Internet Explorer App Compat VPC Update

12 Oct 2010

A bunch of folks have asked about the status of the Internet Explorer App Compat VHDs (VPCs) as the current set have expired and we haven’t published new ones yet. First off, I want to let folks know that we are still committed to them and we haven’t abandoned them! We’ve just run into a few hiccups that weren’t quite what I expected this time around.

At the beginning of this fiscal year, we changed the process that we use to create the VHDs. First, we brought the work in house and are building them internally instead of using a vendor to do it. Second, we found out a little too late that the old system we used for time-bombing had been retired and spent some time working to figure out if there was a replacement program in place or how we could continue to support the Windows XP VHDs. Thankfully we were able to figure out a new process, but with any new process, there are always some hiccups. And this time, there were more hiccups than I had expected. Sad smile

The big change between these images is that this Windows XP SP3 installation is a “trial sku” instead of the “full package product” (FPP). That means that we don’t have to use the complex time-bombing process any more – though because it’s a trial sku, they do still expire after 90 days. I haven’t tried these VHDs on other VPC hosts, so I can’t speak to if they’ll run without activation.

I finished the last few steps for creating the VHDs late last night, and am working through the release process now. One good thing about moving them in house, I managed to get the download size way down again, and they’re running between 494meg and 583meg! Hopefully the smaller size will be good news for those of you who don’t have super fat interweb pipes.

Hopefully they’ll be up tonight (Pacific time) or sometime early tomorrow. I’ll either update this post, or post a tweet via Twitter when they’re up!

PS: I’m also working with @reybango to get a VHD or other system in place so that those of you not running Windows Vista or Windows 7 can try Internet Explorer 9. Sadly when IE9 runs in a VPC host, you don’t get hardware acceleration, but it’s still an opportunity to try or test your site if you’re not running a supported OS.