Looking for a functional way to get IE 8 and IE 7 to run on my machine today, I found the IE Tester project, and I have to say that for an all in one IE testing app, it works quite well. Up until today the only tool I had at my disposal was Multiple IEs from TredoSoft and the biggest limitation here is that it doesn't incorporate 7 or the 8 beta (1 or 2); which IE Tester does. Since IE 8 is due out this quarter (I think) it is absolutely imperative that devs start testing (if they haven't already) for this new wonderful application to see how it destroys, or interacts with the web. For more detail on what the IE team is doing with version 8, check the IE Blog.
The biggest benefit to IE Tester so far is that it can be installed along side all of your other browsers (including Multiple IEs), unlike the frustrating paradigm that Microsoft operates under of not allowing multiple versions of IE installed on a single desktop. Instead they say you should test using Virtual PC and load up separate version of the OS virtually – yeah…. that's a lot better than just opening a browser.
Working with IE 8 so far I have found a lot of the expected CSS weirdness but above that I have also found that the xFx JumpStart DHTML Menu Builder menus fail irrecoverably, and since there is an open thread posted in May with no replies, I have a very low confidence threshold that anyone cares enough to fix it. This is bothersome simply because I have sites that use this menu, and now I am forced to find alternative solutions since a wait-and-see mentality doesn't really work for me.
IE 8 has a compelling list of new features and standards oriented enhancements, being a quantum leap in the right direction for the kings of the one-way road. Continually having to go to battle to get everything to work across 5 browsers and something like almost 8 versions is a bit tiresome and far more complicated than necessary. I still get a ton of hits from IE 6 users both here and my day-job sites, which I mainly attribute to the bad press IE 7 received after launch – much in the same way Vista has gotten vilified. People and corporations have made the flawed decision to not migrate to IE 7 under some false ideology that they are better off with 6, never mind the gaping security holes and out dated rendering engines.
Okay, so I getting off topic… again. Since I have to find a new menu anyway, I am compiling a list of AJAX menus to replace the DHTML menu, so once I have that worked out I will post that list here – in the meantime test your sites with IE Tester.