Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8 offer end users the possibility of playing around with them. Essentially, IE8 Beta 1 can be transformed into IE7, while Internet Explorer 7 can masquerade as IE8. Of course that the shift from IE8 to IE7 and vice versa will happen exclusively under the hood. Do not expect to be capable of oscillating between IE8 Beta 1 and IE7 on the same machine. The fact of the matter is that the two versions of Internet Explorer cannot even coexist on the same Windows operating system simultaneously, as IE8 Beta 1 will automatically upgrade IE7 and IE6 upon installation.
Going from IE8 Beta 1 back to IE7 is rather simple. All you have to do is click the Emulate IE7 button. "For the Internet Explorer 8 Beta, we’ve added an Emulate IE7 button to the command bar. It will help you with everyday browsing and with quickly checking your site as you work on it. If you’re having trouble on a site that you’d like to browse, try the Emulate IE7 button. This causes IE8 to use the IE7 user agent string, version vector and layout modes," Paul Cutsinger, Lead Program Manager IE User Experience.
The Emulate button's functionality is rather evident and it involves taking IE8 Beta 1 into the Internet Explorer 7 web standards mode, in order to render properly sites that have been tailored specifically to IE7. IE8 Beta 1 requires a restart before the IE7 emulation will take place, and this is a pain if you have multiple tabs opened. Restarting the browser in order to switch between the IE8 and IE7 rendering modes feels like a half-baked solution to provide end users with some sort of control over how the browser interprets the underlying web content. Of course, developers have the option to tell browsers from the website which rendering mode to adopt.
But at the same time, users have the possibility of making IE7 present itself as IE8. Nothing much changes in this case, except the way the browser labels itself on the web. The practice is dubbed User-Agent Spoofing. "If you’d like to see how your sites react to the new IE8 User-Agent string today, you can use the existing registry-based User-Agent override mechanism to cause IE7 to masquerade as Internet Explorer 8," stated Eric Lawrence, IE Program Manager.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent] "Version"="MSIE 8.0" [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\User Agent\Post Platform] "SV1"=- [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Version Vector] "IE"="8.0000" [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent] "Version"="MSIE 8.0" [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\User Agent\Post Platform] "SV1"=- [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Version Vector] "IE"="8.0000"
And there is also a script designed to undo all User-Agent registry overrides. You will need to restart the browser after the script is executed.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent] "Version"=- "Platform"=- [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent] "Version"=- "Platform"=-
Internet Explorer 8, IE7, Internet Explorer 7, IE8, Masquerading, Emulation, Tips, Tricks, Tips and Tricks