I run Linux on my development machine, so when it comes to ensuring my site works on Internet Explorer and Edge, I use the following temporary virtual machines (which expire after 90 days of use): https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/vms/

My question is, is it necessary to test the same browser on different operating systems. For example, is it necessary to test a site on Internet explorer version 11 running on Windows 7 as well as Windows 8?

Currently i've simply downloaded the Windows 10 VM which has Edge and Internet explorer 11 on it. Is it therefore necessary to download virtual machines for Windows 7 and 8 to once again test the same version of Internet explorer?

4 Answers 4


It really depends.

Actually rendering elements in a webpage/application and the webpage/application itself depends a lot on the environment it is being accessed. The environment includes, the OS, Browser, any plugins in the browser, the device screen size, the interface mode of the device, the technology you used to create the webpage/application and more.

  • If the webpage you are testing has some element(s) that are dependent on OS and act differently on different OS, then yes, you should test it with same browser version on different OS.
  • IF you have enough time to testing it on so many different combinations of browser and OS, then yes, you should. Otherwise, shortlist few highly used/recommended combinations and test on those.
  • If it is specifically required of you to test it like that, then yes, you should.

And I'm sure there are many more such reasons that people can come up with.

Depending on the requirements of the webpage/application and the support your team provides you can make a list of Browser-OS-Device combinations and test on those!!!


It depends on your web page viewers profile. what percentage using Firefox,IE,Safari...What percentage using Windows,Mac OS then you can prioritize your tasks and your focus..

For instance %80 percentage of views using Mac OS and you are testing on Windows there will be some defects for sure.

All in all, analyze your viewers first then decide what to focus while test your product.


I think it is all about risk vs reward in this case, can I take the chance of skipping testing on certain platforms.

The risk assessment:

First I would make sure that my current key features work on each version of Windows and the same browser. Now if are no difference I think I can decide that the risk of issues between different operating versions are unlikely, because if there where differences I would found them by now. With a bit of luck you now have only one Windows version to test.

Then I would want to know how large my user-base is on these platforms. I would test the operating most used by my users. This makes sure that when something does go wrong at-least only a small group has issues.

Also research possible difference between the operating systems that might give issues. Examples could be different default fonts and font-sizes. Border sizes of windows that could lead to small parts to be cut off the page.

Do a risk analyses.. :)

Years of experience says that I haven't run into any really critical difference that blocked users from working.


As others have said, "it depends."

One such case is font rendering, since different OSes can handle this differently.

This is especially true with newer high DPI monitors. Since using one, I've found that many web pages look absolutely terrible because the fonts render in such a easy that makes them nearly unreadable.

Upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 improved this greatly (not just in browsers), and this was in Chrome, so not browser dependent at all, but instead the way the underlying OS handled the high DPI.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.