Microsoft uses new tools to get Web developers to give IE another look

Microsoft's new modern.IE site includes new compatibility tools to entice Web developers to update their sites to work with the latest IE releases.

We've seen Microsoft's "Browser You Love to Hate" campaign appeal to users to give the latest versions of Internet Explorer another look.


Now the Softies are going after the Web developer community with a similar message -- and new tools to entice them to make their pages and sites compatible with the latest IE versions and other "modern" browsers.

Microsoft launched a new site, modern.IE, which features free tools, guidance and other resources "designed to make it easier for developers to ensure their sites work beautifully across Internet Explorer as well as other modern browsers." As part of the release, Microsoft has partnered with browser-testing service BrowserStack, to provide devs with three months of free service, redeemable any time this year, to help them test their site on any browser on Windows.

There's also a scanning tool, via which developers can enter a page's URL and see compatibility issues; virtual test tools enabling Chrome, Firefox and even Mac OS users to get tools for testing IE on their respective platforms; and best-practices coding guidance.

"(W)e recognize that customers on older versions of IE continue to be a real challenge for developers testing their sites, particularly for those developers on non-Windows devices," said IE General Manager Ryan Gavin in a blog post on January 31. "We want to help. We want the web to move forward. And we genuinely want web developers to spend more time innovating and less time testing."

In other IE news, even though the release-to-Web (RTW) version of IE10 for Windows 7 is still not available, Microsoft is providing an automatic update blocker toolkit for IE10 for Windows 7, company officials announced on January 30.

Microsoft provided the same kind of blocker toolkits for IE7, IE8 and IE9. These allow admins to control how and when they want their users to get the latest version of a browser. If an organization does not install the blocker toolkit, customers with Windows Update will automatically be upgraded from IE9 to IE10 on Windows 7 once it is available.

Microsoft has been testing IE10 for Windows 7 for more than a year. The company delivered the latest public test build of IE10 for Windows 7 late last year. Microsoft recently told a subset of private testers that it was not planning to provide any additional private builds via Microsoft Connect before the product is released. Microsoft officials still are not providing a RTW target date for IE10 for Windows 7, but it seems like it could be any time now .