When the Redmond, Wash.-based technology vendor announced the release of its Internet Explorer 11 Developer Preview for Windows 7, the company also updated modern.IE, a set of tools and resources that make developing for the Web (and IE) just a little bit easier, said Roger Capriotti, director of marketing for IE at Microsoft.
Modern.IE is a set of tools to help developers support modern and older versions of Internet Explorer.
“We want the Web to move forward,” Capriotti said in a blog post. “And, we want to help Web developers spend more time innovating and less time testing.”
Microsoft introduced three new enhancements as part of its announcement. One is a limited time offer of 25 percent off Parallels Desktop 8 virtualization for Mac. Another is new virtual machines for testing IE11 on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. And a third is a new, free screenshot tool that lets users see how a site looks across browsers and devices. Additionally, the modern.IE scanner is now available as open source (under Apache 2.0 license) to download from GitHub for your own projects, Capriotti said.
“Our friends at Parallels worked with us back in April for the Windows Quickstart Kit for iOS Developers and we were thrilled at the response–selling out in 25 minutes,” he said. “Pick up one of 2,500 available by using the redemption code on modern.IE before Aug. 19.”
Meanwhile, virtual machines have proven to be a great way for developers to test in their preferred environment, Capriotti said. “We’ve made these available across various versions–from IE6 on Windows XP to IE10 on Windows 8 and in between. With the new announcement, Microsoft added two new VMs for IE11: Windows 8.1 Preview with IE11 and Windows 7 with IE11 Developer Preview.”
They also are available across many common virtualization platforms such as: Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1; Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Pro with Hyper-V; Virtual PC for Windows 7 (note that VPC cannot run Windows 8 VMs); VirtualBox on Windows, Mac OSX and Linux; and VMWare Player for Windows and Mac OSX. Start downloading the new VMs here.
Microsoft also introduced a new one-click scanning tool that shows how sites look across some of the most common devices in the market today for free, Capriotti said. The screenshot service is powered by BrowserStack.com.
“Users visit your site on an increasing range of connected devices,” he said in his post. “Techniques like responsive Web design can help developers build experiences that look great on large and small screens alike. But often Web developers must work with constraints that require them to build different experiences for different devices. New devices become available so quickly that developers cannot buy them fast enough to test–assuming they’d want to!”
At the Microsoft Build 2013 conference, Rey Bango, a Web developer evangelist at Microsoft, said, “The new F12 in IE 11 makes it easier for developers to build modern Web experiences that work across devices. For developers that aren’t on Windows, we have other tools available at modern.IE. This is a site designed to make cross-browser and cross-device development easier. Developers can go here and enter their own site’s address directly into modern.IE and kick off an automatic scan to look for known issues and get tips on best practices. Developers can also download VMs for testing on multiple IE versions.”
Capriotti explains that a “local scan modern.IE has been available for you to download for testing on the Windows platform since our April update.” However, Microsoft has announced its release under the Apache 2.0 license and availability on GitHub, “So you can have complete confidence in scanning for your intranet, line-of-business Web app, authenticated firewall or super-secret project. Find the code on our GitHub account here.”