New Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Images are currently available for download free of charge from Microsoft.

The company is offering XP SP3 and Vista SP1 virtualized, packaged as Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) files, that can be used with Microsoft’s virtualization solutions.

Each XP and Vista copy brings to the table a different version of Internet Explorer. The images are designed for web devs that are building sites and need to test their projects for compatibility with multiple IE versions.

“After a little delay, the Internet Explorer App Compat Testing VHDs are now available for download on the Microsoft Download Center. Like the previous set of images, these ones are time-bombed for 90 days and will expire on January 11th, 2011,” revealed Microsoft’s Pete LePage. More »

Microsoft continues to offer free copies of its Windows operating systems, a “tradition” that the company started back in 2006 after the release of Internet Explorer 7. The software giant is attempting to compensate for the shortcomings of the Windows design in older releases of its platforms, in which a single version of Internet Explorer can be installed at a time. This limitation makes it difficult for developers building websites to test their code in different IE versions on Windows Vista and Windows XP.

This is where the Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Image comes in. This download offers free, virtualized copies of XP and Vista, each with different versions of Internet Explorer. There are no less than five downloads available, all free of charge.

The VPC Hard Disk Images are time bombed, and only allow usage for a limited period of time. However, for the past few years, Microsoft has updated the Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Image downloads without fault, just ahead of their expiration date. More »