Thank You Microsoft. Really, Thank You for

As a front-end developer I have to always be sure that whatever feature I roll out works for my customers.  In the past I had to stand up multiple VMs of various Windows OSs and Internet Explorer versions.  The Windows XP with IE6 is a favorite of mine. But now, thanks to Microsoft, there is

We have all seen the mess Microsoft created by tightly coupling their browser to the operating system.  You also see where Chrome and Firefox  have succeeded in minimizing this situation (It is that their updates are easy, and don’t require an operating system upgrade).  Windows XP users will never be able to run IE9, but they can run the newest Chrome or Firefox.

What’s the big deal?  Just test on the browsers and leave some old machines laying around, or have multiple VMs with the appropriate operating systems and correct browser versions, all just for Windows.

The problem with this approach is that it really doesn’t fit in a typical workflow of a developer and it just makes it a pain to test everything on all these different machines. Oh, and you have to support those VMs and machines as well.  It does cost money.

Microsofts release of will help you by consolidating all of this into one service and making it easier to test across the browsers. It is a combination cloud and virtualization service that is subscription based. (let someone else maintain it) is part VM deployments and part Browser Stack. Microsoft partnered up with Browser Stack to help with this endeavor, which I think is a great sign of collaboration.   I encourage you to visit to learn more about it, as they have their pitch down.  However, I would like to say that my team and I are starting to test using this tool to see if it will give us a consolidated testing environment for Internet Explorer. So far, so good.  I do, however, really like Browser Stack the best, super simple to use and well worth the pricing.

While this does not solve the problem of multiple Internet Explorer versions it does help us test and make a better web.

So check it out at and never let it me said that I never compliment Microsoft.  But if you still don’t like Microsoft you can go directly to Browser Stack.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t like IE, this will not be the perfect solution, but it is a step in the right direction

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