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Installing a whole OS just to test a site on IE seems a bit excessive. Wouldn't it be easier to just test one's site on the cloud? (E.g. see http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/SuperPreview_Ov..., though its for Windows.)



That's always bothered my about Internet Explorer. I can download Firefox, Chrome, and Opera all for under 20MB but I need to download 4GB to test Internet Explorer 8?

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Seems strange, doesn't it? But the rendering engine is shared with countless other system components, it's not portable between operating systems (no IE9 on XP, no IE on mac/linux, no IE7 on certain x64 windowsen) and all attempts to extract the rendering engine into a portable .dll have quirks of their own (IETester et al).

Sad state of affairs, but a whole OS image is the only way to get guaranteed compatibility with what real-world users are seeing - A better comparison would be to iOS Safari or the Android browser, where the vendor just has zero incentive to make that specific browser work (identically) on other platforms.

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I looked into some cloud solutions, but they are rather costly. If you could pay by the hour rather than month it might be more of an option.

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