Running IE9 PP6 behind IE9 Beta

I forgot to mention this earlier, with all of the PDC10 hub dub going on. So, I’ll give it a shot here. Microsoft offered up details on how to modify the IE9 Beta to accommodate the innards of IE9 PP6. If you so happen to want to use the new Beta with the PP6 innards, it’s a simple process, plus you’ll be able to use the new features of PP6 such as CSS3 2D Transforms, pretty cool, eh? Here’s how.

First, if you haven’t already, you’ll need to download the IE9 Beta and IE9 PP6. Once installed, you’re good to go with the next steps.

1. Create a folder somewhere on your computer (I simply opted to create mine on the desktop) and name it IE9_PP6.

2. Find the original EXE file for IE9 Beta, this should be located under Program Files –> Internet Explorer. Keep in mind if you’re using a 64-bit machine, the Program Files folder will have (x64) appended to it. The EXE file is named iexplore.exe, simply copy and past this into your IE9_PP6 folder.

3. Next, create a folder in the IE9_PP6 folder and name it iexplore.exe.local.

4. Navigate to the IE9 PP6 install folder, Program Files –> Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview. Open the folder iepreview.exe.local and copy the contents from that folder to the newly created iexplore.exe.local folder in your IE9_PP6 folder.

5. If you followed all of the above steps correctly, you should now have a fully functional IE9 PP6 with the Beta UI.

How does this work? Well, the iexplore.exe file looks for the iexplore.exe.local folder when it starts up to get its “behind the scenes” code. Therefore, by copying the files in the iepreview.exe.local folder into iexplore.exe.local allows for the iexplore.exe to pull that information instead, thus giving the innards of the iepreview.exe, essentially.

This works very well, and can be proven specifically with the Flickr Postcards test on the IE9 Preview website. Try it for yourself. Open IE9 Beta and use the Flickr program, notice nothing special happens? Now open the same site with IE9 Beta and PP6 appended to it, notice a difference? That’s the power of CSS3 2D Transforms at work there.

If you’re curious, as I was, this little trick cannot be used to adhere the PP6 capabilities to IE8. At least, not using the similar steps above. IE8, it looks, doesn’t use a .LOCAL folder, thus it doesn’t rely on one and one cannot be used to determine the engine for IE8. Oh well, at least we tried.

If you have questions or comments regarding the newly released IE9 PP6 or IE9 Beta, feel free to leave them below, or e-mail me your questions and comments.

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