If you’re a developer using a Mac to design web pages, you’ll be aware of one big problem – how to test web pages for Windows users on Internet Explorer which no longer works on Mac. In 2003, Microsoft ceased development of the browser for Mac with support ending 2 years later. As a result, most web designers on Mac have to run Windows either via Boot Camp or Parallels which isn’t ideal not to mention expensive too. Many will therefore be eager to try a new application called ie4Mac which allows Mac users to run an original, unmodified version of Windows Internet Explorer on Mac.
Most web developers need to make sure that their web pages work in at least Internet Explorer 7 and 8 and even sometimes 6. Ie4mac.com claims that they can use the original, unmodified Windows Internet Explorer natively on a Mac. This will allow users to verify that web pages render correctly, test HTML and CSS compatibility and interactively debug AJAX and JS.
How does it do this? According to the developers:
ie4mac makes this possible by running a cluster of Windows Terminal Servers and delivering the Internet Explorer to your Mac using a protocol called RDP. This way we can provide you with four different versions of IE, running side by side, namely Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 and even 9 (the latest beta release by Microsoft).
This won’t come for free although at the moment, ie4Mac is inviting requests to participate in free private beta testing of it. All you have to do is enter your e-mail address. Everyone that’s chosen to take part in the private beta test will be able to use ie4Mac for free during the whole testing period. Look out for a full review here if we get accepted.
17 Feb Update: The launch of ie4Mac has been delayed slightly but will be released for beta testing soon.
We’ll be one of the first to be invited so watch this space!
June Update: The launch of ie4Mac has been delayed again due to legal issues which have now been resolved but the project is now back on track and it should be available soon at the following address: http://www.browser-test.net/