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Microsoft Released Modern.IE To Restore Internet Explorer's Lost Place.

Modern.IE released to test website for compatibility with Internet Explorer

There is no doubt that some developers have stopped supporting Internet Explorer while designing their websites. It took Microsoft a while to realize that and has now taken a step forward to rehabilitate its browser. “Better late, than never.”

Modern.IE is a new set of virtual tools released by Microsoft to help developers make sure that their websites render beautifully across

different versions of Internet Explorer.

Modern.IE is aimed to simplify the sometimes complicated task of getting websites to work in older versions of Internet Explorer. The new site also promotes HTML5 and web standards to help developers avoid mistakes. Although the site is geared specifically toward developers who want to optimize their websites for older versions of IE but most of the instructions especially the emphasis on progressive enhancement is a good advice for anyone building websites today.

Modern.IE consists of three main tools:

1.  A site scanner that scans a websites’ source code and detect potential problems for older versions of IE.
2. A cross-browser testing tool is the one they have partnered with BrowserStack for testing compatibility across browsers.
3. A set of guidelines for building sites with web standards.

The site scanner tool is perhaps the most useful among all, as one can enter his websites URL and the scanner comes back with a bunch of possible compatibility problems if there exists some. Apart from displaying old browser problems it can even prompt to update your outdated JavaScript libraries. Modern.IE also offers suggestions for fixing the detected problems. In most extreme cases when your website has problems related to privacy and security Modern.IE will apparently ask you to get in touch with Microsoft engineers to help solve your problem. Two more suggestions that are related mostly to Microsoft itself are also given by Modern.IE. The first one is about adding a few snippets of Microsoft-specific code to set an image so users can add the website to the new Windows 8 tile based home screen. The second suggestion is about putting some CSS to support MSPointers API, however the MSPointers API isn’t a standard at the moment.

The second major part of Modern.IE is Microsoft’s partnership with a third party service called BrowserStack which is a browser testing service that lets developers test their sites on any browser and on any Windows OS. From now on if someone visits BrowserStack via modern.IE, they can have three months free use of the service. After that BrowserStack’s regular pricing starts at $20/month for individuals.

The third and last part of Modern.IE is called the “code with standards” section which includes an article on “20 tips for building modern sites while supporting old versions of IE.” Developers who develop their website’s using HTML5 and CSS 3, but not include Modernizr are instructed to include it to help make the site work in older versions of IE.