Microsoft launches cross-platform remote Internet Explorer application

Developers who want to optimize their websites for all web browsers need to get their hands on various browsers to do so. One of the issues that devs run into regularly is platform restrictions when it comes to browsers.

Safari seems to only be available on Mac these days while Internet Explorer only on Windows. As far as Microsoft's Internet Explorer is concerned, it is also limited to specific versions of Windows.

Developers who want to run the latest Internet Explorer test version for instance need Windows 10 to do so as it is the only platform the browser is available on.

RemoteIE is a new service by Microsoft that enables developers to run this version of Internet Explorer remotely on other devices.

This means that it is possible to run the browser on Mac OS X, other versions of Windows, Android, or iOS. And yes, Linux and Windows Phone are the two major systems missing.

microsoft remote app remoteie

It is necessary to link a Microsoft Account to the Remote Internet Explorer on the modern.IE website.

To do so sign in using the account and accept the privileges that RemoteIE requires. You are taken to a download page where you can download the launcher for one, some or all of the supported operating systems.

Run the launcher and click on install to get started. This downloads data from the Internet, about 14 Megabyte if you select the x64 version.

You need to sign in to the application using the same Microsoft account. Once done, select the Internet Explorer invitation on the next screen and click on done.

This should display IE Technical Preview in the Microsoft RemoteApp interface.

From there it is just a matter of double-clicking on the link to start the remote version of Internet Explorer so that it can be used just like any other program on the system.

internet explorer preview

The remote app is not as responsive as a local browser but it should work quite well for development purposes.

A handful of restrictions apply:

  1. Sessions are limited to 60 minutes and users idle for 10 minutes will be signed out automatically.
  2. Performance is inferior to native programs, there is no gpu acceleration for instance.
  3. The browser cannot be used to open local sites or domains behind firewalls. Sites need to be accessible publicly.

It needs to be noted that this is not the only option to work with Internet Explorer on a system that does not support a specific version of the browser or all versions natively.

Microsoft makes available virtual machine images for example which you can download and run on systems as well.

Closing Words

RemoteIE is another option that developers and interested users can make use of to run the most recent version of Internet Explorer on their system.

While it is likely that it will be used almost exclusively by web developers, it may have other uses as well such as giving a sneak peak of things to come in the latest Internet Explorer.

This article was first seen on ComTek's "TekBits" Technology News

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