As a Mac user and web designer I don’t really want to have to pay the large sum of money to buy Windows 7 just to test websites in IE9. Luckily, there is a way to do.

You need a VM system – we use Virtual Box – and an install disk for Windows 7. You don’t have to buy this. You can sign-up and download the developer ‘Windows 7 enterprise trial’ disk image from Microsoft. Just Google that phrase and you’ll find the link. Microsoft will make you jump through a few hoops and sign-up for a Live ID account before you can download, but its worth it.

This developer vernon of Windows 7 is a full working copy for developers to test software, etc and will give you 90 days of working Windows 7 goodness to test your website designs in IE9. After this time you can request a ‘rearm’ to extend the trial. If you don’t, Windows 7 will stop working after 1 hour but this should be enough time for testing in IE9.

Once you’ve download the ISO disk image, start up your favourite VM and create a new machine. Installing Windows 7 was pretty painless (what a surprise that was!!) and in no time you’ll have a working VM machine. All you need to do then is upgrade IE8 to IE9 and you can test away on all your new website designs.

Happy testing!