Running multiple Internet Explorer versions on one system used to be a bit unreliable and offer some problems for web developers that need to ensure cross-browser compatibility. Thankfully there are a couple options, one from Tredosoft another from Microsoft.
What Do I Know recently touched on Tredosoft’s Multiple IE, which allows you to install IE 6 through IE 3, while allowing Internet Explorer 7 to remain untouched on your system. This is a great aid, something I’ve been using for a few months thanks to a recommendation from a friend. Tredosoft’s solution is much more stable than the archived browsers from Evolt.org, and they seem to run pretty well at the same time if you need to check 2 or 3 browsers at once. I haven’t tried this with Parallels, but I’ve heard it runs well this way, I do know that this isn’t compatible with Vista yet, which would be nice. I have noticed a slight tendency for IE6 to crash and/or incorrectly render some pages, which brings me to my next recommendation.
The other option is to download Virtual PC 2007, which looks like it’s Vista compatible, and the IE Application Compatibility VPC Image, which is a small Virtual PC image with Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6. In my opinion, this way is a little more involved, but I’ve seen pretty accurate results on IE6 when compared to an acutal PC running IE6.
Take a look at both options, they seem to work well for me. Though I’m not running Windows XP or Vista on my laptop yet, I have a late model Powerbook so no Boot Camp or Parallels, I plan on picking up a Macbook Pro after the next revision and finally be able to run OS X, XP, Vista and possibly a Linux distribution to become more familiar with Linux systems for a pretty solid web development testing environment,