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IE8 Readiness and IETester

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.

UPDATE: 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.

Posted 12-15-2008 5:18 PM by sergiopereira
Filed under: ,



Reflective Perspective - Chris Alcock » The Morning Brew #245 wrote Reflective Perspective - Chris Alcock » The Morning Brew #245
on 12-16-2008 3:38 AM

Pingback from  Reflective Perspective - Chris Alcock  » The Morning Brew #245

Dew Drop - December 16, 2008 | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew wrote Dew Drop - December 16, 2008 | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew
on 12-16-2008 10:59 AM

Pingback from  Dew Drop - December 16, 2008 | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew wrote re: IE8 Readiness and IETester
on 12-16-2008 5:20 PM

RT @mak1e @elijahmanor we previously emailed our clilents tellingem might well be worth not using IE for a little while

They say there is a gaping security hole that affects all versions and has no fix yet.

Willem Kossen wrote re: IE8 Readiness and IETester
on 12-17-2008 3:52 AM

That is absolutely incredible. Great find. I've been looking for something like that. I'll try it out. This could eventually make webapplications so much better. Now all we need is one that also includes runtimes for Chrome, Gecko, Safari etc....


Christian Weiss wrote re: IE8 Readiness and IETester
on 12-17-2008 1:11 PM

wow! you saved my day! thanks for this tip! wrote IE8 Readiness and IETester
on 12-17-2008 1:15 PM

You've been kicked (a good thing) - Trackback from

Weekly Links #32 | wrote Weekly Links #32 |
on 12-21-2008 3:43 PM

Pingback from  Weekly Links #32 |

sergiopereira wrote re: IE8 Readiness and IETester
on 03-24-2009 8:34 AM

Microsoft recently announced their own take at this problem with SuperPreview:

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