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IE6-inside-IE8 Unibrows Add-on Lets Enterprises Run IE6 Inside IE8

A new startup led by people who worked with and at Microsoft on Internet Explorer will soon release an add-on that lets customers run the aged IE6 within the newer IE8 browser.

The Unibrows add-on is aimed at companies that want to move off IE6 — and the almost-as-old Windows XP — to 2009’s IE8 and a more modern operating system, such as Windows 7, said Matt Heller, of Washington-based Browsium.

Although one of Microsoft’s recommended workarounds for enterprises that need to keep running IE6 is to use MED-V, Unibrows doesn’t insert a virtualized version of old browser into IE8. Instead, Browsium has licensed several DLLs, or dynamic-link libraries from Microsoft, to make the add-on render a site or app just as does a stand-alone version of IE6.

“We run as a local process on machine,” said Matt Crowley. “[Unibrows] is a child process of IE8 and is triggered based on the rules [administrators have set].” At that point, Unibrows swaps in IE6 DLLs to render the page or app within the tab.

The IE6-inside-IE8 add-on supports all the functionality of the real thing, including ActiveX controls designed for IE6, and the old browser’s JavaScript rendering.


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