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Gaining anything for IE6 and various OSes

A potential client on a tight schedule has asked that a web-based course be tested using Internet Explorer 6 and all the various OSes that it supports.

According to the Microsoft web site IE 6 is recommended to run with:
Windows 2000
Windows Me
Windows NT

But the mimum requirements state it will work with:
Windows 98
Windows 98 Second Edition
Windows Me
Windows NT® 4.0 with SP 6a
Windows 2000
Windows XP

The question is, would anyone expect the findings to vary enough to warrant testing the web app on all 6 OSes?  Is the request bordering on overkill with very little ROI for the time spent?  If they had the luxury of time I say do them all but reality is it will be tight if we only focus on 1 or 2.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I think BrowserCam [ ] can help you!


Tuesday, April 27, 2004

If you had to pick two, I'd pick 98 and XP.

You need one of the 9x core, and one of the NT core. Based on the stats that I generally see, 98 is the most popular OS to browse with, followed by XP. That also gives you the best coverage, too.

Brad Wilson (
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I'll second Brad's comments.  If the application will be used in the wild, 98 and XP make up most of the IE browsers out there.  Reference Google Zeitgeist: for more info.

If the clients are in a controlled environment, review the web server logs & see what's most commonly used.


Tuesday, April 27, 2004

2000 and 98 are enough for most cases.

NT, 2000, XP and 2003 behave usually in a similar manner.

98 and ME are very similar but ME supports some features that are only effective on 2000 (descent Unicode support and support for RTL and LTR scripts without needing a localized Windows version.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

It's probably more important to pick, say 98 and XP, and then test on a range of screen resolutions.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Generally speaking, IE6 will behave the same on all Windows OSes and there are very slim chances of finding an OS specific bug using IE6. However, it might depend on the level of CSS/dynamic HTML/third party plugins (e.g. Flash etc) that you are using. If usage of these is not high, you are better off testing only on 1 or 2 as people above have suggested.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

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