Browserling Interactive Cross-Browser Testing Platform

Have you ever wanted to see what your website looks like in an older (or newer!) browser than you are using? Then try Browserling interactive cross-browser testing platform

Warning: this program is seriously useful, and after you really get to like playing with the different versions there is a Time’s Up message which gives two options:

  • create an account for 10 minute sessions
  • buy a paid plan for unlimited sessions

We would recommend the developer plan as a starter, for $20/month, which is for designers, front-end developers, and freelancers who need to check their work against all the browsers. This option offers unlimited sessions, and ssh tunnels.

The Dedicated Plan is listed as $250/month and adds the following

  • Remote desktop access or use the browsers through a web interface
  • Includes 200 testling minutes per month
  • SSH tunnels to access localhost and intranet services

This plan contains their entire non-IE browser selection plus IE9. Additional versions of IE require additional dedicated resources at extra cost.

Why We Should All Stop Using IE 6

It has been just about six months since we mentioned the dreaded IE6 in a blog post, so it is again time to let rip on the subject.

In this instance however, instead of just ranting about the state of senior management and decision makers who chose to ignore the problems caused by continual use of IE6, it is time to adopt a different tack! The way to change the way people think is to give them the facts and allow them to reach the conclusion themselves. Rather than berate, let’s educate!

To that end we are collecting sound reasons why any business, organization or government body tied to IE6 might like to consider moving away from the obsolete browser. If you like, we are quietly going to collect the facts for the business case for updating from IE6 to a better browser.

Just for starters, the three most common responses to the question “Why Should We All Stop Using IE 6?”we get from web developers are:

  • Security vulnerabilities which make it a target for crackers worldwide
  • CSS support is problematic (doesn’t support newer CSS and HTML features)
  • JavaScript support is Microsoft proprietary nonsense.

OK, we had to clean up the comments a bit to make them publishable!

Then from the user’s point of view, what about tabbed browsing? Tabbed browsing facilities makes users more productive as they can work more efficiently. But what other advantages to the users are there?

If you want to contribute to the business case for ditching IE6, is there anything you can you do? Well, you can start by sending us the list of your pet IE6 hates. If you are a developer, tell us the features that are missing in IE6 which hold back sites you are developing for your customers. If you are a user, forced by company policy to stay on IE6, what way are you disadvantaged? If you are a business with an Internet presence (and what business doesn’t?) how much extra does it cost you to maintain backward compatibility with IE6?

Are you still clinging to the mistaken belief that there is plenty of life in the old IE6 dog yet, then consider that IE10 is not that far away; The IE10 Platform Preview Guide for Developers provides an early look at the developer features coming to the next version of IE! Check it out and see the Internet Explorer Platform Preview Guide for Developers (opens in a new window).

Other anti IE6 sites and additional resources (all open in a new window):

To do your bit for humanity, post your constructive comments below and we will collate them and make sure that they are taken to the authorities responsible for holding on to IE6. Please don’t bother spamming, as spam comments will never be published.

More on Internet Explorer 6

As most people who visit this site will be aware, TechCo Support have been patient voices calling for the scrapping of Internet Explorer 6 (IE6), and a move to newer standards based applications which support tabbed browsing. With a large number of web developers in our stables, the persistence of IE6 and its numerous bugs, odd interpretation of standards and peculiarities is a consistent drain on resources and a barrier to progress.

We came across this resource for dealing with the persistent bugs in IE6 which contains lots of usefull information and further links to IE6 nuggets:

Other Usefull Links and our earlier rants about IE6 may be found below:

Finally, if you missed our posting on IE6 and SEO, see:

A Few More Nails in the Coffin of IE6

A number of well connected people have been asking about the article we wrote back in January about the persistent use of Internet Explorer version 6 (IE6) in Government circles (click here to read). This is particularly relevant as Microsoft are working on IE9, while some IT Suppliers, who can not be named for legal reasons, are busily planning to deploy whole new infrastructures including IE6.

A few bolder people in Government IT have asked us, off the record, for links and references to some of the criticism of IE6 on the web. Although they are clearly concerned about using an obsolete browser, they wisely do not want to raise their heads over the parapet! After very little searching, we have come up with the following links on the subject:

For a quick sample of IE6 Vulnerabilities check out:

It is also worth a visit to Ed Bott’s blog, to check out It’s time to stop using IE6, which contains the immortal line that
Any IT professional who is still allowing IE6 to be used in a corporate setting is guilty of malpractice“.

Finally, for anyone in the development community who is interested in the direction Microsoft is going with the next browser release, or any senior manager wanting to make a strategic decision on which browser version their next infrastructure upgrade will deliver, take a look at the comment from Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager, Internet Explorer on The Windows Internet Explorer Weblog..

If you are wondering about the direction to take with your next browser release, and policy, dogma or contract clauses prevent you from considering Chrome, Firefox or Opera, then you should consider An Early Look At IE9 for Developers when making your decision. If you find that the detail there is incomprehensible, or that you can’t see the reason why it makes any difference, then maybe the questions you should really be asking yourself are: “Am I qualified to make such a decision?”, and “Where do I get my advice? “.

If you want partisan advice about your choice of browser, on which to build you next corporate infrastructure, you can click here to contact Bruce Thompson

Google to Drop Support for IE6

It appears that Google is about to Drop Support for IE6, which might be the final straw for the outdated browser.

On the Official Google Enterprise Blog, under the tile of Modern Browsers for Modern Applications there is a post that confirms what right minded people have been pressing for for a long time: IE 6 is on it’s way out. The entry posted by Rajen Sheth, Google Apps Senior Product Manager, starts with the compelling reason why IE6 must go:

The web has evolved in the last ten years, from simple text pages to rich, interactive applications including video and voice. Unfortunately, very old browsers cannot run many of these new features effectively. So to help ensure your business can use the latest, most advanced web apps, we encourage you to update your browsers as soon as possible.

Although IE6 has been a staple for millions of users in the past, it is time to move on and embrace the future with tabbed browsers like IE8, Firefox, Chrome and Opera. On behalf of web users and developers everywhere, we thank you, Google!

To read more about this subject see: