Microsoft Makes Designing for Internet Explorer a Little Easier

DevToolsGuy / Friday, March 22, 2013

Many web developers will never forgive Microsoft for Internet Explorer. Due to its almost total lack of respect for standards, version 6 in particular, which is still used to this day by a small minority of (mainly enterprise) users, commands a certain level of disdain. Later versions have improved; however, the damage is hard to reverse. Microsoft estimates that 40% of the top 5000 websites use frameworks (designed to get around issues with non-standard browsers like IE6) that now cause problems in IE10.

To help make testing their browsers a little easier, Microsoft has just launched, a set of tools and resources designed for exactly that purpose. The site includes a page scanner which provides a report of common HTML problems (and possible fixes), a host of best practice advice, and links to a number of virtual machines (see here). Probably the best feature is a free three month subscription to BrowserStack.

The site won't make all of your browser testing troubles go away, but is it nice to see Microsoft trying to make amends. More significantly for some, Microsoft is getting closer to releasing Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 (the browser is shipped as standard with Windows 8). Various betas have been in testing for a while, but it is thought that a final release isn't too far off. An IE10 blocker has just been released, allowing enterprise customers to block the release when it arrives. However, many web designers will welcome users upgrading to IE10, in an attempt to get as far as possible from the bad old days of previous versions.