Microsoft Offers Windows 10 Virtual Machines To Test Edge Browser
Redmond isn’t wasting any time ensuring your Web site is compatible with its newest browser. Microsoft Edge, the company’s successor to the little-loved Internet Explorer, has been out for only a few weeks as part of the rollout of Windows 10. But Microsoft has already brought its Edge developer Web site out of beta to give developers a leg up on designing sites for the new browser.
The site, dev.modern.ie, provides developers with virtual machines that allow them to run Windows 10, and Edge, in an automated environment to test their sites for compatibility issues. In addition to Edge, the site also provides developers with test versions of Internet Explorer 6 to 11 using virtual machines.
Although Edge most certainly represents the future of Microsoft’s Web browser, the company hasn’t completely abandoned IE just yet: the older browser still comes bundled with Windows 10, meaning developers are likely to continue supporting it on their sites.
New Debugging Tools
Microsoft made a number of improvements to the developer site as it left beta, including added support for new virtual machine formats, such as Vagrant boxes and QEMU.
“This release includes substantial improvements to accessibility, including improved markup to make the site and tools work better with assistive technologies,” Antón Molleda, program manager for Microsoft Edge, wrote on the company’s developer blog. “Many of our older test drive demos have been moved to our GitHub repository, including classics like Fishbowl and MazeSolver. We plan to move these to our new test drive site in the future, but for now you can experiment with the open-sourced copies on GitHub.”
In addition to the virtual machines, Microsoft is also providing developers with other tools to debug their sites, including a test service using Azure RemoteApp to run IE on Windows, Mac, iOS or Android devices. It also offers a quick site scan tool that allows developers to run quick static code scans on any URL to check for out-of-date libraries, layout issues and accessibility.
Change Is Coming
The switch from Internet Explorer to Edge is the biggest change to Microsoft’s browser since IE was first introduced almost 20 years ago. The new browser is significantly lighter, with 220,000 fewer lines of code, which includes dumping support for ActivX plug-ins.
However, Edge is reportedly not quite ready for prime time yet. The release schedule for Edge was dictated more by the launch of Windows 10 than the state of the browser’s readiness, which is why the company continued to include IE in the latest Windows version. That means we’ll likely see a number of additional upgrades to Edge coming as Microsoft works some kinks out.