Microsoft's $25 Windows 8 for Mac developers deal sells out

Microsoft promotion to attract Mac developers to check their websites for Internet Explorer compatibility appears to have been popular.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft's offer of Parallels and Windows 8 Pro for $25 — aimed at tempting Mac web developers to try out tools to test their site's compatibility with Internet Explorer — sold out quickly yesterday.

In January, Microsoft launched the site modern.IE, which provides a variety of tools and resources for developers to test their sites to ensure they "work beautifully across Internet Explorer as well as other modern browsers", with a particular focus on helping non-Windows developers deal with the "real challenge" of users on older versions of IE.

Yesterday, Microsoft added to its compatibility-testing offerings with Windows QuickStart Kit for Mac developers. Developers could get their hands on the kit — which included Parallels Desktop 8 (normally around $75) and Windows 8 Pro (up to around $120) — on a USB stick in exchange for a $25 donation to charity.

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Image: Microsoft

"We heard that the most common way you test across browsers is through virtualization of browser and operating system combinations using your favorite virtualization platform, such as Hyper-V, VMWare, VirtualBox, or Parallels. However, costs to purchase software and licensing can be difficult if you're that startup looking for your first big breakthrough. Today we’re making it just a little easier with a new combo offer," Microsoft said introducing the kit on Tuesday.

The kit, available through online retailer Swish, "sold out quickly", according to Microsoft. It's now planning to make "other offers available in the near future" given "how popular" the QuickStart Kit was.

In addition, Microsoft yesterday bulked up the tools available on modern.IE. The site now also includes new virtual machines for IE10 on Windows 7 and IE8 on Windows XP, and extends the BrowserStack-based browser scanning service, which is free for three months, to sites in a developer's local environment.

The local scans were introduced to enable them for sites that site behind a firewall, such as an authentication page, or line of business web apps. Modern.IE is now using tools from Sauce Labs to provide a line-item list of suggest fixes for compatibility issues found during the scan. It can also be used to check of a site is on its Flash CV block list for IE 10 on Windows 8 and Windows RT that Microsoft announced last month.

The modern.IE site will also support developers in 18 different languages including Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese (Simplified, Traditional, and Hong Kong), Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish (Spain and Latin America), Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

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