today i was searching for a browser emulator that could ease the pain of testing websites for older versions of Internet Explorer. the bottom line is that there is no such thing. however, there is a VERY nice solution that doesn’t require dangerous multiple boot installations on your machine.
it turns out that Microsoft stretched the truth quite a bit when they told the federal courts that IE could not run independent of the Windows operating system. Skyzyx provides a handy list of zip files you may download. download each of the IE versions you desire, and then simply double-click the executable on your hard drive for each version you downloaded. you’ll instantly be surfing the web with old IE browsers all the way down to Internet Explorer 3.0! these files make no changes to your registry and do not impact your up to date version of IE.
note : i could never get IE version 5.01 to work on my XP box. it loaded upon clicking the exe but threw an exception whenever i navigated to any page. also, favorites are pretty much broken in every version this solution.
testing older versions of Netscape has always been quite a bit easier than IE. netscape maintains an archive of old versions of their browser. installation of any of these older netscape versions will not impact your up to date netscape installation.