For a few years now the Internet Explorer team has offered free virtual machines to test all versions of Internet Explorer. The goal was to help developers on all platforms test their web sites and applications for compatibility with current and legacy versions of Internet Explorer. These free virtual machines are especially valuable to non-Windows developers. And while the virtual machines are a great way to reach out to these developers, technology keeps getting better and better.
This morning the Internet Explorer team is proud to announce RemoteIE, a free tool to test the latest version of Internet Explorer across platforms. RemoteIE uses the Azure RemoteApp, also used for Office365. Azure RemoteApp runs on the following platforms:
- iPhone and iPad
- Windows x86
- Windows x64
- Windows RT
Sorry there is no Linux to my knowledge at this point. But that creates access to a large web developer universe.
Installing RemoteIE is simple for every supported platform. Visit http://remoteie.modern.ie. You need to sign in using your Microsoft account. Don't worry if you do not have one, just create an account. After that you will are prompted to choose your region. This is important because you want to select a region near you to avoid unnecessary network latency. Remember this is a remotely hosted virtual machine. These steps add the IE Tech Preview to your list of available applications in your RemoteApp.
To launch RemoteIE just click or tap the icon. In a minute or two you will see an instance of Internet Explorer. Let me warn you it looks like it is running like a local application. I say this because being my first experience with RemoteApp I was expecting some sort of wrapping frame. You can use the instance to load any public web site or application.
What About localhost?
Because RemoteApp is a virtual instance running in the cloud it does not have access to your localhost server. While there is not an official tool, add-on or technology supported by Microsoft and the Internet Explorer, but ngrok [https://ngrok.com/] seems to be a stable, popular tool to solve the problem. I am just starting to investigate the service. It is also useful when you need to test your web applications on other devices, like phones and tablets.
RemoteIE is a fully functioning version of Internet Explorer running on Windows 10. You have access to the full developer tools, F12, just as if you were running the application locally.
RemoteIE is an exciting new tool that all web developers can enjoy. This is a way to decouple Internet Explorer from Windows, allowing developers on other platforms to reliably test their code in Internet Explorer without downloading and running a large virtual machine. And remember this is completely FREE! Read more about the new service from the Internet Explorer Team Blog