> This way of switching browser modes (between 7, 8 and 9) is quite convenient
> but... is it a true representation of how the project will render in these
> three browsers?

>From what I've read about them, they are "close emulations" rather
than true representations (that is, IE is applying a set of rendering
rules but not firing up genuine IE7/8 instances). Given the
convenience factor though, I tend to use the modes for quick testing
and only fire up VMs for a final test or if a specific bug has been

> If not, I'd love to get some suggestions on the LEAST INVASIVE way to test
> different "modern" flavors of IE.

I'm yet to find any option that's ultimately more reliable than VMs. I
don't trust multi-IE solutions ever since I tried one that installed
an entirely-unsecure, unpatched IE6 instance that was sandboxed away
from all security measures (the results were predictable from that

On Win7 I use XP Mode with differencing to set up multiple versions.
The images don't expire so it's a one-off setup rather than
re-downloading Microsoft's test VMs. I've written up my experiences at

On Mac I've just tried using https://github.com/xdissent/ievms and
other than being a very very long download it worked without incident.
I'd suggest installing one version at a time when you won't be
disconnecting for a while :)


--- <http://weblog.200ok.com.au/>
--- The future has arrived; it's just not
--- evenly distributed. - William Gibson

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