Back in November, removed their sandboxed IE browsers, leaving web developers everywhere rather unsatisfied.

As many know, the sandboxed browsers were the most reliable browsers, aside from using IE versions in separate VMs.

It has now been three months and we've seen no movement from Spoon or MSFT. So, it's time to share these.

UPDATE 2011-02-14 - Spoon sent us a Valentine via this tweet: Spoon will launch a solution for IE testing on March 2nd. Hang in there. Thanks for all the support. My guess is that this release will be properly licensed and EULA'd. Will it be downloadable? Will it be free?

UPDATE 2011-02-12 - Spoon has asked me to remove the files and I have complied, albeit with much concern and confusion. I'm not sure why Spoon involved themselves in my shenanigans. Why not let Microsoft issue the takedown notice? What disservice was I to Spoon or web developers?

~ Jonathan (the guy you've heard singing)

A quick summary on why the browsers are the easist way to test cross-browser:

  1. Multiple IE - IE8 breaks the functionality of IE6's textboxes.
  2. IETester - Print preview and popup interaction causes failure. Flash and CSS Filters don't work in user mode; only admin mode.
  3. Virtual PC with timebombed images of IE6, IE7, IE8 - Requires 12GB of HD space. Images die (timebomb) 4 times a year. Running a full Windows image is slow. You have to beg for updates because the releases are not co-ordinated and announced well at all.
  4. IE Super Preview - Does not allow full testing of IE user interaction, JavaScript DOM changes, popups etc.
  5. Multiple PC's running multiple versions of Windows and IE - With all the hardware, software, and physical space needed? Ha!
  • IEs - Work just like local native apps, and there's no hacking of the real local IE install.