My colleague, Pete, product manager for Internet Explorer, recently posted a write-up on the IE Team Blog detailing some cool work the group is doing to help Web designers & developers prepare for Internet Explorer 7.0 while still having access to earlier browser versions for side-by-side testing and legacy support.

The solution involves intelligent use of virtualization technology and, even better, is 100% free:

  1. Download Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 for free.
  2. Download the Internet Explorer 6 Testing VPC Image for free, which includes:
  3. Use the Internet Explorer 7 Readiness Toolkit 2.0 (already included in the VPC image) to test & update your sites.

If you are running Windows Vista, grab the free beta of Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 from Microsoft Connect.

They are investigating similar programs for IE5, IE5.5, IE6 and IE6 SP1. Very cool...