easier to just go ahead and create the whole thing from scratch after all.
The passwords for the VPC image are in the accompanying Readme.txt file, which I had not thought of reading. Blame me.
To enabe the "Add or Remove Programs" again, go to the registry at HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Uninstall
find the value named NoAddRemovePrograms
and delete it or set it to zero.
That's when I came across the IETester
utility. This little gem allows you to open, side-by-side, IE5.5, IE6, IE7, and IE8 Beta 2.
When I saw this I thought: Nah. They're probably just tweaking the DOCTYPEs and tricking IE8
into rendering under some layout mode equivalent to the other versions. I installed it anyway
and it turns out that IETester only needs IE7 to run.
Feeling a little puzzled I went snooping and in its installation directory I saw this.
Holy Moly. They are indeed running the actual rendering engines side-by-side. Note the
familiar shdocvw.dll and even the Internet Options applet (inetcpl.cpl) from each
browser version. I did not know you could redistribute IE binaries like that. Can you?
Anyway, I'm keeping a copy of this installer just in case Microsoft decides to make one
of those unhelpful moves and demands that it is taken down. It will certainly help me
in the coming months.
12-15-2008 5:18 PM